The Dancing Porch
Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views (03/10)
“The Dancing Porch” is the coming of age story of Hank Anders that begins during his teen years. Hank constantly pursues his best friend Kate to have sex with him but she always refuses, saying she will wait until she is married. Hank knows his feelings for Kate are real but she always reminds him they are just friends. After finally giving up on a relationship with Kate, something odd happens. Hank meets Savannah, who coincidentally looks a lot like Kate. They marry and he finds a good job – except the company is owned by a crime syndicate so he must be very careful. Everything is going great until one day, years later – he is crushed to learn the truth behind the life he has been living.
This book has it all – mystery, suspense, nostalgia, and love. The story begins in the 1950s when times were much simpler. Hank originally saw the dancing porch as just a physical structure where he could get close to Kate. As the years progressed, he began to see it as a means to keep memories and traditions alive by planning a yearly reunion there for the residents of their small town to reconnect. It was also a place where Kate and Savannah had many encounters and their jealousies and insecurities were expressed.
“The Dancing Porch” is an excellent story that will appeal to men and women. The characters are likable and there are several surprises as the story develops. I found the parts when Hank struggles with whether he is with Savannah because she reminds him of Kate or because he truly loves her to be very emotional. However, there are also a few problems with this story. I did find it a little difficult to follow the timeline. (One minute Hank’s daughter is a baby, but a few chapters later she is in college.) I also found the conversations between the characters to be too stiff and formal.
This book is enjoyable for so many reasons. “The Dancing Porch” by Harry Adams focuses on the importance of maintaining relationships and spending as much time as possible with loved ones. I find the plot twists create a whole new layer of suspense and add to the already intriguing storyline.