Cry Dance by Helen Bonner Lulu
reviewed by Jenny Luper
"She smells of alcohol and perfume. She leans over and gives me a kiss, somehow vague, as if it were blown to me."
Blending aspects of romance, new age, and chick lit, Cry Dance follows the journey of a young woman through love, loss, and a return to self. Lorinda has grown up with only the memory of her mother and the belief that there is no death. Though she tries to keep her faith in love, circumstances put her faith to the test. She is heartbroken when she finds her lover believes she has betrayed him, and a possible charge of murder pending against her doesn’t help matters. Three name changes, burgeoning fame, and the loss of a loved one later, Lorinda decides on what shall be her true self and her true name.
This new take on a romance provides many surprises. In a story interspersed with tones of new age fiction and self-help books, an unexpectedly quick pace pushes through an action-filled plot. While not giving away any spoilers, the ending is satisfying in a unique way, taking care to avoid clichés. Bonner is also adept at bringing in the senses when creating a landscape for her characters. Whether a scene is set in a bedroom, the desert, or a run-down nightclub, the surroundings are shown by a clear sense of texture, sight, and sound. This technique provides a firm sense of setting, allowing the reader to more fully delve into the novel's themes of betrayal and redemption. Bonner's skill in peppering her novel with these sweet, yet melancholy details give a refreshing depth of tone to Cry Dance.