A Dance in Donegal - by Jennifer Deibel (Paperback)

A Dance in Donegal - by  Jennifer Deibel (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
A Dance in Donegal - by  Jennifer Deibel (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
$9.79When purchased online

About this item


Dimensions (Overall): 8.5 Inches (H) x 5.5 Inches (W) x 1.0 Inches (D)
Weight: .66 Pounds
Suggested Age: 22 Years and Up
Number of Pages: 352
Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres
Sub-Genre: Christian
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Format: Paperback
Author: Jennifer Deibel
Language: English
Street Date: February 2, 2021
TCIN: 81048649
UPC: 9780800738419
Item Number (DPCI): 247-70-6507
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported


About the Book

To fulfill her mother's dying wish, Moira Doherty moves from Boston to the rolling green hills of 1921 Ireland to teach in a village school. She doesn't expect to fall in love--or to uncover a scandalous family reputation her mother left behind years ago.

Book Synopsis

"Deibel's descriptions of Ireland's landscape, enticing cuisine, sonorous language, and vibrant culture converge to form a spectacular background for the story."--BookPage starred review

All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother's descriptions of Ireland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother's wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland.

After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira's mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she's journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends--and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced--as she seeks to navigate a life she'd never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.

Jennifer Deibel's debut novel delights the senses, bringing to life the sights, sounds, smells, and language of a lush country and a colorful people. Historical romance fans will embrace her with open arms.

"God's redemptive love is the highlight of this debut work . . . Fans of historical Christian romances in the vein of Kristi Ann Hunter and Jen Turano will want to keep an eye on Deibel."--Library Journal

"Deibel's exemplarily executed debut is a touching tale of love and forgiveness that also beautifully captures the warmth and magic of 1920s Ireland. The author's flair for vivid characterization is especially striking in Moira, whose realistic struggles with her faith give her memorable depth and relatability."--Booklist

From the Back Cover

"Jennifer Deibel's debut is rich in atmosphere, family mystery, and sweet romance. A gem!"--Julie Klassen, author of The Bridge to Belle Island

All her life, Boston-born Moira Doherty has relished her mother's descriptions of the Emerald Isle. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira is compelled to fulfill her dying wish--that she become the teacher in Ballymann, the beloved village in Donegal, Ireland, she's heard so much about.

After an arduous voyage, Moira begins a challenging new job in an unfamiliar and ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira's mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she's journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends--and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced--as she seeks to navigate a life she'd never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.

"With an authenticity born of having lived in Ireland herself, the author deftly paints a lush landscape, colorful customs, and memorable characters with personal journeys of their own. This impressive debut marks Jennifer Deibel as an author to watch."--Jocelyn Green, Christy Award-winning author of Veiled in Smoke

"Fans of Catherine Marshall's Christy will want to clear room on their favorites shelf because this one's earned a place alongside!"--Kristy Cambron, bestselling author of The Paris Dressmaker and The Butterfly and the Violin

Jennifer Deibel
is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and other publications. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.jenniferdeibel.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at www.jenniferdeibel.com.
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Estimated ship dimensions: 1 inches length x 5.5 inches width x 8.5 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 0.66 pounds
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4.5 out of 5 stars with 20 reviews

Great Debut Novel

5 out of 5 stars
Connie Saunders - 2 years ago
I love reading about the Emerald Isle and A Dance in Donegal is an enjoyable new book that indulges my fascination with Ireland. After her mother's sudden death, Moira Doherty leaves Boston to accept a teaching job at Ballyman in Donegal, Ireland. Author Jennifer Deibel poignantly describes Moira's alternating feelings of sorrow, excitement, and anxiety over this sudden change in her life plans, and we also witness Moira's puzzlement upon meeting some of the residents after her arrival. Why would these strangers be suspicious of someone they don't even know? This is Deibel's debut novel and her lyrical words paint a beautful picture of a small fictional village as it might have been in 1920. Gaelic words and references to Irish customs add to the book's authenticity, and mystery and romance help to increase its appeal. If you enjoy historical fiction with intriguing characters and a strong faith element, you will want to add A Dance in Donegal to your TBR list! I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review and these are my honest thoughts.
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A Beautiful Story of Grace, Love, and Forgiveness!

