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Falling for a Dancer

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  283 ratings  ·  24 reviews
If the bus hadn't broken down that August afternoon on the road between Dublin and Cork, Elizabeth Sullivan would never have met George Gallaher, a travelling actor of infinite charm and fatal weakness. She would not have been forced to marry, nor found herself trapped in an alien landscape. ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Town House (first published January 1st 1993)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  283 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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What prompted me to read this book, is that I saw the movie first. And it left me with questions.

I think what hooked me in, was that there was a relatively strong female character, who gets pregnant out of wedlock, and then suddenly submits to her parents wishes to marry an available man, with four children of his own, in the middle of a bleak and distant countryside. And then, this city girl, commences to raise kids, look after various livestock, and bed down with the always unfulfilling Neeley
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favourite earlier books of Deirdre Purcells, This is a great story and this book was also made into a movie.
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
my favourite book of all time, i found this book romantic,thrilling,heartwrenching and joyous by turn. this book portrays elizabeth trapped in a loveless marriage in the wilds of cork,and i found the story absolutely drew me in, ive read this book so often that i'll soon have to but another copy! ...more
Karin A.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-read
This is a keeper. Convoluted relationships. Full of heartbreak, gossip, scandal, passion, and kindly neighbors. Set in old Ireland- 1936 onwards. Deirdre did an excellent job on atmosphere and keeping the reader on edge for the next twist. Great ending. Saw the movie years ago but most was forgotten. The book was a page turner that held my interest.
Elaine Howlin

Reread my favourite book to start the decade :)
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I loved this book. I thought at moments I did not like it, but actually at those moments I was sucked in so much that what I did not like were the actions of the main character. It is a perfect description of 1930s and 1940s West Cork society and it is so romantic it sucks you in. It has the right pace. Surprisingly for such a big book, it did not take me long to get into it, just one chapter. Will definitely read more from Deirdre Purcell now.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A romance set in late 1930s Ireland when a 19 year old girl becomes pregnant after a brief affair. Shamed, her parents force her to marry a widower with a large family, but when a carefree moment at a village dance leads to a violent death, a chain of events is unleashed that will change her life forever."

Loved this book.
Joni T.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very good story about a young city girl forced to marry an older widowed farmer in rural Ireland in the 1930s. Lots of plot twists. Sad and sweet in equal measures.
Lynn Hutchinson
May 22, 2021 rated it liked it
Interesting but not terribly believable.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unputdownable!!!! One of my favourite books..
J.M. Triangle
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
It goes on and on
And on
And on
And on...
But it's enjoyable.
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
An emotional rollercoaster! Not normally the type of book I would read but it's extremely well written & you are kept on your toes from start, I really enjoyed it ...more
Jun 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Maeve Binchy lovers
The miniseries based on this book is continually recommended to me at Netflix (if you loved Pride and'll love "Falling for Dancer". And it gets very good reviews. And I'm a sucker for British miniseries ESPECIALLY romantic ones. But I didn't want to watch the mini-series without reading the book first. So, I was compelled to read it.
It's not Jane Austen - but the characters were interesting, and the romance compelling enough to keep my interest. While it is set in a remote part o
Aug 09, 2011 rated it liked it
This was good but not great. I only read it because it's the last book I remember my mother reading. She would sit in my sunroom and read the same pages over and over again and it made her happy. So, I thought, what the heck...I'll read it. It's an interesting slice of life type story set in WWII Ireland rife with conflicts of changing times, overbearing church morality, marital struggles, and one woman's attempt to deal with it all. I laughed and cried and liked all the main players but I'll pr ...more
Allison Long
Aug 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the mini-series before reading this book (didn't know it was a book until then), and thought the book started out much slower. About 60-70 pages in it picked up and I couldn't put it down. The ending slays me. Le sigh. ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've really enjoyed for a while. I have the mini series recorded but decided to read the book first. I wasn't disappointed. Lots of drama. Looking forward to watching it on TV now... ...more
Lee Clarke schwarz
This was an EXCELLENT book......
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I re-read this book over Christmas it has always been a favourite and one which shall remain on my bookshelf, Could have sworn it was longer though!
May 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is why I avoid genre fiction. Disappointed every time. Tried this only because the mini-series had some redemptive qualities. The book has none.
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Good book, have read over and over!
Feb 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot wait to re-read this book. I loved it a lot when I first read it, I can barely remember it now, but we shall see.
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