Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A woman's life is turned upside down when she receives a letter from her estranged father, leading her on a journey of forgiveness, healing, and rediscovering her faith.


"A Time to Dance" is a heartwarming novel written by Karen Kingsbury. This emotional story follows the lives of two best friends, John and Abby Reynolds, as they navigate the joys and trials of their relationship. With Kingsbury's signature storytelling style, this novel explores themes of love, faith, and the importance of cherishing every moment.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in the small town of Bloomington, Indiana, where John and Abby have been inseparable friends since childhood. As they grow older, their friendship deepens into a romantic relationship, and they dream of a future together. However, their plans are shattered when Abby is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Despite the devastating news, John and Abby refuse to give up hope. They embark on a journey to make the most of the time they have left together. Their love and faith are tested as they navigate the challenges of Abby's illness, but their determination to live life to the fullest never wavers.

Main Characters

John ReynoldsA kind and caring man, deeply in love with Abby
Abby ReynoldsA spirited and courageous woman facing a terminal illness
SarahAbby's supportive and understanding best friend
JackJohn's loyal and protective best friend
Dr. PetersonAbby's compassionate and dedicated doctor

Summary of Different Story Points over Chapters

Chapter 1: Childhood Friends

John and Abby meet as children and quickly become close friends. They spend their days exploring the town and dreaming about their futures.

Chapter 2: Love Blossoms

As teenagers, John and Abby realize their feelings for each other go beyond friendship. They start dating and envision a future together.

Chapter 3: Diagnosis

Abby receives devastating news from Dr. Peterson that she has a terminal illness. John and Abby's world is turned upside down, but they vow to make the most of the time they have left.

Chapter 4: Making Memories

John and Abby embark on a journey to create lasting memories together. They travel to their favorite places, participate in meaningful activities, and cherish every moment they have.

Chapter 5: Faith and Hope

Amidst the challenges, John and Abby lean on their faith to find strength and hope. They seek support from their loved ones and embrace the power of prayer.

Chapter 6: The Power of Love

As Abby's health deteriorates, John becomes her primary caregiver. He learns the true meaning of selflessness and the power of love in the face of adversity.

Chapter 7: Saying Goodbye

The time comes for John and Abby to say their final goodbyes. They share tender moments and express their love for each other, knowing that their bond will endure even after Abby's passing.

Main Events

  1. Abby's terminal illness diagnosis
  2. John and Abby's journey to make lasting memories
  3. John's role as Abby's caregiver
  4. Abby's passing and the impact on John's life

Themes and Insights


  1. Love and Friendship: The novel explores the transformative power of love and the enduring bond of friendship.
  2. Faith and Hope: The characters rely on their faith and hope to navigate the challenges they face.
  3. Cherishing Every Moment: The story emphasizes the importance of living in the present and appreciating the time we have with loved ones.


  1. The fragility of life: "A Time to Dance" reminds readers of the fleeting nature of life and the need to make the most of every moment.
  2. The strength of the human spirit: The characters' resilience and determination in the face of adversity serve as an inspiration to readers.
  3. The power of love: The novel showcases the transformative and healing power of love, both romantic and platonic.

Reader's Takeaway

"A Time to Dance" is a poignant and emotional novel that reminds readers to cherish every moment and appreciate the love and friendships in their lives. It serves as a powerful reminder to make the most of the time we have and to find strength in faith and hope.


Karen Kingsbury's "A Time to Dance" is a beautifully written novel that explores love, friendship, and the fragility of life. Through the story of John and Abby, readers are reminded of the importance of cherishing every moment and finding strength in faith and love. This heartwarming tale will leave readers with a renewed appreciation for life and the relationships that shape us.

A Time to Dance FAQ

  1. What is 'A Time to Dance' about?

    'A Time to Dance' is a novel by Karen Kingsbury that tells the story of John and Abby Reynolds, a young couple whose lives are shattered when their daughter is diagnosed with cancer. The book explores their journey of faith, hope, and the power of love in the face of adversity.

  2. Is 'A Time to Dance' based on a true story?

    No, 'A Time to Dance' is a work of fiction and is not based on a true story. However, it is inspired by real-life experiences and emotions that people face when dealing with a serious illness.

  3. What is the genre of 'A Time to Dance'?

    'A Time to Dance' is a Christian fiction novel. It combines elements of romance, drama, and faith-based storytelling.

  4. Who is the author of 'A Time to Dance'?

    'A Time to Dance' is written by Karen Kingsbury, a bestselling author known for her inspirational and emotionally powerful novels.

  5. Is 'A Time to Dance' part of a series?

    Yes, 'A Time to Dance' is part of the 'Timeless Love' series by Karen Kingsbury. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel.

  6. What age group is 'A Time to Dance' suitable for?

    'A Time to Dance' is suitable for adult readers and young adult readers who enjoy Christian fiction and emotionally engaging stories.

  7. Does 'A Time to Dance' have any explicit content?

    No, 'A Time to Dance' is a clean and wholesome novel without explicit content. It focuses on faith, love, and family values.