Being a reviewer for TLC Book Tours has been a marvelous way to read interesting and compelling books I probably never would have otherwise read. When We Danced On Water, by Evan Fallenberg, certainly falls into that category. The story centers around the relationship between 85-year old Teo Levine, a reknowned choreographer, and Vivi, a forty year old waitress/artist, whom he meets in the coffeeshop he visits each morning on his way to rehearsal. The action occurs in Tel Aviv, but Teo’s memory segments return the reader to WWII era Warsaw and Berlin.
Passion and obsession are key themes in the novel – Teo’s passion for dance, his obsessive striving for perfection in the art form, all provide much food for thought for Vivi, as he slowly reveals his life story to her. For Vivi, Teo’s willingness to confide in her and his growing affection ease the pain of a disastrous relationship and a harrowing experience during her military service. When Teo’s story is fully revealed, Vivi understands just how much he has suffered in his past, how desperately he needs to be healed before his life is over.
Fallenberg’s novel is exceptional in its story telling, but also in its exploration of the committment to art and to life. Until she met Teo, Vivi has taken a casual approach to her artistic life, dabbling in different genres. Teo cautions her against this, and urges her to commit to one form until she attains perfection in it. The novel raises the question ofhow far one is willing to go to achieve perfection in art, in relationships, in life itself.
When We Danced On Water is a unique and interesting novel, thoughtfully executed and beautifully written.
Listen to the author reading from and talking about the book:
Visit the author’s website here.
Other stops on the TLC Book Tour can be found here.