5 out of 5 stars
- 2 years ago
In her debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, Jennifer Deibel paints beautiful pictures with her words. I was able to experience the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of Ballyman, Donegal with Moira Doherty who travels to her mother’s homeland from Boston to teach school. Ballyman is a small village in Ireland that is shrouded in superstition, and rumors about Moira’s mother. This novel is a beautiful story of grace and forgiveness that is a must read!
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Take a trip to Ireland!

5 out of 5 stars
Nakeli - 2 years ago
Author Jennifer Deibel sweeps readers away in her debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, and I enjoyed every single page! With attention to detail only someone intimately familiar with Ireland, Ms. Deibel paints a setting so vivid you can't help but believe you're living Moira's story right alongside with her. I love how the author weaves Irish culture throughout the mystery of the plot, memorable characters, and the beautiful message of God's purpose and forgiveness. In this debut, Jennifer Deibel comes out swinging as an author whose future stories will be a must-read. **I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.**
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Review from Rambles of a SAHM

4 out of 5 stars
Fitzysmom - 2 years ago
A Dance in Donegal takes the reader on an exciting journey from Boston to the beautiful little village of Ballymann in Donegal, Ireland. With the aid of Jennifer Deibel's writing style you can smell the salty air, feel the gentle breeze, and hear the lilt of the language. It's an absolutely lovely debut novel from Ms Deibel and will make you anxious for the next. The story itself is filled with adventure, mystery, and romance. Moira comes to Ballymann to fulfill her mother's wish. Once she is there she finds a mixed bag of acceptance. There are a few that seem to welcome her with open arms, another group somewhat avoids her, and yet another select group is outright hostile towards her. There is a constant murmuring about a mysterious secret that has overtones of scandal that involved her mother. Most in the village seem to know something about it but aren't talking. Moira herself hasn't a clue about what it could be. As the story intensifies Moira relies more and more on Sean . . . and of course romance blooms. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a complete delight to follow along with the characters to unravel the mystery. If you are a fan of historical fiction and you like a twist of mystery I think you will enjoy reading A Dance in Donegal. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
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Great Debut Novel

4 out of 5 stars
Suspenseful - 2 years ago
After her mother dies, Moira Doherty decides to accept a teaching position in Ballymann, Ireland. The town she has heard her mother so fondly talk about for years. Filled with trepidation, she leaves her current home of Boston and travels alone to a place completely foreign to her. The transition is not an easy one as she encounters prejudices and personal physical attacks. But eventually she finds friendship and love. The author did an excellent job of integrating faith into the story. It was seamlessly woven into the characters thoughts and dialogue without being fake or forced. Each verse was appropriate for the situation in the novel. I also enjoyed the authentic Irish traditions and words that were so much a part of the backdrop. She also incorporated a good variety of characters, like those that were genuinely kind, those that were superstitious and wary; and then those that were the adversaries. This variety made the plot interesting. I found the main character, Moira, to be a little naïve, which may have been intentional. However, I admired how Moira changed her attitude about one of her students, which elevated her character in my mind. I thought that the author could have expanded a bit more on some of the scenes. There were times when I wanted more information about the characters or the plot. And I think it would have helped the story flow better. The intrigue about Moira’s mother’s past added mystery and kept the reader engaged. I appreciated the glossary of Irish words in the back of the book. I only wish I had discovered it sooner. I would recommend this book, if you like historical fiction.
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3 out of 5 stars
grammy - 2 years ago
This is Jennifer Deibel's debut novel and I must say, she is a promising writer. I aksed to read and revew this book through Revell Reads Program and this review is my own opinion. I must also say I rarely give 5-star reviews as those are for the very best books which are few and far between. I give this book a 3.5. The story started slow in my opinion. I was feeling like I would not enjoy the book, but I was actually surprised. The story does need work, but for a first attempt, it is well done. I liked the concept of the story and Ms Deibel is very descriptive in her telling. The book was very well edited with no glaring errors. The main characters were fairly well developed though it took me a while to actually like the main character, Moira Doherty. This is a Christian book and that shone through. What I did not enjoy was how long it took to get to the real story. I felt the book did not flow as well as it could have. I also felt there was a section just past the middle that was not needed at all. A new character introduced for something not needed and distracting. I feel that with some more practice, Ms Deibel will become a well-loved author and very successful.
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5 out of 5 stars
Moonpie - 2 years ago
It is the 1920’s and Moria is on the cusp of an exciting future, all looks bright. She has just graduated and qualified to be a teacher. Her mother’s beloved village in Donegal, Ireland has offered her a teaching job. Instilled with her mother’s never dying love of her hometown, she is going to go. Then suddenly her mother dies. After several months she decides to go ahead and move and take the job. She is nervous and a bit frightened being all alone in the world, but she knows this would make her mother happy. Greater obstacles than just moving to a new country face her. There are odd quirks to the language, superstitions, customs and a very different culture. Upon arriving the locals treat her with contempt and she hears odd murmurings about her mother, but has no clue about the reasons. She purposes to soldier on and throw her life and heart into educating the children. She also wants to ferret out the truth about her mother. She does find some loving and supportive friends to carry her through. I was endeared to those characters. I found their compassion and making her a part of their homes comforting. Sean McFadden was one of those friends. He became her protector and listening ear. What impressed me the most was Moria’s diligence in seeking God and His Word for strength and guidance. I love the scriptures quote and how she applied them to her problems. Throughout I see Moria grow not only as a woman but also as a Christian. Very inspiring! As the story unfolds there are many twists and turns, not to mention big surprises. I wish I could share more but I don’t want to give away the story! I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
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The Grass is Not Always Greener…..

