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Dancing In The Lowcountry

3.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  210 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
From award-winning author James Villas comes a warm, witty, and poignant story of passion, friendship, and family set against the lush, mellow backdrop of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Ella Dubose is a Southern lady of a certain age-an age at which memories of youth can rush in at every turn and overwhelm the present. But while Ella's two younger children are concerned for
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 536)
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I became caught up in this book from the beginning and was really feeling good about it. The Charlotte, Myrtle Beach setting was intriguing since I was very familiar with the places mentioned in the book. The character development was exceptional. Miss Ella reminded me a little bit of my mother in law. Spunky and very independent.

The story was interesting. Miss Ella is recapping her life at her golden age and has come to a major decision that she is going to reveal something she has kept to her
Jul 21, 2009 Cindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I wanted to like this book - truly, I did. At first, I was intrigued by it because the characters live in places that I am familiar with, such as Charlotte, NC, Myrtle Beach and Charleston, SC, and New Jersey. In a way, it was fun to read about the different locations the characters visit, especially because Villas uses actual places that you can find on a map. Yes, the house on Colville Road in Charlotte is in an upscale neighborhood, but unless you live in Charlotte or have visited the area, h ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Terri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really liked reading about the Low Country area. The beach atmosphere, the restaurants and the food and dancing were all very dazzling to me because I grew up so far from this lifestyle. I almost didn't finish the book but I'm glad I stuck with it. Miss Ella did elicit a guffaw at least once in every chapter for one or other of her eccentricities. Goldie was an interesting character. It's no wonder most of the characters in 'Dancing in the Lowcountry' are 'interesting' to say the least. Most p ...more
Apr 02, 2011 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
I really love lowcountry tales about NC/SC ... it brings back memories of my property in Calabash, NC and the fun times I had down there. I enjoyed the book, laughed through it and I could picture the places and others things that Mr Villas described. The only thing that disappointed me was the rather abrupt ending, I was like "what this is it?" Wish the ending could have been better, but overall I did enjoy reading this book.
Jun 02, 2011 Dawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2014 Phoebs58 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One star for this book. I hate not finishing a book so I managed to get through all the racial stereotypes and awful dialogue (Ella uses the word "ruffians" and then says "gonna". Really?) The plots were all over the place, there was not one likeable character, it was a mess.
Jan 17, 2016 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not terribly well written, Author has a tendency to tell us what the characters are feeling or thinking, rather than allowing us to figure it out..
This is a story of an elderly southern woman that goes on a secret vacation and reminiscences about her past. Starts a bit slow but does pickup some speed.

Elizabeth Wyman Crews
Jun 15, 2015 Elizabeth Wyman Crews rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I picked up a bunch of lovely titled books, determined to read them all, hoping to find at least one in the bunch worthy to read through. Lesson learned--pretty front covers and lovely titles are VERY misleading. Sub-zero stars for this book. A playright said to enjoy the book with some "sippin whiskey." Don't know what that is, but drunk you'd need to be to (or immoral) to get through the expicit homosexual experience of one particular character. Books should be rated! And this one deserves an ...more
Jan 21, 2016 V rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book, lots of familiar sights and places (S.Carolina) mentioned.
Mar 27, 2011 Karen rated it liked it
I liked this book but for some reason had a hard time finishing it. I think the initial tension in the story began to bog down and even the author had a hard time finding a decent resolution. In the end it just kind of galloped away towards a resolution that didn't make a whole lot of sense. All in all it was o.k., I enjoy anything with a background of Charleston and the Low Country, but not one I'd read again.
Jan 18, 2016 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading novels about this area of the country as I lived there briefly in the early 1960's. This story flips back and forth between the present and the 1940's when the main character was a young adult. The life of young people at that time was full of dancing and drinking so that they didn't dwell so much on the horrors of the war. Some of their young men went off to fight in the war and never came back.
Sandy Bliss
Nov 01, 2011 Sandy Bliss rated it liked it
This was an interesting story about family and friends. I would recommend this book to friends but not my parents. There was some sex in some of it that I have problems with. A little to detailed in the sex scenes other than that I really loved miss ella and goldie.Dancing In The Low Country
If it were possible to give negative stars, this book would be a -5. I rarely give up on a book, but I could not finish this mess. One stereotype after another, with every bigoted name possible, just banging the reader over the head . I tried to stay with it, thinking the author was trying to make a point, but i'm afraid there was no point.
May 26, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
GREAT beach reading! I got pretty emotionally involved, and I couldn't put it down. I was amazed how well Villas' voice translated from food writing to his first novel. Especially after reading his memoir earlier this year, I wonered A LOT how much Miss Ella was based on his own mother. Maybe we'll find out in his next book...
Kathi Olsen
Jan 21, 2011 Kathi Olsen rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
An interesting story about an elderly lady living her life in her past memories. She learns to give some purpose to her life by looking at the future. It's mostly a really nice read, but because of a couple of gay characters, there are some pages to be skipped in order to not read about men having sex.
Oct 22, 2010 Colleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-american
I thought this would be a light read about the Low Country I yearn to visit. Though the descriptions of the Carolinas were lovely and quite vivid, I was disappointed by the flat,rather predictable story and stunned by the sheer raunchiness of some of the passages. Blech.
May 30, 2012 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't much like this - parts of it read like a throwback to the 50's -but they're using cell phones so it's supposed to be relatively current. I'm not sure if I just didn't like the subject, the characters, the style, or the weird ending...
Kathy Halverson
Aug 11, 2011 Kathy Halverson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. Cannot imagine anyone from the south disliking it. I live south of Charlotte NC. Everywhere was so familiar and the story line was fabulous. Enjoyed seeing it through this lovely woman's memories of being young.
May 30, 2011 Hillary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I love readin about the lowcountry so I went in with a positive bias. I enjoyed the book. It was free, which usually means it's substandard but this was not. I read it on the beach with my feet in the sand and had a perfectly lovely time.
Love the descriptions of the Low country then and now, liked the characters for the most part. Did find it a little predictable and thought the ending was a little flat.
Anna Eynaud
Jan 10, 2011 Anna Eynaud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting back and forth between the past and present, dealing with aging and how the past can become a prison if one doesn't handle it right.
Apr 29, 2012 F H rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming, from the standpoint of looking back and remembering at the end of a long life with nostalgia for what is no longer
Sep 14, 2013 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story of family, the South, secrets, memories and some sex. But that's every day living right? Well worth the read.
Sep 14, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok
This entire story leads up to a climactic ending that never happens. Kind of disappointing.
Dec 23, 2010 Jean rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Read it, loved it! There is nothing like southern American writing! Don't miss this. . .
Apr 20, 2009 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A bit too descriptive in certain areas. Love the Lowcountry though.
Dec 14, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
disjointed. could have been better edited.
predictable but leaves some questions unanswered
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James Villas was the food and wine editor of Town & Country magazine for twenty-seven years. His work has also appeared in Esquire, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Saveur, The New York Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, among other publications. Two of his cookbooks have been nominated for a James Beard Award. He has also won a James Beard Award twice for journalism and received Bon Appetit's Food Writer ...more
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