Bordentown resident Barbara Ann Gareis’ personal memoir, Dancing with Daddy: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Hope, was released Sept. 18 and recounts Gareis’ relationship with her police officer father while exploring themes of overcoming adversity in the face of tragedy. 


“It’s a permanent memory of the adversities I overcame as a young girl,” said Gareis, “the forgiveness I received for the mistakes I made as a teenager and the hope I have in knowing that my dad loved me and is in a better place now.”

Gareis shares the treasured times of her childhood in her book. She especially remembers waltzing perched on her father’s shiny shoes, but then the plot turns as she recalls the more troublesome times of her early years. This included the tragic deaths of numerous loved ones and pets, and the rebellious fallout of her teenage days.

Then, witnessing the near-death of her parents moves Gareis to close the rift that had grown between her and her father. However, when tragedy strikes yet again, Gareis finds another challenge in seeing her father face his own struggles.

A large amount of the memoir is based in Bordentown. “Many events took place at Bordentown Regional High School,” Gareis notes. Gareis met her closest friends and her husband at BRHS, despite getting into a lot of trouble as a teen. Gareis’ father even gave a law enforcement presentation to the students of her freshman class.  When she was married 25 years later, Gareis moved back to Bordentown where she still resides today.

“It’s my way of sharing my emotional personal story with others,” Gareis said, “to let them know they are not alone and to give them hope as well.”

Dancing with Daddy: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Hope can be found on or an autographed copy can be purchased at one of her book signing events. Visit the events page on her site for more information.