Dance Away with Me by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Narrated by Nicole Poole

Published June 9th 2020 by William Morrow,  HarperAudio

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the first book I have read by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and I loved it, but apparently it is very different from her other works. This is a story of living with grief, finding your place and direction, small towns, standing up for yourself, family, love and so much more.

Tess Hartsong is a young widow who is not sure what she wants to do for the rest of her life. She heads off to Runaway Mountain, in Tempest Tennessee, a small town high in the mountains. She is hoping to heal and find solace. What she finds is a small-minded town, an angry artist, a pregnant woman who dies in childbirth, and a child that she grows to love. Tess is angry and not willing to back down when she knows she is right. Ian, the artist, is also angry. He is in a slump and is blaming everyone and everything for his lack of ideas and work. As Tess works her way into the hearts of the town, Ian and her begin to develop a tentative relationship. This story starts slow, but as the story develops, so do the characters. There is baggage, especially from Ian, but he has to recognize it and be ready to move on. This is a book that deals with several subjects, such as child abuse, adoption, sex education, verbal and emotional abuse, that are not easy, but the overwhelming theme is love, finding yourself and your path and family.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Nicole Poole. This is the first book I have listened to narrated by her and I was quite happy with her performance. She had great voices for the various characters, even the males. Her expression and intonation added very much to the story. Definitely a narrator that I will watch for. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

About the Book (From Goodreads): At long last, the legendary New York Times bestselling author returns with a heartfelt novel of womanhood, a wild heart, and the healing power of love.

Run, run, as fast as you can!

When life throws her one setback too many, midwife and young widow Tess Hartsong takes off for Runaway Mountain. In this small town high in the Tennessee mountains, surrounded by nature, she hopes to outrun her heartbreak and find the solace she needs to heal.

But instead of peace and quiet, she encounters an enigmatic artist with a craving for solitude, a fairy-tale sprite with too many secrets, a helpless infant, a passel of curious teens, and a town suspicious of outsiders, especially one as headstrong as Tess. Just as headstrong, is Ian North, a difficult, gifted man with a tortured soul—a man who makes Tess question everything.

In running away to this new life, Tess wonders— Has she lost herself . . . or has she found her future?