Family relationships and turbulent emotions fill Luanne Rice's latest novel, Dance With Me, the engaging story of Jane Porter's return to her childhood home to confront the past that still haunts her. Her neighbor Dylan Chadwick's effort to restore his family's orchard is a constant reminder that civilizing natural instincts is a perpetual challenge. Whether that civilization takes the guise of neatly planted rows of trees or flowers, or the placid surface of a family's faade, the tending, the meticulous cultivating can be wiped away in an instant. As Jane and Dylan peel away the glossy surface of the Porter and Chadwick families and discover roots inextricably bound together, they are each challenged to grow strong new life from damaged stock and reap bittersweet fruit. Readers should indulge the author's occasional wildlife gaffes (for example, bears aren't known to be out all winter scavenging through the snow for fallen apples) and instead appreciate the strong message about families working earnestly to heal past wounds.

Sandy Huseby writes and reviews from her homes in Fargo, North Dakota, and northern Minnesota.

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