Dancing in the Shadows of Love

Dancing in the Shadows of Love

by Judy Croome

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940156233397
Publisher: Judy Croome
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 524 KB

About the Author

Judy Croome lives and writes in Johannesburg, South Africa. Shortlisted in the African Writing Flash Fiction 2011 competition, Judy’s short stories and poems have appeared in various magazines and anthologies, such as the Huffington Post and the University of the Witwatersrand’s Itch Magazine. Her books "a stranger in a strange land" (2015), “The Weight of a Feather & Other Stories” (2013), “a Lamp at Midday” (2012) and “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” (2011) are available. Judy loves her family, cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, cats, rainy days, ancient churches with their ancient graveyards, cats, meditation and solitude. Oh, and cats. Judy loves cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.)  She is currently researching child murders for her next novel while working with her husband on a South African Tax Law book. You can visit Judy on www.judycroome.com or join her on Twitter @judy_croome

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Dancing in the Shadows of Love 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Leonie-Anderson More than 1 year ago
Ms. Croome writes in a profoundly moving way. The characters in this book are finely drawn, allowing the reader to relate to each in a deeply spiritual way. The lives of the characters are bound together in a unique and engaging way, as each tries to work through the pain and emotional baggage of their past, toward a brighter, more hopeful future. At the very heart of this story is the exploration of love in all its forms: platonic love (friendship), physical love (desire), and agape (divine love), and the salvation each of the characters seek in their own particular spiritual journey. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a touching and thought-provoking story; a story that will resonate in your heart and remain with you long after you've finished reading it. I look forward to reading more from this talented new author of literary fiction.
Wadibaby More than 1 year ago
Judy Croome's Dancing in the Shadows of Love had me hooked from the first few pages of her book. Her three main characters, Lulu, Zahra and Jamila draw the reader into their complex life where each had personal struggles and internal demons to deal with. They take us on a voyage of self-discovery. Every chapter began with a quote from Shakespeare and introduced us to snap shots of the women's past or present experiences. This way, Ms. Croome helped her readers grow with each character building a rapport with each one of them. Lulu, an albino, suffers prejudice due to her pale skin and people's discriminatory views. She learns to trust people when she is showered with love and attention while at an orphanage. However, after she felt betrayed by a 'Prioress', she loses faith and had to learn to slowly trust people again. Zahra and Jamila shared similar past lives. They both came from poor backgrounds and were abused by a parent in some way. They were also striving to be the next Mrs. Templeton and follow Grace's footsteps in the Templeton mansion. There is also the enigmatic Enoch who never grows old and remains as beautiful till the end of the story as he was the day Zahra met him a few decades before. Ms. Croome leaves his identity a mystery for the readers to develop different views as to who he really is or represents. Some of the chapters in the story were hard to swallow as the author did not gloss over the nature of man-kind. However, that only spiced my curiosity; driving me to read the next page every night. I found myself at times blurting out remarks about some of the actions of the women, reprimanding them as if they were in front of me. "Why would you do such a thing! Aww Poor Lulu." Ms. Croome definitely has the skill as an author to draw her readers into the lives of her characters. I hope that there is a sequel as I would like to know what happens to the three main characters; Lulu, Jamila and Zahra.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
It's worth reading the glossary before reading Judy Croome's Dancing in the Shadows of Love, as a reminder that the story's symbols aren't tied to one language, or one place. Sacred Heart is not what my Catholic background tells me, for all that the Spirit King was nailed to something (a nova, not a cross). At the start of the book it's unsettling, but perhaps that's just me, having moved from my own culture, too eager to find a cultural place to stand while reading a book that's not meant to belong to one. Rejected, a freak because of the paleness of her skin, Lulu has learned from childhood to trust no-one. But love demands trust, and love creeps up on her in the orphanage. Meanwhile Jamila is growing up rejected by richer friends in school, and Zahra hides the secret of her own background behind her identity as a rich man's wife. Three broken loves, betrayed, turning to hardness and mistrust. "How easy it is to be bitter or angry; that's when you're at your weakest! But when you choose to be kind, to forget your hurt, that's when you find within the greatest strength of all," says old Grace Templeton, but no-one's listening. The mysterious Enoch knows more than he should, but no-one knows who he is. The Spirit King seems unable or unwilling to fulfill his promises. And love, in all its malformed guises, battles with prejudice and its sugared excuses, while the world's war hides in the eaves. Dancing in the Shadows of Love weaves a complex spell and carries a beautiful message. Not quite untethered from time and culture, it's magical realism is down-to-earth and its wounded characters very humanly hurt. Disclosure: I read this novel as a judge in the multicultural fiction section of the Dan Poynter Global eBook Awards.
Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
This is an emotionally powerful book and the reader has to be prepared to allow the author to expand his/her knowledge of forgiveness. Jamila, Zahra, and Lulu all have complicated, unhappy pasts-Lulu is an albino and Jamila and Zahra lived in poverty and abuse. The author does an excellent job of developing these 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. Lulu needs to learn to let go of her own prejudices and trust again while Jamila and Zahra work towards a better life, escaping their past by living well in their futures. 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. This book is recommended to young adults/adults who enjoy reality fiction.
ClaireR More than 1 year ago
Ms Croome writes a breathtaking tale of the lives of three women: their past, their mistakes and their journey to overcome the trials life throw out to reach, if not happiness, then some form of peace each in their own way. Lulu, Jamila and Zahra each have demons from their past that mold their character and then there's the elegant Grace Templeton to whom both Jamila and Zahra aspire as they search to find their own place as a Templeton wife. Lulu is my favorite character: an albino who has faced strong pejudices throughout her life, who has been betrayed, but her strength is formiddable (although not always blatantly evident) as she learns to trust in human nature again. Jamila and Zahra have their own childhood demons of severe poverty and abuse to fight as they strive toward a better, more perfect life for themselves. This book doesn't hold back and doesn't gloss over human nature, these women make mistakes and there's a certain hardness in their character, formed from their past. But I never once lost sympathy with any of them. I loved with them, hurt with them, and shook my head sadly when they walked down the wrong path. The story wraps between the present and past, so we get to grow with Lulu, Jamila and Zahra and the experiences that formed them. I was rooting for each one of them, from the start to the end. And, of course, there's the deliciously mysterious Enoch, but I'll that for you to find out about for yourself :) War, love, betrayal, hardship and prejudice has always been and will always be. I love the way this book handles that by being as timeless/placeless as you want. As I read, there were some scenes that I placed within in the comfort of my own world and I others I left undefined - not purposely, of course, just the way my head sorted through as I went along. I wholeheartedly recommend Dancing in The Shadows of Love and can't wait to see where Ms Croome will take us next.
midkid88 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
For some reason I actually did not like this book. I couldn't figure it out where or when they were and then the story just didn't take a hold of me. The story followed three women, all scorned by love, and how they have to learn to love again. I got bogged down and lost interest in what they were saying because it was so depressing at times. I felt nothing for Zarha and hated the way she acted. Then I would skip whole paragraphs because it was filled with metaphors that didn't help me understand the story or the characters.If you like that kind of reading, then more power to you. This book just wasn't for me and I'll pass it along to someone else to see if they like it.
SAMANTHA100 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Dancing in the Shadows of Love by Judy Croome provides a thorough look into the essence of the protagonists. The women in the book are complex and troubled-very troubled. There is a binding common thread amongst them and that is that they all want a better life. While their backgrounds are different, they share a quest for love and acceptance.Lulu was an abandoned child who was labeled a "Pale One" because of her physical appearance- her skin and hair are too light. She was shunned and ridiculed. Eventually she came to believe she had found the love she so craved, but it ended in tragedy and she served years in prison for a crime she did not commit. Her life was devoid of hope and love. Jamila was forced to beg as a child and as she grew older she would do whatever it took to never be poor again. Because she, too, was a victim of ridicule she promised herself that she would show kindness to other victims of cruelty. Her attempts to find love and respectability became complicated and resulted in tragedy, too. Zahra suffered unspeakable abuse as a child . She managed to survive by reinventing herself. She married into wealth and longed for love and respect, but the price she paid was expensive on many levels.The three different stories are each filled with the same things: sadness, longing, unfulfilled desires and misplaced priorities. The women learned that things are not always what they appear to be. Eventually their lives intersected with surprising results. I found this to be an unusual and fascinating book. The author skillfully gives voice to the characters and in doing so the reader becomes enthralled with their lives. She leaves the reader with much to think about.I received this book for free from LibraryThing Member Giveaways and I give this review of my own free will.
