by Robyn Bavati
1) What is your favorite line or paragraph from the novel as it relates to the main character's development and/or growth?
I think there's something deeply poignant about the last paragraph of chapter 20: There was a nostalgic part of me that longed to become again the little girl I used to be. There was something unbearably sad about knowing I couldn't.
Here is a recognition on Ditty's part of the loss of innocence that accompanies maturity, a realization that she is growing up and will never again be able to view the world through the eyes of a once-innocent child.
But equally, I think there's great strength in the last few lines of a paragraph in the middle of chapter 37:What they did to Sara was heartless and cruel, and if that was my religious heritage, I wanted no part of it. I loved my family, but I could not, would not, believe what they believed. This is a formative moment for Ditty - she realizes there is a 'bottom line'.
2) What is your favorite chapter ending or cliffhanger?
Probably the very end of the entire novel: A moment later I am moving through space. Spinning. Twirling. Dancing. In the light. After years of struggling 'in the dark', Ditty at last achieves her dream and her shadow self is no longer a dirty secret to be locked away. There is hope for the future.
3) Who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Though I feel great affection for both Miss Mitchell and Aunt Tamara, my favourite secondary character is probably Linda because she's such a breath of fresh air. She's fun, non-judgemental, and a bit of a rebel, and I'm never quite certain what she'll do next.
4) What is your favorite line or paragraph of description?
It's hard to pick a favourite, but one line I think is quite powerful is this one on p. 160, towards the end of chapter 23:
Suddenly I felt a sharp pang of loneliness because the people I loved, the people who had raised and nurtured me, didn't have a clue who I really was.
5) What is your favorite line of dialogue?
It's a toss-up between these two, both spoken by Ditty's mother:
1) (from chapter 23) "One night... when you were about one and a half years old, you disappeared. We looked all over the house for you, but we couldn't find you anywhere. finally, we thought we'd better look outside, and that's where we found you. You were standing in the middle of the garden, dancing in the dark..."
2) (from the epilogue) "I understand now, Ditty... I understand how you can want something so badly it makes you tell lies."
Congrats again to Robyn Bavati, whose DANCING IN THE DARK, was named a Sydney Taylor honor book and on her second book, Pirouette. To read more about Robyn, please go to: