The Eclipse Dancer by Laura Koerber – Review by Roxsanne Lesieur.

The Eclipse DancerThe Eclipse Dancer by Laura Koerber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Andy is a woman with a secret, she is fifty two and is half fairy and has had to return to her childhood home to care for her mother, they never had the easiest relationship, but now between the cancer and the dementia, Andy’s mother is dying and is a shell of her past self and is still living in a memorial to the past in her trailer on Iowa. Everything has changed since Andy left home as a young woman, barely of the age to live on her own, but when the total eclipse of the sun comes around, she harks back to a time when life was much more simple, a time when all she had to to was dance and make sure nobody was watching, a time of memories and the emotions tied to them.

As the almost forgotten memories come flooding back the more time she spends in the trailer, the more regret and pain she feels for her family and for herself, she reminisces about her relationships with her mother and brother, how her life was dysfunctional and full of secrets from the time she made her Barbie doll walk through the long grass as if on an adventure, walking into town with her older brother Danny, times she spent with her friends when she had them and a birthday present which awoke strange and confusing thoughts swirling around her mind. She thinks of all the times she felt ashamed, from the snapshots of her life she can barely remember to full vivid recollections. One thing she cannot remember however, is her mother telling her anything about her father, she learned all that from an Auntie Alana who she met at the age of thirteen amid a tumultuous period when all she wanted was to feel like she belonged and this new found relative gave her just that, with stories of fairies and the past with lessons for the future weaved within them. For once, all Andy’s questions were being answered and a whole new world and experiences were opened up to her, including flying and the dances, the things which set her apart, yet at the same time joined her to something beautiful.

However, not all Andy’s memories are positive ones, the memories of loss, death and loneliness also plague both her waking hours and her dreams, memories of Kenshi the boy who lived with Alana and who taught her about flying and stealing, her neighbor Mr Toliver who knew about the fairies, but kept their secret and told stories of his own family, Hairy the dog whom she rescued from a puppy farm and kept as a pet and the rest of the fairies she met over time, her family and the father of her daughter who left them behind. Can a childhood be overcome, or is change something which can only be brought about if the lessons are learned? How do love, loss, loneliness and joy translate over time and would you change anything if you could go back in time? These are some of the things this story makes you think about as you become immersed in learning about Andy and her life through her memories and experiences.

Reviewed by @roxsannel

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