Dancing Backwards: Salley Vickers
I found myself rereading passages and sentences. I read it slowly, even though I wanted to know what was happening on the next page, fearing I'd miss a feeling, a suggestion of things to come, a life truth.
I have trouble finding just the right words other than "I really really loved this" to describe the tale so I am putting up a review I found on Amazon UK that sums it up better than I ever could.
By Prudence Patts (London, UK)
This is a brilliantly written story of Violet (Vi) Hetherington and a serious life error she made as a young woman, which is recalled as she crosses the ocean to visit the friend she betrayed. The novel unfolds in characteristic Vickers' style - spare, dry, acutely observed and often very funny,as well as poignant and frequently painful. The back story takes place in the sixties, when as a shy young student, convinced of her own insignificance, Vi meets Edwin, her teacher of literature who encourages her to write and they become firm friends. But another friend of Edwin arrives, a serpent in this garden of Eden, and the resulting catastrophe causes Vi to leave her life as a sucessful poet and settle for a safe but drab marriage. We feel both for the young, inexperienced Vi and her older, more melancholy self, whose shrewd eye appraises her fellow passengers but who also becomes, if unwillingly at first, engaged in their lives. Oh, and she learns to dance, which she is surprisingly good at, which leads to another plot theme. What is so enjoyable about this, as with all Vickers's novels, is that her acute observations and insights are never at the expense of her characters, or her readers. She has a wise and compassionate view of humanity, as befits her psychological background, but she is also huge fun. A great book to take on holiday as well as a serious novel.
As of now I am still set for my operation tomorrow morning. Now I'm getting nervous.
I'll keep you posted.