5 out of 5 stars
Tickmenot - 2 years ago
Moira, a 1920’s American and a new teacher, does not want to go to Ireland. But it was her mother’s last wish, and now she constantly dreams her mother is begging her to go there. Almost from the beginning, Moira has felt like an unwelcome outsider in Donegal. When she reluctantly did something that she felt God called her to do, life became worse. One of the few friends she had, turned on her. The school children aren't allowed to come to school. When she is out, the townspeople avoid her, and whisper horrible things about her. As more bad things happen to Moira, she questions why God wanted her to go there. Despite some joyful moments, Moira faces a lot of hard things in her life. She is living out the scriptural words of 1 Peter 2:20, “…But if you endure suffering even when you have done right, God will bless you for it.” I felt there should be some information about what Moira lived on during the times she was not teaching, along with more closure in the relationship with Sean. Can this tale possibly turn out well for Moira? Find out by reading this 5-star book. This will be enjoyed by those who like stories of people who follow God’s way despite hardships, or vivid descriptions of Ireland and its people. Bethany House Publishers has provided Tickmenot with a complimentary copy of, A Dance in Donegal, for the purpose of review.
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Excellent Debut! This should be a movie!

5 out of 5 stars
kathae - 2 years ago
A Dance in Donegal by debut author Jennifer Deibel is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. From the descriptions of the Irish countryside, the nearby ocean, the quaint village and its people, it wasn't long before I felt like I was there. Deibel made all of my senses aware of the setting of this story. Most characters were lovable, yet some were despicable. Moira's journey in this new, yet familiar town was documented in such a way that I felt deeply her uncertainty, despair, and joy. Her character development was believable and on point. I fell in love with those surrounding her, as well. The story was paced well, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. With the beautiful setting, heart-stirring emotion, and the sounds of the Irish language and music, it would make a great movie. For anyone who loves historical fiction or the Emerald Isle, this book is for you! I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Revell, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
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5 out of 5 stars
Sue - 2 years ago
A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel is the tale of Moira, who recently lost her mother. She has also finished her training to be a teacher at the normal school. As per her mothers arrangements before her death she will be heading to Ireland to teach at the local school. Her mother hasn’t shared much about her upbringing in Ireland, but when Moira arrives in Ireland she soon realizes there is a deep history that her mother has never shared with her. Moira must learn the customs in ways of those in Donegal. Is this really the life for her? Will she ever fit in? What about her students and those around her who are giving her a really difficult time? A Dance in Donegal is a delightful tale of a young school teacher, a new country and a new life. I did enjoy the story. I would recommend looking at the glossary in the back of the boom to help you understand some of the colloquial language that is used. A Dance in Donegal is an enjoyable story! I was given a free copy from the publisher for my honest review. I am happy to recommend this book.
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Irish Historical Romance

