Book Review: A Time to Dance

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Gabriela K., Staff Writer

Throughout your life you might face hardships, but it is up to you to better yourself to get back to what you love. The novel “A Time To Dance,” by Padma Venkatraman, is about a girl named Veda who loves to perform Bharatanatyam, a traditional form of South Indian dance. Ever since Veda saw a statue of Lord Shiva dancing at a temple when she was little, she has had a longing to dance. Veda started to join dance classes and slowly gained much strength and balance for the dance. Even though her mother constantly tells her that dancing is not practical for her future, Veda continued to learn and grow in Bharatanatyam. 

Since Veda excelled in Bharatanatyam, she was able to compete. After completing some competitions, she made it to finals. Her grandmother, Paati, and father were overjoyed to hear the news, but her mother did not support her achievement. Veda then decided that she would make her mother proud after the finals. On competition day, Veda danced amazingly and became the winner of the year’s competition. Veda was filled with excitement and happiness. 

While going home, Veda takes in all the attention from her fellow dancers. She considered this the best ride of her life, until a big tree trunk from a truck driver’s load crashed into the window and stabbed her leg. All the hard work she put into her dancing was gone. Her leg was crushed. Veda felt devastated and very angry. During surgery, the doctors were forced to amputate her leg. Despite this, Veda was determined to find a way to dance again. In the novel, Veda says, “I don’t just want to walk fine. I want to dance.”

Overall, this book gives a great message to never give up hope on what you love. After reading this novel, I was very shocked, yet motivated to do more than just my regular routine. I have gained a new sense of gratitude for what I have, and do not want to waste a moment of my life complaining. Read this novel, “A Time to Dance,” and find out how Veda will handle her new situation so she can get back to what she loves to do: dance. 🔳