03 August 2011

Book Review - Dance of the Dandelion by Dina Sleiman

Dance of the Dandelion

By Dina Sleiman

Published by White Fire  whose motto is "Where the Spirit Meets the Page."

Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels


I gave this Five Stars – I hesitated, almost giving it four because of some of the elements, but the story was so compelling and so well done that I could not.  And the elements that disturbed me were not at all gratuitous elements but intrinsic to the plot.  I could not stop reading Dandelion’s story, she was such an intriguing and different character. 

This is a debut book for Ms. Sleiman,  published by White Fire.  Out now in e-book format, it is available on Kindle as a download, which is how I read it.  The book will be out in print this fall.  I was privileged to critique part of this book this past winter but my comments to Dina, along with Narielle Living another writer friend, we both agreed that “What could we tell her about this book?”  We could not see from looking through the first chapters where we would edit anything.  It is a very well-written book and unique, unusual, in how it addresses the subject of seeking after God’s deepest love.

This is not a typical Christian fiction book and was not picked up by the mainstream CBA market yet it is an inspirational work, with a strong literary element (though not the bummer ending like so many literary books have).  Dance of the Dandelion has violence and lots of sensuality/sexuality in there although it is not erotica, but is meant to show the struggle and journey of Dandelion.  This is a "seekers" book, about a young peasant girl’s path to a deep relationship with God. Young women today could relate to the relationship issues that Dandelion has to process and go through to ultimately know herself and enter into a right relationship with God before being part of a complete marital union on earth.

Dance of the Dandelion is a page turner and a compelling read.  You will find yourself having to find out what happens to Dandelion and being up half the night!  Congratulations, Dina, and thanks for giving us this fresh new work!

Bibliotherapy: Poverty, abusive relationships, obsession, forgiveness, and healing. This would be a wonderful resource for therapists to use with young women struggling with relationships.

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win either the e-book (available now) or a paperback copy when it releases next month!  And leave your email addy, too! 


  1. Okay, so now you have me intrigued. Enter me for the drawing. I want to read this one. :)


  2. Wonderful intriguing review, Carrie. Having read Dance of the Dandelion I can agree with you that it is a riveting book for those who are seeking. Dina Sleiman's slant on this inspirational story is to reach out and connect with those readers who have taken a similar journey as the Dandelion character. She made some pretty poor choices morally and yet we see Dandelion come to know the Redeemer and understand the depths of His redeeming love. I love Dandelion--she reminds me so much of myself and of other women who've been hurt by wrong choices. Bravo, Dina. Also, the writing was incredibly beautiful.

  3. Very nice (and as Christine just said), intriguing review, Carrie! I would love to win the paperback version, although I have a Kindle, because I know a couple of young women I would like to loan this book to, who I believe would benefit highly from reading Dina's book. And of course, I want to read it myself! Thanks!


  4. Christine, We should put your comment up as a review! Beautifully said! Sheri, this is one of the most unusual stories I have read in a while and one I could not put down after I started reading it! Diana, Dina is such a wonderful writer!

  5. Would love to read this book and have both my daughter and grand daughter read. Thanks for the review and my introduction to a new author.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    For some reason can't comment on this type comment form so using Anon.

  6. I would love to be entered in this giveaway!! Sounds very interesting;) Thanks!!


  7. I am intrigued to read this book due to the interview. I have added it to my TBR list.

  8. I loved this book! It was a perfect book in my opinion and not that sensual. I have read secular fiction and even the edgiest stuff in this book was mild in comparison, but if readers enjoy Love Inspired type stories that are mild, this might be more realism than they can handle. However, the power of the story is what counts and I loved it as is. She could have gotten so much more sensual and detailed but was very discreet and not even remotely erotic, in my opinion. She wrote about feelings and experiences as opposed to sexual stimulation, which is what erotic fiction is comprised of. That said, anyone lucky enough to win this book is privileged indeed. I would even read it again if I won a hard copy. Just saying... joyfulhutch[at]msn[dot]com

  9. Carrie, you could do joint reviews with Christine AND Michelle! Must be the author in them.

  10. Hi Everyone,

    I'm checking in from Florida today. Thanks, Carrie. I enjoyed the review. And hi to Christine and Michelle, two of my biggest supporters.

    You know, when I first wrote this book, I was hoping it would work for ABA, and I planned to keep the Christian worldview subtle. But as I went along, the spiritual elements kept growing and growing until I couldn't constrain them anymore. That's what happens when you hang out at an Italian convent too long. LOL. WhiteFire has been the perfect solution because all of their novels so far are on the edgier side, and they do hope to crossover between Christian and secular publishing.

    I will say, though, it's not even as steamy as typical ABA romance, and wouldn't even be on the same planet as erotica. I think it's fair to say it's more toward the PG-13 rating than the typical Love Inspired G. But to put you at ease, there's no "on screen" sex scenes. And the only reason for this is that I wanted different men in her life to represent different Greek definitions of love, one of them being "ethumia" (hope I spelled that right) for passion and desire. Of course things go terribly wrong with this.

    The book is all about the journey, as Carrie pointed out. And I hope you all love where she ends up :)

  11. I am totally fascinated and can't wait to read this book. Even the cover alone has me wanting to read it and can't wait for it to come out in print. It sounds like a page turner and book that one doesn't want to put down at all.


  12. Since Jo mentioned the cover I thought I would tell those that don't know (see older post of Carrie's interview with Dina Sleiman) that the lovely young lady on the cover is Dina's daughter, Christiana, who is a beautiful worship dancer! I already told you in my comment on the interview, Dina, the impact the cover had on me!

  13. Yes, that was another huge blessing of going with a small Christian press. Having my daughter on the cover of my debut novel is a rare treat.

  14. We just may have Christine's review up here tomorrow! That would be so fun!

  15. That would be fun! Our friend on Friday. Don't you just love Christine?...such a class act.

  16. You have me intrigued as well! Sometimes it is good to have some PG-13 books in the Christian market! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

  17. I love the picture on the cover of the book and am very interested in the path Dandy's choices take her down. It's exciting to me to see the spiritual growth hard knocks brings.
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms at wb4me dot com

  18. Sheri Salatin, you are a winning gal! And you won fair and square with random.org! Let us know if you end up reviewing this on your blog and we will put up a link from this website over to your review, okay? Do you want paperback or ebook?

  19. HI Carrie,
    I would love to have the good old fashioned paperback copy!! And YES I will be reviewing it on my blog. I'll let you know! Thank you so much! I'll email you my address. :)


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