DubiousDisciple on LibraryThing 10 months ago
It never breaks. The haunting tone of this book, with its aura of simmering emotion, never breaks until the final word. Ten pages into the book, I was already flipping through it trying to find a picture of the author. Who writes like this? Who names their main character Lulu?This is about three ordinary-but-extraordinary women and their struggle to ride the waves of life. It¿s about love, betrayal, lust, trust, and learning to live again. So, yeah, it¿s about God.Dancing in the shadows of love. This one kept me uncomfortable the whole time, wishing the three of them would just step out of the shadows into the light. It¿s not that the plot is terribly captivating, it¿s just that the words are arranged so ¿ artfully? Grippingly? Hauntingly? Now that I¿m finished (and after a sleepless night) I confess Croome is a fascinating author, and I¿m terrified of the day she hands me another book to review. I know I won¿t be able to turn it down.But what is her book doing on my religion blog? Well, the problem is, an explanation would also be a spoiler. Its value is spiritual, even if its religion is foreign. But don¿t worry, her Spirit King and his mysterious representative will overlay nicely atop whatever beliefs you espouse, if you do just a little stretching here and there.Note to Ms. Croom: Page 165 still holds me spellbound. And I¿m a guy.
Scoshie on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Zahra, Lulu and Jamila. 3 woman born in proverty trying to find their way in a harsh world. Intricate story lines make for geed read in this tale of 3 women whose lives meet and entwine . All three try not to show their fear and weakness to all while trying to make a mark on society, but in the end learn it is not where you came from but where you are going. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon in the sun.
Ani36ol on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Dancing in the Shadows of Love is what you expect a book from Oprah's now defunct book club to be like. It is brilliantly written, giving voices to three women and their elegant stories of trials and errors that we all make in life and yet still come through it all. I don't want to give the story away because you MUST read this book. It is a keeper!
JesseSHanson on LibraryThing 10 months ago
What is Love Anyway? Judy Croome's spiritual fiction work, Dancing in the Shadows of Love is a fine example of how fiction can be an attractive medium for conveying an intended message. "The driving motivation of my characters is the search for love in all its forms." Set in southern Africa, Judy has created a spiritual enclave¿the Court of St Jerome¿that proves to be the point of convergence of the principal characters, three of whom are women of diversely troubled backgrounds. All three are indeed 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. In truth, Dancing in the Shadows of Love is a very feminine story. At times, I felt somehow embarrassed while reading, as if I was included in conversations/thought processes inappropriate for my male presence in them. In any case, the writing is good: if it is slightly redundant on certain points, it is perhaps so in keeping with the redundancy of the mind, which maddeningly returns to the same issues again and again. The novel is also one of insistent symbolism. This aspect of the work, I wasn't quite sure if I liked. The symbols are quite clear, for the most part (to my mind they were obvious references to Christianity and Catholicism), but the use of alternate terms, for instance, was perhaps necessary for Croome to convey her own notions of love and spirituality without the constrictions of religious convention (it is not religion fiction). I would perhaps have liked to see her find a way to write directly within the context of Christianity, since it seemed so present anyway, but I'm not harboring any real judgment in that regard. For a first novel, her approach and her execution are very admirable. 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? As always, I hate using the stars, but I'm giving it four of them. Have to save some room to go up as I expect Judy Croome's writing to get even better. 1 like flag
liveinlibrary on LibraryThing 10 months ago
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.
tvordj on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Others have called this book spiritual and I suppose it is that. It's a bit too spiritual and religious for my own personal taste. It's well written, no complaints there but just not my sort of thing. It's a story about three women, all of whom have had early lives that ranged from humiliating to downright abusive. All of them have reacted in different ways, rage, cold indifference or denial. Two of them have rejected the Spirit King, one has clung to her belief in order to bury her past indiscretions. All of them must learn to love themselves and forgive themselves and learn the true nature of love.
tanyaj101 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
WOW!!! This was an excellent story. I will definitely read it again and recommend to all. I loved this book!!!
JanaRose1 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Lulu, Jamila and Zahra are three very different women whose lives are somewhat entwined. The story takes place on a world much like our own, however the author has invented her own terms and phrases. I found the writing style to be odd and hard to follow. I kept having to refer back to the glossary, which was a huge downfall. Overall, I did not enjoy this book
madek on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Dancing in the Shadows of love by Judy Croome.Zahra, Lulu and Jamila fight their own battles with the ghosts of their past, the abuse, the poverty and the non-acceptance by the community. But they also fight with love and being loved, believing love comes from outside. The liberation of their own belief systems gives them space to live. An absolutely wonderful book to read and re-read, and to think about our own ghosts of the past.
njmom3 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
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!*** Reviewed for member giveaway ***
nfretwell on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Dancing in the Shadows of Love by Judy Croome was an interesting book. I wasn't too sure that I wanted to continue reading the book to the end due to the parallels in this and other religious books. However, I made it through and enjoyed the character development and the interweaving of the characters lives.Lulu, Zahra and Jamilla all come from different and difficult pasts to find their way in life during their young adult times. Those who affected these three in their past by betrayal helped mold these young women in their futures.Pride and prejudices in our lives are written out in the pages of this book. I recommend others read this with an open mind and heart to experience the growth of each of these women and take a lesson from each of them.
