The Next Step in the Dance, A Review

Has anyone else heard this song:

and thought, “Wow, he’s singing about me?”

I think the song also could be about Colette, the protagonist of Tim Gautreaux’s novel, The Next Step in the Dance.

 I started the book the Sunday before last and finished sometime around 3 a.m. the following Tuesday.  What a gem.  It’s not often that I give two books in a row five stars on Goodreads, but that’s what happened with this and Corelli’s Mandolin.

The Next Step In the Dance,

tells the tale of Paul and Colette . . . struggling to make it in rural south Louisiana. When Colette, fed up with small town life, perceives yet another indiscretion by the fun-loving Paul, she heads for Los Angeles, with big dreams and Paul in tow. Paul’s attempts to draw his beautiful young wife back home to the Cajun bayou, and back to his heart, make up a tale filled with warmth, devotion and majestically constructed scenes of Southern life.

I’m not into love stories in a big way.  I’ve never read any of Nicholas Sparks’ books and I suspect I would hate them.  This is a love story, however, and yet I love it.  More than about luuuuurve, though, it’s about marriage, about two very flawed people who overcome great odds (eventually) to make it work.

Mostly the books is about Colette’s flaws, how she painfully overcomes them, and Paul’s perseverance in winning her back.  It kind of reminds me of another hard-headed woman and this love story:

which I always will love.  But upon watching it as an adult I lost a bit of respect for Gilbert.  Should he really have put up with quite so much crap from Anne?  And should Paul have put up with quite so much crap from Colette?  I don’t know, but I’m glad they did.

Highly recommended for those who are interested in: love, marriage, Southern literature, Louisiana, Cajun culture, and machines.  (Paul is a machinist and a great many boat propellers and boilers and such are described in great detail.  I must admit I skimmed over those parts.)

I’m joining the “What We’re Reading Wednesday” link-up today, hosted by Jessica at Housewifespice. Thanks Jessica!!