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Dancing to an Irish Reel

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Twenty five year old Hailey Crossan takes a trip to Ireland during her sabbatical from the Los Angeles record business. While on the trip, she is unexpectedly offered a job in the Irish music business that is too good to turn down, so she decides to stay.
Although Hailey works in Galway City, she lives in the rural area of Connemara, an area steeped in history and famous f
Paperback, 222 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by Vinspire Publishing, LLC (first published March 4th 2015)
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  • Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire Fullerton
    Dancing to an Irish Reel

    Release date: Mar 06, 2015
    Enter for a chance to win 1 of 2, author signed copies of Dancing to an Irish Reel, set on the west coast of Ireland: Galway City and rural Connemara.

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    Availability: 2 copies available, 702 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Mar 04 - Mar 20, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    P.R. I have to say this never occurred to me - but then I'm not Irish and I didn't know how a reel works. I've only ever heard pieces of a reel, not a whol…moreI have to say this never occurred to me - but then I'm not Irish and I didn't know how a reel works. I've only ever heard pieces of a reel, not a whole reel. I love the idea that the interaction of the love story reflects a reel's structure! However I should say that I don't think the absence of this from my reading in any way affected my enjoyment of the book.(less)

    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 4.22  · 
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     ·  64 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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    Ronovan Hester
    Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
    Recommends it for: Lovers of Ireland and Reality Romance
    Recommended to Ronovan by: Claire Fullerton
    I received a copy of the book for an honest review. Here it comes.
    I loved how Claire Fullerton parallels the romance of Hailey, the L.A. music exec who has escaped to Ireland and Liam Hennessey, the young traditional Irish musician and Claire's romance with Ireland itself.
    As she learns and grows to understand Ireland so does she begin to understand Liam.
    The imagery of the setting in Ireland is perfect. The characters are real, and you can tell the author knows these people and how they really ar
    Ellen Comeskey
    Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
    My favorite kind of book is one where I feel like the narrator is speaking only to me, and “Dancing to an Irish Reel” is just that! Reading this book had me feeling like I was sitting talking to a friend; its tone is so immediately intimate as the narrator, Hailey Crossan, tells her story that I didn’t feel the need to interrupt by asking questions about this American’s spell binding experience in rural Ireland!

    A short, crisp prologue tells us with plausibility how the narrator came to leave Los
    Kathleen Kelly
    Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
    Recommends it for: the romantic!
    Love and Ireland! Ah Ireland! Just thinking of Ireland makes me wistful. Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire Fullerton is a story of a young woman, Hailey, who takes a trip to Ireland and ends up staying, albiet illegally as her visa expired, and working in an Irish music business helping to bring exposure to local talents. While there she meets a young talented traditional musician, Liam. Liam is a very quiet, reserved and broody young man and Hailey develops an attraction to him. 
    The author we
    Amy Reade
    Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    This book has been on my TBR for a long time and I was happy to finally be able to read it. And all I can say is that I wish I had read it sooner. The book is almost lyrical in its language as the author discusses everything from fate to music to travel in Ireland. All of this is wrapped in a tentative romance between an American woman and an Irish man, and I don't know when I last read a book that so perfectly captures the uncertainty of new romance. I highly recommend the book.
    Cathy Ryan
    Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
    The story revolves around Hailey, an American with celtic roots, and is told from her perspective. She came to Ireland on holiday and stayed on, working as part of a team of four, for the Galway Music Centre, looking for, and helping, aspiring musicians. Hailey has settled into the community and is getting used to the laid back approach, differences in lifestyle and the small town feel where everyone knows everyone else’s business. She’s made good friends, most notably Shannon who also works
    Grace Jolliffe
    Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
    Dancing To An Irish Reel is narrated by the main character, Hailey, who as an American in Ireland quickly finds herself a little niche in the music world where she struggles to help organize the somewhat chaotic organization she works for.

    The struggle she finds at work is mirrored in her private life when she meets Liam. Liam is the type of man who could be described as unattainable and he appears to make himself deliberately so.

    Their relationship can be described as one that never quite takes
    Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
    Dancing to an Irish Reel is written in the first person of Hailey Crossan, the main character. Hailey arrives in Connemara, Ireland on vacation, but when offered the job of a lifetime at a music company, she extends her vacation. Through Hailey, we learn about the people of Connemara, their language, their country, and their music.

    Hailey is a strong person who tends to tell it as she sees it. She is not afraid to explore on her own, or travel by herself. When she meets Liam Hennesey, an accordi
    Alison Henderson
    Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
    This delightful novel reads more like a memoir than a work of fiction. In truth, it is a love song to the landscape, people, culture, and language of western Ireland. The author has perfectly captured the complex, and sometimes confusing, subtlety of the Irish people in the cadences and patterns of their language.

    The characters are well-drawn, quirky, and unique. The story follows Hailey, a young American, as she navigates a maybe on/maybe off relationship with an Irish musician who struggles wi
    Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
    Dancing to An Irish Reel is a book about discovery. Hailey visits Ireland and stays. She immerses herself into the country and the people. She falls in love with the culture and the music of Ireland. She also falls for a local musician, Liam.

    Their relationship is complicated. Liam fully immerses himself in his music. The music lives through him. He is more of a loner. He doesn't give of himself and his emotions to others. Hailey is a puzzle to him to figure out. He doesn't know how to handle t
    Colm Herron
    Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
    Better than Colm Tóibín

    Claire Fullerton has Ireland in her heart and on her mind and in her bones. And Dancing to an Irish Reel, her heartcatching novel about that country, captures so much about the many-spendoured and mystical land that it is. I've lived in Ireland for most of my life and in the three days I took to read this book I absorbed things about my country that left me in awe of Fullerton. On one level this is a gripping and unpredictable love story but on several other levels it reac
    Judith Ingram
    May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing

    Charming and wise...

    What drew me into Claire Fullerton’s book was the fresh and reflective narrative sung to us by her protagonist, Hailey, an American young woman quite suddenly immersed in an Irish culture so rich in rural tradition and language nuance that it almost seems as if she has been dropped into a previous century. Her love interest with the beautiful but conflicted Irish musician Liam seems but a subplot to the deeper story of Hailey’s budding romance with the Irish people, culture,

    Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
    Dancing to an Irish Reel I love the Irish, and I also love Maeve Binchy, who until now was the only author that really expressed the beauty of Ireland. That has changed and Claire is now my favourite! Ireland is so well described I felt I was actually there.
    Dancing to an Irish Reel is written in the first person, and the writing is so intimate you can imagine yourself actually chatting to Hailey. Hailey being the main character. I loved how I was able to connect with Hailey and her feelings beca
    Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
    This book was pretty hard for me to rate. I chose this based on the fact that it was a new adult book (traveling, starting out in new country) set in Ireland. When I first started reading, I was a little bored on the lead up into the story. The author did a great job setting the scene and allowing you to travel to Ireland without actually going, but I did want more romance - that's just my personal preference. I prefer a love story in my books. Liam seemed strange and like I wouldn't want to be ...more
    Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
    This is a love story set in Ireland. From the start I was captivated by the beautiful narrative and poetic descriptive powers of this author. Her deep love of Ireland and familiarity with its people and places filled me with a longing to return there. What struck me about the theme was her ability to convey thoughts and feelings which elevated this story from being a mere tale of attraction to a more thought-provoking book. Four and a half stars from me, and I would certainly read this again.
    Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
    I just finished DANCING TO AN IRISH REEL and feel like I've been on a mini-vacation to Ireland. The descriptions of Galway and surrounding area are fantastic and the location is a major part of the plot. I've spent time in this area of Ireland and the author's descriptions of the land (and the people) is spot-on.

    Hailey worked in the music business in LA and when she wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life, she took a vacation in Ireland. She ended up being offered a job at the Galway Mus
    Michael Aronovitz
    Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
    Of the many issues to discuss in reference to Claire Fullerton’s Dancing to an Irish Reel, it is most appropriate to begin with voice. Fullerton provides an incredible atmosphere of tradition and beauty by taking us on a journey to Connemara Ireland as seen through the eyes of American music executive Hailey Crossan, who helps set up and maintain a cultural music facility in the center of town. When Hailey takes midnight walks to the cemetery or the bog, we are woven into a time and place that p ...more
    Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
    After reading a couple of heavy duty books in a row, I really wanted a light romance novel where their would be a "happy ever after". This was not it. It's a book about missed opportunities, non communication, and the differences between cultures even when both parties presumably speak the same language. It's not a bad book, I liked it, and I might read it again at a later date, because I did enjoy the look at rural Ireland and it's people, and culture very much.
    Jeanie Nance
    Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I felt like I knew the characters. The author described Ireland so well. So far, I have loved everything she has written.
    Heidi Daniele
    Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: ireland
    Claire Fullerton does a splendid job of transporting the reader to Ireland. She weaves the terrain, the culture, and the ways of the Irish into a beautiful story about self discovery and love. Dancing to an Irish Reel is lovely novel that leaves you wanting to know more about what Hailey and Liam have in store for themselves and possibly each other in the future.
    Alison DeLuca
    Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
    Dancing to an Irish Reel is a lovely novel by Claire Fullerton. It’s set near Galway in Inverin, a small village inside the Gaeltacht (the area of Ireland when Irish is spoken exclusively.) Fullerton’s heroine, Hailey, has moved there to work in The Galway Music Centre for traditional music. This leads to her meeting Liam, a good-looking musician who is dedicated to his craft and afraid of love.

