I’m always excited to read books by Canadian authors so when the chance to read Dance, Gladys, Dance by Cassie Stocks came up I jumped at the chance. What a wonderful gem of a novel it is! It’s a novel about a woman who is at a crossroads and trying to find her way in life. What’s unique is who ultimately helps her find it – a ghost! Dance, Gladys, Dance is a fun novel with a serious side too and from the first page I was hooked and couldn’t put it down.
Frieda is 27 years old, without a job, without a boyfriend, and without a home. She’s bunking with her friend Ginny and should be looking for a job but just lacks any motivation to do so. She’s an artist with no desire to create pictures anymore. She left her boyfriend Norman back in Kentucky because he kept pushing her to get back to her art and right now she doesn’t want to be pushed into anything. So when she spots an ad in the classifieds that advertises an old phonograph for sale and a note that it’s because Gladys doesn’t dance anymore she’s curious and calls to make an appointment to see it. It turns out that there never was a phonograph for sale. It’s only an old fellow looking for someone to rent a room from him for company. Just who is that made sure that Frieda saw and responded to that ad though?
Frieda rents the room from Mr. H and they get along quite well. Soon enough though Frieda discovers that she has company in the form of the ghost Gladys. Frieda is beginning to think she needs to add crazy to her list of all the things that are wrong with her right now. And Frieda, never having learned to leave well enough alone, decides to write a letter to Mr. H’s son Whitman to see if they can’t mend their relationship while on the other end Mr. H is contacting Norman and telling him that he thinks there may be something going on with Frieda as he hears her talking to herself an awful lot. In between dealing with her ghost, the men in her life, and some new friends, there is never a dull moment. As her relationship with her ghost Gladys comes full circle, it is Frieda who ends up learning the most important lesson of all and that is to never give up on your dreams.
Dance, Gladys, Dance is a wonderful novel full of great characters. There isn’t one I didn’t like in some way. Frieda is quite funny and mouthy so she had me laughing quite a few times. Old Miss Kesstle who is in her seventies was very old school and I thought her very charming. Same with old Mr. H – he was charming and funny in his way too. These were people I could see myself wanting to meet and get to know. I cared about what was going on with them and what was going to happen to them in the future. Even the ghost Gladys endeared herself to me with her story and her reason for haunting Frieda. If you’re looking for a light summer read, Dance, Gladys, Dance would be a great choice. I really enjoyed it!
Be sure to check back tomorrow as Cassie will be joining us here at the blog with a guest post!
Source: Review copy provided by Saima Agency. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own.