4 out of 5 stars
Rachel - 2 years ago
Take a trip to Donegal, Ireland, with Moira Doherty as she adjusts from her Boston, MA, city life to the quaint, little village where her mother grew up. However, it appears her mother fled from scandal, and the villagers are quick to think "like mother, like daughter." Grab this read to see how this young teacher overcomes gossip and maybe even finds a beau to boot. Let the beautiful cover pull you in as surely as the story. Add "A Dance in Donegal" to your list of historical fiction romances for a quick read. I received a copy from Revell Publishing. All opinions are my own.
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Has potential

3 out of 5 stars
sesquius - 2 years ago
First off, I love the cover. It drew me in along with the back cover plot of the book. I was intrigued and wanted to delve into Ireland. I did make the error of reading other authors quotes about the book, and one author said that it would be a book that you’d place alongside Christy. Now the book by Catherine Marshall is one of my all-time favorite books. It is one that I can read at least once a year and grab something new that I hadn’t read prior. So with that preamble, I started the book. The first chapter I was intrigued and was waiting for Moira’s journey to begin, but first she has to decide if she even wants to go. But she is haunted by dreams of her mother beckoning her to Ireland. Once in Ireland, Deibel does a great job of describing the town so that it feels like I am one with the character. She is the new teacher and she stays at the Guest House until her home is ready, but there are secrets around that no one will tell her about. Long story short, I felt like the story held great promise. But the plot wasn’t tight and there were areas where either there could have been less dialogue, better development of characters and then situations that just left me wondering, what? Such as the relationship with her and Simone. Towards the end I’m not sure how forgiving I would have been! It’s a happy, feel-good story but one that I did spend a lot of time flipping through. Deibel is a good author, and with an even better editor, she could be phenomenal! One that I would place in the ranks of Elizabeth Camden. She has promise and I won’t give up on her yet. Revell Publishing provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Love it!

5 out of 5 stars
Abby - 2 years ago
Love love and love this story!! We all struggle at times with the calling that God has on our life. Why me? Why this? I'm not qualified! He knows exactly what He's doing and that we are the perfect person for the job. We may not be perfect ourselves, but He gives us the strength and courage to do the work that He has called us to do.
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Loved this book

5 out of 5 stars
Sunnie Reviews - 2 years ago
Wow! This was the first book that I have read from this author. But it won't be the last. What an amazing book. I was instantly engaged on page 1 and honestly, it was impossible to put down. The book tells the story of Boston-born Moira, whose Irish mother has told her of her life in Ballymann, Ireland. After her mother's passing, Moira is headed to Ballymann as a teacher at their school. She isn't instantly greeted by people that want to get to know her, rather the people have superstitions, and have an instant dislike for her, with the exception of a few, who welcome her with warmth and love and open arms. The descriptions are vivid and you become totally involved with her life, the events that happen, and feelings she is feeling. It's a story of great emotions, of highs and lows, fear and everything in between. It's a story of faith, and forgiveness. There is a little village map at the beginning of the book, which I enjoyed and could visualize the locations of story happenings. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading many more books from this talented writer! I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. All thoughts are my own.
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A charming historical novel

4 out of 5 stars
- 2 years ago
A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel has Moira Doherty traveling to Ballymann, Ireland to teach. Her mother had made the arrangements before she passed. Some of the townspeople welcome Moira to her mother’s hometown, while others shun her and eye her suspiciously. Moira has a feeling that there is something about her mother’s past that she failed to disclose. Soon Moira has a group of close friends and Sean McFadden, the handsome thatcher, has caught her eye. Will her mother’s secrets, though, mess up Moira’s new life? A Dance in Donegal captures the beauty of Ireland. You can tell Jennifer Deibel loves Ireland from her beautiful word imagery. The Gaelic words and Irish customs helped to capture the locale. Moira Doherty was a naïve young woman when she began her journey. I liked the growth she experienced. I also enjoyed the cast of colorful characters. I like how the author described Moira’s emotions (very realistic). God, faith, scripture, and prayer are incorporated into the story. Moira brought her troubles to the Lord through prayer. She relied on Him for comfort and guidance. The romance was sweet and heartwarming. I was glad that the author added the mystery into the story because it gave it additional depth. A Dance in Donegal is a charming debut novel.
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Beautiful descriptions of Irish countryside and culture

