There should be more dancing
There Should Be More Dancing by Rosalie Ham(Publisher’s synopsis)
Margery Blandon has led a life of principles. Now she finds herself sitting on the 43rd floor of the Tropic Hotel, preparing to throw herself to her death.
Margery Blandon was always a principled woman who found guidance from the wisdom of desktop calendars. She lived quietly in Gold Street, Brunswick for sixty years until events drove her to the 43rd floor of the Tropic Hotel. As she waits for the crowds in the atrium far below to disperse, she contemplates what went wrong.
Her best friend kept an astonishing secret from her and she can’t trust the home help. Its possible her firstborn son has betrayed her, that her second son, Morris, might have committed a crime, her only daughter is trying to kill her and her dead sister Cecily helped her to this, her final downfall. Even worse, it seems Margerys life-long neighbor and enemy now demented always knew the truth.
ROSALIE HAM There Should Be More Dancing. Reviewed by Linda Funnell
Yes indeed there should be more dancing as people age! It takes remarkable skill to write well about the very old. Constrained by the inevitability of time running out for the character, and limited also by the realities of decline, an author not only has to resist being mawkish or sentimental, but also has to work credibly with how the surrounding characters behave towards the elderly. In Love without Hope , Rodney Hall showed us Mrs Shoddy being patronised by people who should have known better: they carelessly consigned her to a mental hospital with undiagnosed depression. Essential to the success of a novel featuring a very old central character is a strong personality, and this is especially so when exploring the fraught territory of family relationships and an unedifying quest for inheritance.
The Booktopia Book Guru asks. Born and raised Jerilderie, NSW. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why? When I was twelve I was cast in the school play and had a startlingly positive response to the applause.
The action of the novel proceeds as a series of flashbacks, which reveal how Margery has come to this suicidal position. Although the novel has a suburban setting, therefore, the characters and narrative are framed by a situation which is anything but mundane. One of my strongest impressions from reading this novel is one of a deep humaneness. It struck me that the years writers spend developing their craft enable them to embody issues in the specifics of our lived experience, so that one encounters, in a novel, not abstract argument, but manifest significance. This takes her work beyond mere mirroring, and makes it an achievement which is both aesthetic, and ethical: an accomplishment of the soul, if you like. Sign me up!
Posted on 7 Mar in Fiction. This new novel from the author of The Dressmaker features a cross-stitching cross-patch and swings between comedy and pathos. Set in the little country town of Dungatar, it told the story of a prodigal daughter, Tilly Dunnage, who returns as a talented seamstress. Like Tilly in The Dressmaker , Margery is also handy with a needle, though in her case it is not for couture dresses but for cross-stitch. Cross-stitched samplers completely cover the walls of her home. A tendency to sudden, violent rage remains a legacy. Into this fraught family dynamic comes Anita, the home care worker, a whirlwind of efficiency determined to make a good impression on her parole officer.