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Posted June 22, 2011
Dance on the Water by Indiana native Laura Lynn Leffers is a novel about 'lost' child Belle MacKay returning to her home village in search of her family's Northern Indiana Miami Indian history and culture. A main theme of the novel is family, and it is displayed not only in the search of Belle's ancestral family but also in the creation of her new family with her neighbors in the community and with young David and his father Juda Kinzie. Will she stay at Lake Papakeechie, or will the midnight howler scare her off?
Overall, I felt this novel could have been added to, and the ending jutted off into the "mystical" lake that many have described it as. While the novel shows parts of the culture Belle's family had lived in, I feel that it only dipped its toes in instead of really bringing the whole story out. The romance between Belle and Juda was built up decently; however, after their romantic frenzy, it shows nothing about what happens beyond the one night. The novel jumps around at the end like Leffers decided she was bored with writing the novel and shoved the ending up instead of letting the characters tell their story. I liked the novel, but I feel that the ending was cut short.