Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite
After Veronica found herself pregnant as a teenage dancer, she decided to give up the baby girl, Isabel. Working at a perfume counter in a department store with twin boys and separated from her husband, Veronica is desperate for fulfillment. Now in her forties, she reflects often on her past life and wonders what might have been had she decided not to give up her daughter. Balancing home and her mother, who is succumbing slowly to Alzheimer’s and has been put in a care home, Veronica wonders if there is really more to life than the path she has set herself upon.
Isabel has grown up knowing she was adopted. When she finally sums up the courage to ask her mother for her birth mother’s address, Isabel struggles with what to do with the information, knowing she must be the one to make the first contact, as dictated by the adoption agreement. Living on the Isle of Wight with her boyfriend, she works as a homeopath, while he works as a painter. Encouraged by a dear old friend, Isabel must decide whether or not to take the plunge and contact the woman who gave her up nearly twenty-seven years ago.
The Dancer by Michelle Vernal is a heart-warming women’s fiction novel chronicling the parallel lives of a mother and her daughter. Although not often a reader of women’s fiction, I am genuinely glad I picked up The Dancer by Michelle Vernal. She develops the parallel lives of Veronica and Isabel very well and is able to weave in the events of Veronica’s past seamlessly. Amongst a cast of colorful supporting characters, Vernal takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery, reflection, and hope. I would certainly recommend this novel for fans of women’s fiction and will look for other novels by this author in the future.