Lulu is different to others. Once, she believed, she had a friend
to love her. Then that friend betrayed her and Lulu learned that
hate is safer than love. When she begins her new life at the Court
of St Jerome in the Old Sea City, she finds people who must fight
their personal demons of hatred, ambition and greed. Embraced in St
Jerome's fold, Lulu learns to trust again, perhaps even to love.
Nothing, however, is as it seems and Lulu discovers that love
doesn't always wear the face of the one you yearn to call beloved.
Lyrical and atmospheric, buoyed by touches of magical realism, this
compelling spiritual story explores the sacrifices people make in
the pursuit of their dreams. Lulu's quest, and that of Jamila and
Zahra too, is to find the divine love that will fulfil their hopes
and save their souls...if they can recognise the masks of those who
seek to lead them astray.
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International Reader Reviews
Thu, 31 Jan 2013 | Review by: Judy Croome | @judy_croome
**Listed as a 2012 TOP TEN SPIRITUAL READS by The Dubious Disciple**: "A captivating and haunting novel about love, betrayal, lust, trust, and learning to live again. This one earns its place because of its penetrating writing style."
Here are some reviews from International Readers of "Dancing in the Shadows of Love": Author Anne Gallagher rated "Dancing in the Shadows of Love" 5* and says "Part other worldly, part time travel, I was taken into an African sub-culture where brutality and the lowest faces of poverty live and how each of the characters escapes. This is the story of three women, Jamila, Zahra, and Lulu, their lives intertwining, along with their search for love. Its raw emotion kept me turning the pages. Croome writes with a deep understanding of need and loss, as well as redemption and forgiveness. At times I was apalled, others left me weeping for these women and the paths their lives took. Croome is a master story-teller and her words are graceful and appealing. They sucked me in, grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go. I could feel the ocean winds blowing through my hair, taste the gritty sand of the desert, and smelled the flowers in the garden. As for the characters, each is so alive and three dimensional, they literally walked off the pages. For myself, as a romance writer, this book taught me a lot about the path to finding and keeping love. As a reader, this book is one I will remember for a very long time." (11/2011) ### Goodreads member Karen says: "A beautifully written, lyrical book. I can pick it up at any point and find paragraphs that just amaze me with the writing. The book follows three women in their search for love, three broken women who seek healing and redemption and in the process their paths cross. I got drawn into these characters and really wanted more of each of them! Lulu and Zahra were my favorite. I like how the author goes deep into dark places and doesn't shy away from the reality of experience that made these women who they are." (11/2011) ### Goodreads member LuAnn gave Dancing in the Shadows of Love a 4* rating and says "This book is nothing but fascinating. Told in the voices of the main women characters, it takes the reader to a world many are not privy to. It’s a place where prejudice abounds and a person is avoided just because he or she is different than others. Full of brutal honesty, the story is not an easy one to read. It makes readers face their own fears and bigotries, while at the same time, coming to terms with the opinions of those who refuse to honestly look inside themselves for the truth. On the other hand, it’s also a story of hope and coming to terms with what could be perceived as one’s own differences from the norm of mainstream society." (09/2011) ### Book Reviewer McGuffy Ann from the book review blog "McGuffy's Reader" enjoyed the novel and says "Judy Croome grabs you by the heart and does not let go. In this novel she explores the lives and loves of three women. Each woman has her own story, her own struggles. The characters and their stories are raw and deep, making for a powerful book. There is a glossary that is not only useful, but necessary in understanding certain terminology used in the book. There are also symbolism and complex plot lines. The intertwining of these stories adds to the impact of the book. Judy Croome is a creative talent and a thorough writer." (09/2011) ### LibraryThing reader “liveinlibrary” calls "Dancing in the Shadows of Love" a keeper "I read this wonderful book some time ago and wanted to share how very much it meant to me, then ... I had to read it again because I knew there was more to it than a single reading could convey. Judy Croome is among the most lyrical authors I've read and her themes, like her characters, are alive with all of the poetry and fear, anguish and love that life can hold. There is much within these pages that will make you think and much that will make you cry. In many ways this novel is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Lulu, Zahra and Jamila, each in their own way, lead lives in which the quest for Spirit is as important as the quest for kindness, forgiveness and love. Judy Croome's writing is to be savoured for its magical, haunting quality. Lulu's terrible, heart-rending solitude speaks to our own loneliness. Zahra struggles under the need to bury the past and keep it from unraveling the present. Jamila's search is for a love that transcends her past and all three wrestle with the demons that accompany any quest -- and then there is the mysterious Enoch. It's difficult to write a review for "Dancing in the Shadows of Love" simply because I don't think I'm done with this novel -- or perhaps the novel isn't done with me. I read the ebook version and I'm off to buy the print version. It's a definite keeper to be read over and over." (09/2011) ### Library