Monday, February 2, 2015

Walking on Trampolines

Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting
Gallery Books: 2/3/2015
eBook review copy, 368 pages

Praised as “a tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love” (Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret), this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Frances Whiting is equal parts heartwarming, accessible, and thought provoking.
“Tallulah de Longland,” she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgment. “That,” she announced, “is a serious glamorgeous name.”
From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and by their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.
Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.
Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgivable…
It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.

My Thoughts:

Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting is a highly recommended coming-of-age novel.

Set in Juniper Bay, Australia, Annabelle Andrews and Tallulah (Lulu) de Longland became best friends when they met for the first time at St Rita's in seventh grade. After meeting  they become inseparable, like sisters , but we know from the opening scene that their friendship is likely going to be more tangled and complex than it appears at the beginning. Inevitably, there is betrayal and one of the girls is left wounded and floundering, trying to recover but still suffering. The question is, after the opening scene, who betrayed whom and why.

This is a very well written and easy to read novel that was almost addictive at times. You will want to know what happens and then what happens next. There are several strong bonds of friendship between different characters and the bond between parents and their child is also represented. The families represented in Walking on Trampolines are complex and unique, as are the friendships. None of the relationships are presented as perfect. They are all complex and fraught with difficulties. Bonds between characters are broken and, when restored, they are changed. Characters need to forgive and, maybe, move on to form new relationships.

If there is any weakness in Walking on Trampolines it is that the ending is a bit too pat and easy to predict. Life rarely all falls into place so comfortably. But if you are looking for chick-lit that is well written and conflicts are resolved, you should try this debut novel by Frances Whiting.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Gallery Books for review purposes.

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