Tuesday, February 17, 2015
"Walking on Trampolines" by Frances Whiting
Annabelle's parents are glamorous and eccentric artists, best known for their quirks and for the drama that always seems to follow one step behind them. Tallulah's dad is a plumber, his motto being that he "plumbs the depths of excellence". Tallulah's mom has struggled with crippling depression for all of Tallulah's life. When her mother is feeling well their house is full of baked goods and cheer, and when she is not feeling well her mother is a shell of herself. The two friends navigate the tricky waters of their home life together and somehow it just makes things easier to handle.
Everything changes when Josh enters on to the scene. Josh is a free-spirited surfer boy, practically ignored by his chain-smoking mother, who walks into the corner store one day when Tallulah happens to be there and suddenly she finds herself with a beautiful and attentive boyfriend. Annabelle is not about to be ignored, though, and Annabelle, Josh, and Tallulah find themselves making up a tight-knit threesome. When an unspeakable betrayal happens and breaks their group up for good, Tallulah finds herself with emotional scars that last well into adulthood and one day she is faced with a choice- does she continue to do what is expected of her, or should she do something that is quite possibly unforgivable?
Walking on Trampolines was nothing like I expected and everything that I hoped for. It was a compelling story about first friendships, first loves, and first betrayals. The story was set in Australia but the themes were universal and they carried themselves well across the pages. I was sucked in from the beginning. I loved the characters- each vibrant and unique- and I loved how the story changed and deepened from page to page. It was one of those stories that I found myself thinking about even when I wasn't reading. Not only did I want to know what happened next, but I wanted to get into the character's heads!
More than just a coming of age tale, Walking on Trampolines is a tender exploration of how the events from our childhood continue to shape our adulthood. It is a story that examines family dynamics and childhood friendships and first loves and how they shape who we are to become later in life. This book was sad and funny and larger-than-life and I won't hesitate to recommend it to absolutely everyone since I had such a hard time putting it down myself. I am already looking forward to this authors next book! My thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy of this book.