Thing reader KiwiNyx comments "These three amazing womens' lives eventually cross over and we are taken on an insightful journey of discovery for each of them. The setting is somewhat like today's world but also quite different and the religion is again something we can understand but not quite the same which makes the story even easier to read because it never once delves into the realm of being preachy. On that point, I was initially worried that this story would be too religious for my tastes but I am pleased to say I was very wrong and this is an utterly compelling read of spiritual depths, exploring the kind of inner love and peace you can find when you let go of hate and the scars that you have lived through in your life. An outstanding debut and one I found I couldn't wait to pick up again and finish." (09/2011) ### Writer and yoga enthusiast PJ Swanwick wrote in her Amazon review "The women's stories are difficult, and Croome's writing style of exposes their emotions as raw wounds. One cannot read the book without jolting a nerve or two of one's own. These are well-developed characters, and the reader experiences every plot twist and turn by their sides, understanding their motives, if not always approving of their choices. For a first novel, "Dancing in the Shadows of Love" is very well written, with nuanced character development and solid plotting. Perhaps no one can truly describe what we mean by "love," but Judy Croome has done a fine job of trying." (08/2011) ### LibraryThing reader Mrs Flicker commented "Dancing in the Shadows of Love contains on its pages the story of three women who must learn first what love is not, in order to recognize what it is. It is the story of their own awakening into awareness of the "self" that each possesses. This novel is the type of book that draws the reader in so completely that the world at large simply does not exist until the last page has been finished. I recommend this novel to anyone who knows, or wants to know, how important love is." (08/2011) ### Author Linda Cassidy Lewis has this to say "I'm simply overwhelmed. Judy Croome has written a book that's gorgeous, brilliant, heart-breaking, uplifting, empowering ...and more! Although the story takes place in a purposely undefined place and time, the characters are painfully real. The story follows three women, each with a damaged soul, as they yearn to be loved, but first they need to define love and, in order to do that, they must learn to forgive. The mysterious Enoch is their guide for this spiritual journey. Judy Croome's writing is impeccable and her insight into the soul of man astounding. I believe this book came straight from her heart--and that heart is a large and beautiful one. If I could, I'd give this book six stars. I'm definitely looking forward to her next one." (08/2011) ### LibraryThing reader njMom3 says in her review "Dancing in the Shadows of Love was a very unexpected book. The setting is somewhat futuristic, yet now. It is not specified and as such really could be anywhere projecting the universality of the story. The main characters are three very different women. All three are compelling; you feel for them even as some make the wrong choices. The situations they survive - abuse, poverty, prejudice - all apply to so many people in so many different parts of the world. Again, this adds to the universal nature of human experience. The religious overtones in this book are unmistakable. However, they come across more spiritual in nature, rather than dogma and preaching. This book made me feel and made me think. A great combination!" (08/2011) ### Reviewer Krystal says in her 4* review "This is an emotionally powerful book and the reader has to be prepared to allow the author to expand her knowledge of forgiveness...the author does an excellent job of developing the characters and helping the reader to understand them and think of them as friends. The reader will be rooting for these three throughout the novel...the book is fast-paced, but the reader has enough time to comprehend all of the tough subjects addressed. The author does not skate over these issues, they are out in the open." (08/2011) ### Author Jesse Hanson sums up the novel in his review “The Court of St Jerome is a spiritual enclave that proves to be the point of convergence of the principal characters, three of whom are women of diversely troubled backgrounds. All three are seekers of love, but to find or obtain love, they must first learn what true love is. The lessons are often exquisitely painful; and they are, I think, uniquely feminine lessons. Ultimately, each of the three characters learns the lessons she needs to learn. Do they find love, any or all of them? Well I won't say. Is it a love story? Yes. Is it a unique love story? I do think so. It is worth reading. I recommend it to those who are interested in exploring the question: What is love anyway?” (07/2011) ### Host of The G-Zone Blog Radio Talk Show, Giovanni Gelati of Gelati's Scoop tweets that "Dancing in the Shadows of Love" is a 'seriously emotional novel' and adds in his review "...Generally I stay to lighter reads, things explode, people die, spies are caught, the bad guy gets his in the end, that kind of stuff. When I received this novel, I was on the fence about it. Was it my thing? Could I groove on her universe? The answer is YES, I did and I am a better person for taking the time to have this author expand my mind and my soul. If you are looking for a read that is going to make you question the core of your being, what life is about, perspective, forgiveness, seeing things through another ‘s eyes, then you better read this novel; it is that and so much more. The characters are well developed, the plot concise and the movement in their lives will touch you on so many different levels..." (01/2013) ###
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