Readers’ written comments to the author (see customer reviews at amazon.com)

” I just wanted to let you know that I finished Dancing with Diana and enjoyed it immensely. I particularly admired the sensitivity with which you got into both Alex’s and Diana’s heads and mindsets. I love intertwining stories when they work well, which they don’t always, but in this case it was spot-on. And aside from all this, it was a good read!”

“I want to tell you that I finished DANCING WITH DIANA 2 days ago and am deeply moved, to the point that it’s difficult to find the words to express my thoughts. You created such rich and layered characters in Alex and Diana, and how their stories unfolded kept me constantly engaged and not willing to put the book down even when I needed to. The structure seems simple, alternating between Alex and Diana, but indeed the way you move back and forth through time is complex and seamless. Mostly, the story is just so beautiful and so simply and elegantly told. Thank you. I feel that the book has changed me in ways I can’t yet understand.”

“I’m almost through reading Dancing with Diana.  I just love it.  So moving… sweeps me along… and putting the two stories together gives each story extra power. Opens my eyes to the many forms of bullying.”

From a reader in South America: “I finished your novel and it was so beautiful to me. It made me think and remember so many moments of my life with my sister A. In spite of she didn’t go through for the same situations of bullying like Alex, anyway we have to face discrimination in other levels of society.  From teachers who didn’t want to have a special girl in their classrooms, health insurance which didn’t cover my sister illnesses, her classmates who didn’t do or say bad things to her but never included her in any kind of social activity… In all these, A was always the strongest to face it. She had never lost their courage to wake up, face and deal with the world every day, with happiness and will.”

From a reader in Germany: “I sat down, took your book, reading – tears coming – continue reading. I was kind of surprised how tense and how painful you were willing (and able) to depict those scenes at school, and also their reverberations in later life. I also appreciate – and share – your empathy with Diana in her last days. The reader grasps the possibility of change, at least in our mind and in what we remember, when Alex returns to his former school and speaks frankly. I think this is a literary vision of Playback beyond theatre,  of a single yet connected human being who is acting as a citizen.”

From a reader in the Netherlands: “I enjoyed reading your book so much! I read it and could not stop. The characters and the themes and the beautiful language, I loved it all. Thank you very  much!”

“Just finished it –it’s wonderful!  And completely engrossing –and beautifully written, elegant, eloquent and very moving. I will be dreaming about Diana tonight!   And I do still feel the horrible tragedy of it all–I mean Diana– how she was so barbarically treated by the royal family –I remember feeling absolutely outraged when it was publicly announced that she had been found to be suitable (i.e. virginal) and in good fettle for royal child bearing –as you wrote…how dare they.  And the story of Alex –and Michele –so believable, and so resonant still. I can imagine Alex dancing into the future.”

“Your novel is COMPLETELY wonderful. I was swept through it in almost one sitting. The sentences are perfection, the rhythms so good, and the sensibilities astonishingly whole. What a beautiful piece of work.”

JS_DWD_Cover_1300x2000 copy“I’ve just finished reading Dancing with Diana…almost in one go. It reads very easily and each chapter left me wanting to see where it went. I was interested in your picture of Diana…what an exhausting way to live and how complex and interesting and terrible. Your description of the dance was riveting.”

“Just finished Dancing With Diana! I was very moved by it, especially the scene where Bronwen spoke up. I really like Alex, and thought he was quite a believable character. Hope to read more of your work!”

“Really enjoyed reading Dancing with Diana. Especially moved by how you got inside the life of people with disabilities. Alex is a wonderful character. Many surprises and good laughs are laced throughout the book. It is so well written and very friendly to readers. It gives such a personal inside view of Diana which is so believable.”

“I just read Dancing with Diana and loved it – the blend of pathos and humor, the wonderful weave of the bullying theme from the inside out made it seem not like a theme but a real life concern the reader couldn’t help but share with Alex. His voice and perspective were perfect, Diana’s too.”

“Gratitude for this exceptional read. I started it last night and woke at 6 this am to finish it. Engaging from the start, I love the writing style…beautiful short sentences, the lilt of your voice gently pervades and the emotion simple and real. Alex’s return to his school with Jane still has me in tears. You simply allowed the story to tell itself, a powerful story deeply resonant with me. Absolutely superb.”

“Just finished Diana with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Beautifully put together and a wonderful texture of all that story and message. Such a powerful plea for standing up to bullying- Michelle is very real and of course all the wonderful parallels. And articulating all the love people felt for Diana – fantastic.”

“I admired so much about the book – the original conceit of it, for starters. The story is winning and sweet without being sentimental. Also, the inexorability about the narrative: the reader knows the ending will be tragic for Diana yet the incidents of her life pre-accident are riveting. Similarly, whether Alex will ever meet Diana again is doubtful. The fact that it’s possible, particularly given Diana’s generosity and spontaneity, keeps Alex’s hopes – and mine, as a reader – alive. Alex’s disability so defines him. His coming together with kids of like restrictions is eye opening. Interestingly, I never felt pity for him. This is a story that will stick with me.”

“I have finished your book and enjoyed it immensely. I am especially intrigued by your development of Alex’s “voice”—his way of expressing his views about what’s going on around him.  It seems so genuine, but also surprising (to me) in its adolescent commonness.”

“An accomplishment on several levels…the immediate one being the experience of being so present in Alex’s head that the narrative in my head when I encounter people using wheelchairs has been refreshed and changed.”