hsudonym on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Received this book as an Early Reviewer.Dancing in the Shadows of Love is about 3 women- each has their demons and desires. Lulu demon is her own skin, she is albino, and has suffered greatly for her difference. Her journey to self love is fraught with betrayal, pain, isolation. She seems to find a place where she is accepted, even befriended, only to have that seemingly turn out to be a ruse. Only when she realizes that she is just as prejudiced and judgmental of society does she see that her life is defined by what she chooses to feel and think- not others.Zahra is a woman who has clawed her way to the pinnacle of social standing. She is a grand lady, living in a beautiful home that she has carefully crafted. However, her demon stems from her years of being an incest victim. She sees herself as two people, Little Flower, who is the representation of all the soft desires, jealousy and guilt. Zahra is steel, tough uncompromising. Jamila appears to have achieved the high point in her life. She was a beggar child, her father was a her shame, losing the battle to his demons. She ultimately abandons her siblings, leaving her guilt ridden. She becomes a devout follower of the Spirit King, believing that her success stems from her devoutness. During her rise, she makes a Great Error, having a sexual encounter with a friend of her fiance. She realizes that her demon is passion, and she strives to hide it behind her facade of spirituality. Ultimately, all three women experience epiphany, with a appearance of a man named Enoch in their lives. He is obviously a model of Jesus, but more earthy and real. He is their quiet guide, bringing them around to true love and acceptance. All except Jamila, who I think is just beginning her journey as the book ends.This was a very nice book- religion is a big part, but not in a traditional in your face way. It is earthy, real, and believable. The writing is good- although in the beginning it was hard to read, until your mind started thinking in the authors voice. Then it flowed, poetic and understandable. Although this is not my traditional fare, I did enjoy this book.
Icecream18 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is an emotionally powerful book and the reader has to be prepared to allow the author to expand his/her knowledge of forgiveness. Jamila, Zahra, and Lulu all have complicated, unhappy pasts-Lulu is an albino and Jamila and Zahra lived in poverty and abuse. The author does an excellent job of developing these 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. Lulu needs to learn to let go of her own prejudices and trust again while Jamila and Zahra work towards a better life, escaping their past by living well in their futures. 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. This book is recommended to young adults/adults who enjoy reality fiction.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Robin Book provided by the author for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book I first chose this book for the title. I was trying to help cover books chosen by another reviewer who has become overwhelmed with her load. I was taken by surprise when I started to read this. I didn’t know what to expect but I soon found that it dealt with a very heavy storyline. Finding you are betrayed by a so-called friend you find that you would rather hate than to open yourself up to those wonderful feelings of love and happiness. It is easier after all to become bitter at how life has thrown so many bad things your way. This is a story of how three women from different backgrounds comes together finding that they are each strong woman. They forge a friendship along the way, helping them to open up to love and happiness. We find ourselves in Africa where we come across Lulu, who has just spent the last decade in prison for a crime she didn’t commit at the betrayal of a friend whom she loved. She of course has become bitter. She now finds it easier to hate. She always had a tough life anyways this just added to it. Lulu is also, Albino, which she has had to deal with. As a young child she was abandoned in a camp for unwanted children making her an easy target for ridicule. Discovering early on what prejudice was all about. Also she finds out about fake friends. As Lulu moves on she starts work meeting Jamila, who has been rejected at school by her rich friends and Zahara with secrets of her own, she is a rich’s man’s wife. Ms. Croome takes us on a journey to wear most writers are afraid to take you; Through the dark places in life reaching deep into your soul and pulling out the blackness that lurks beneath the surface. I loved this well written story, rich with strong characters. The strength as they deal with raw emotions, survival of brutality, poverty, betrayal and so much more only to survive. As each woman in turn deals with her past bringing the reality of the experience forward we get to see how they find inner peace which helps in molding them into the wonderful woman they are to become. I was able to feel the depth of the hurt and pain in each one of their stories, triumphing along with their quest for love and friendship. Ms. Coome proves to be a magical story teller as she takes us on the spiritual journey through the lives of Lulu, Jamila, and Zahara. For those looking for a powerfully uplifting story that offers hope, peace and love pick up your copy of Dancing in the Shadows of Love. You won’t be disappointed. You just might make a discovery about yourself.
d155890 More than 1 year ago
I usually do not want to give up reading a book, but this one was just one of those. The premise was very interesting and intriguing to me. It was just to confusing flitting back and forth in a non existing timeline. The most interesting character was Enoch, but who was he really? Was not sure of the time period, planet, country or people. Would not recommend this book.