5 out of 5 stars
concretegirl - 2 years ago
I really loved Deibel's descriptions of the Irish countryside; you can really build a picture in your mind of the lush green hills, the mist, the sheep, the ocean. Her descriptions of the village and Irish culture are also captivating. I enjoyed learning about some of the old Irish customs/superstitions and found the Gaelic phrases charming (there's a glossary and pronunciation guide in the back, by the way!). Rounded out with some truly likeable characters, reading this book was like going on holiday in Ireland...with a little mystery thrown in.
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A Sweet, Inspiring Debut!

3 out of 5 stars
Rebecca Maney - 2 years ago
"Yer mother's tale will come ta light sooner or later, peata. Then the whole of Ballyman'll know the truth about ye. . . . keep your eyes wide open". With those kinds of ominous words still ringing in her ears, Moira Doherty could not, for the life of her, imagine what the old man was threatening to reveal, for her "mother was the most honorable, decent person (she'd) ever known". Wasn't she? But apparently the seeds of doubt had already been planted among members of her new Irish community, and Moira is beginning to seriously question why the Lord would send her so far away from Boston. . . . except that deep down in her heart Moira does know the answer to that question, her coming was to fulfill her mother's dying wish and to obey the voice of the Lord that she was certain had confirmed it. Being an American trying to find her way into acceptance in a small Irish village wasn't easy, but Moira loved teaching and was glad the local teaching position provided her with a means of employment. But even that seemed to be fading away after she made a conscious decision to do the right thing instead of doing the easy thing; people began talking behind her back, her students weren't attending school and Moira even began to fear for her own safety. Thanks goodness for Sean McFadden, an handsome young thatcher as well as Sean's employer Colm Sweeney, and his wife Peg. What would it feel like to have Sean constantly by her side, with his easy manner and honorable intentions. What would it feel like to have that "dance in Donegal" that her mother had always talked about? Where this story seems a bit weak in development, it makes up for in inspiration. It's always refreshing to see the Word of God so liberally applied to real life circumstances, especially when multiple opportunities for forgiveness are essential to a character's well being. And the ending? There were so many unexpected scene changes that the reader may very well wonder if they are still reading the same book. An excellent finale is always a good thing; it's what the reader will remember with fondness. I received a copy of this book from the Baker Publishing Group through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
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What a beautiful debut novel!

4 out of 5 stars
JeanneC - 2 years ago
What a beautiful debut novel by Jennifer Deibel. I have been anxiously awaiting the chance to read this lovely story set in Ireland in the 1920s. After her mother dies, Moira Doherty leaves Boston for Ireland to teach in the local village where her mother grew up. What a courageous undertaking to travel alone to a new country. In addition, Moira also experiences a spiritual journey during these difficult times. Moira experiences one extreme or the other based on rumors about her mother's past that she herself was unaware of. People either became true friends or shunned her. "But why would someone wish me ill? What have I done to anyone in this town?' "I don't know dearie. I'd say ye need to watch yer back and make sure ya say her prayers. Saint Michael"s yer man for that he is.' I was experiencing a difficult time in my own life while I was reading this story, and I think it's natural to have questions, and doubts, and to cling to the promises of the Lord during those moments as Moira did. "Come to me, ye who are weary. And I will give you rest. The familiar promise from scripture whispered deep in her heart and soothed like water in a parched land." Set in Ireland, A Dance in Donegal is a well researched, authentic, vividly engaging, sweet romance, with themes of redemption, forgiveness, and belonging. I highly recommend this beautiful debut by Jennifer Deibel, and I look forward to reading what she writes next! Thank you to the author, publisher, and Net Galley for allowing me to read an early copy! All opinions are my own.
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