Posted in Books, Border hopping, Inspiration, Writing

Dancing in Heaven

As I turned the last page, tears were streaming down my face. Happy that sweet little Annie was finally able to dance in heaven, no longer hampered by the prison that her body had been for her sparkling and merry mind. Sad that her radiant smile was now only a memory.

Annie and her Dad, circa mid-1960s

Dancing in Heaven, a sister’s memoir, is written by Christine M. Grote. She is a talented, gifted writer, whose words filled my mind the last six weeks. I finished it last night. Each evening I would read only a few pages of the book she sent to me, to fully absorb and respect this special story, and not race through it. A story Christine wrote about her severely disabled sister Annie, who died at the age of 51 on August 16, 2009. Not as an adult, but still a child.

Christine’s parents devoted their lives to take care of their children. To raise Christine and Carol. But mostly they were there for Annie, who needed their attention each day and each night of her entire life. And they gave it, willing and full of love. For their girl.

In Dancing in Heaven, Christine takes us on a journey. She shares Annie’s story with us in the immediate and more distant past, describing the impact that Annie had on all of their lives. Through the writer’s eyes we are silent witnesses of the last days Annie spent in her family’s caring arms. Christine also takes us back in time to show us how growing up with Annie was – how their family life was touched – through moving anecdotes.

The love they all gave to Annie, was returned many times over by this sweet and gentle little lady. Through her special smiles and her unique ways of telling those around her that she knew they cared. And was happy. When one looks behind the limited body into the spirit of a person this radiant, boundaries disappear. It is soul to soul. And Annie’s spirit has always been dancing.

It’s like we were the guardians of a great and precious treasure. I always felt like I was special because I had a sister like Annie. I felt I had a secret glimpse into things other people could only guess at.

I can fully recommend this courageous, sweet and sincere book. Christine M. Grote’s beautiful words have a flow that will take you along gently. I admire her greatly as a writer, adore her as Annie’s sister and hug her for being a friend. For making my life richer. Thank you, Christine.

Now I will entrust Dancing in Heaven to Karen, then to Ilse and afterwards to other friends. To spread Annie’s story in the Netherlands, perhaps even in Europe. Because this story needs to be read. Please contact me if you want to share Annie’s story too.


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Here you can find more information on how to purchase Dancing in Heaven.


Caretaker of lads and cats. No lady, but all woman. RPGamer. Avid reader. Writing my first book, squeezing in time during busy days. And nights if needed. Because I'd love to introduce you to the wonderful people who are living in my mind.

25 thoughts on “Dancing in Heaven

    1. Eigenlijk is dit boek niet zo verdrietig, Selma, het is niet dramatisch geschreven. Het is een verhaal over een blij maar ‘gevangen’ meisje, dat nu verlost is van de beperkingen van haar lichaam. Natuurlijk is het vreselijk als je je zusje verliest, maar zo is het niet geschreven.
      En ik begrijp zeker dat je slecht tegen verdrietreportages kunt, ik zoek het ook niet op.
      Alvast een fijn weekend.


  1. Hi Marion – what a great review of Christine’s book, which I have yet to read .. but will be – it sounds heart-rending – yet loving and something so many of us need to read …

    Cheers Hilary


  2. Thank you for this beautiful review. I have read “Dancing in Heaven” and was deeply moved. My favorite like above is when you tell us that “Annie’s spirit has always been dancing.” That may be the bottom-line truth about Christine’s book. You have captured it beautifully.


    1. The image Christine created at the end, about the beautiful lady dancing in the woods, that is how I imagined Annie throughout the book. That happy smile shone in all of Christine’s words.
      Thank you so much, Kathy!


  3. Your review was really touching and if it doesn’t make everyone who reads it want to get out and grab this book, then nothing will.
    Much love,


  4. Marion, Coming over from our sweet Christine’s blog and had to leave a comment about your wonderful review. You hit it on the head with your wonderful review. You put into words what I wanted to say …..thank YOU! We have all been touched by Annie’s story told with so much love and devotion. Thanks for such a great review and for sharing her story!!


  5. Your post leaves me speechless. You are the talented, gifted writer. Thank you Marion. I love the thought of Annie’s story across the water. You’re the best.


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