    The title refers not only to traditional music but also to the dance Claire and Liam go through in the
    C.J. Anaya
    Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
    The first impression I received as I eagerly delved into this book is Claire Fullerton has the heart of a poet. Her prose flowed so sweetly and succinctly that I was never once thrown out of the beautiful narrative which slowly unfolded. She has this innate ability to broach a subject in a way that is truly original in nature.

    For example, the main character, Hailey, is wondering about her chance encounter with Liam Hennesey and instead of simply saying, "Hey, must have been fate, dontcha know."
    books are love
    Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
    This is a beautiful prose of a tale. The ending didn’t blow me away though it just left it at that. As if you can see what will become based on earlier situations. This is but isn’t romance. It’s romance in the sense that two people fall in love and struggle with falling for one another. Their struggle isn’t external but internal particularly for Liam who is scared witless by this.

    Liam is a great guy but lives in the past and doesn’t always stay in the moment. He continuously examines the past t
    Barb Taub
    May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
    It's very hard to write a review of this beautiful little book without spoilers. So please bear with me if I start with my own story, because in many ways I felt like Claire Fullerton was writing about me.

    It was many years ago that I landed in Ireland and stuck out my thumb looking for rides. I’d just graduated with a shiny new diploma in Anglo Irish Lit, and it was time to see what I’d spent all those years studying. My advisor claimed that the best way to see Ireland was to hitchhike. And he w
    Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
    Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite

    Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire Fullerton tells the story of Hailey, an American who lands a job at a music centre in Ireland. Hailey helps local musicians organize their careers at the music centre, but she also has friends at the centre as well. Throughout the story Hailey helps her friends, she thrives in the culture and landscape of Ireland, and she relays the beautiful land and the residents of Ireland through introspection, providing ins
    Karen Voitik
    May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
    >Book Review – Dancing to an Irish Reel –

    >I received this novel from the author and from Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock. I am an independent reviewer. This is a standalone novel.

    >Hailey is from Los Angeles, but is now living and working in Ireland. This story starts out like a creamy cup of hot chocolate. Small sips to get the reader involved in the story, lead to relaxing warmth as the cocoa is being savored. The descriptions of Ireland and their customs were so interesting to read
    Deborah Swift
    May 12, 2015 rated it liked it
    It has taken me a long time to read this novel. That is not to say that there isn't a lot to enjoy, it just reads much more like a memoir than a novel, and there was very little story to keep me nailed to the pages, more a series of recorded real-life conversations and observations. I dipped in and out of it over a couple of months.

    What I enjoyed - Fullerton's lovely clean prose. She brings out the mystical, lyrical side to Ireland from a stranger's point of view, and the communicative powers of
    Sherry Smith
    Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
    While reading Dancing to an Irish Reel, I felt as if I had joined a dance myself, part of a song beyond the ordinary world I’d left behind. The setting, Connemara on the West Coast of Ireland, lives on every page—the coastal pathways, a midnight pier, a hillside graveyard.

    Along with Hailey, the American protagonist, readers meet Liam, the other main character, early on, and like her, we keep wondering when we’ll see him again. The gradual way their relationship develops adds suspense to the boo
    Holly's Little Book Reviews
    This was a wonderful read to kick off fall. The parallels between the main character, Hailey's, love affair with Ireland and with Liam were well crafted and the descriptions of music and poetry were beautiful.
    "I think music is an intuitive language. People either speak it, or they don't. What I like best about music is for people who understand the language, very little else matters to the same degree." This quote from the beginning portion of Dancing to an Irish Reel puts into words the theme
    May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
    At first I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel. The title and the storyline didn’t seem to mesh, but as I read the story, I discovered that the title tied in poetically to the storyline. This dreamy Irish story has a theme discussing friendship and romance and discovering how to acknowledge and define the relationship so that both parties understand one another. It also discusses the idea of self-discovery as one figures out what to do in life. Readers will pause and reflect on their own ...more
    Sophie Quist
    Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
    This is a lovely book, written in beautifully-crafted prose wrought with imagery and emotion. I haven't been lucky enough to travel to Ireland yet, but I hope it's the way Fullerton describes it here. The details she offers through the eyes of Hailey paint a charming picture of a delightful place inhabited by authentic characters. Hailey herself was a believable and sympathetic narrator; I found myself relating to her struggles and frustrations many times through the course of the story. Fullert ...more
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    Claire Fullerton is the author of Little Tea, the 2nd Place winner for Book of the Year in the Independent Authors Network competition, and the winner of Outstanding Novel, 1st Place in the literary/general fiction category. Little Tea is the 2020 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal winner in Southern Fiction, a Chanticleer Review Somerset Awards 1st Place winner in literary fiction, a Faulkner Society c ...more

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