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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Dancing In The White Sand is a work of fiction in the adventure, historical fiction, and cultural issues sub-genres, and was penned by author Cynthia L. Matlock. The work is intended for the young adult and adult reading audience and contains some upsetting circumstances but nothing graphic. Our protagonist is Lani, a teenage girl in 1859, who finds herself ripped away from her life in West Africa when she and her mother are taken to a Caribbean island and put to work as slaves. As Lani strives for freedom and her right to empowerment as a woman, so begins an incredible tale of strength and coming of age despite all the odds stacked against her.
Author Cynthia L. Matlock has crafted a heartfelt, harrowing but also uplifting work of fiction with plenty of drama and real, thought-provoking issues to offer readers. The author creates a tense mood with the attention to detail in their atmospheric language, setting Lani up in a world of troubles, but also showing us with lexical and descriptive choices that she can and will find the strength to overcome it. The dialogue is a prime example, keeping her spirits up and truthful to her Yoruba heritage, whilst also growing sharper and smarter in her new world. The attention to detail in both the historical context and the immersive visual and tactile points that make the story come to life was second to none. It really makes you feel like you’re right there with Lani. Overall, I would highly recommend Dancing In The White Sand to fans of cross-cultural fiction, resonant emotive writing, and to historical fiction readers everywhere.