- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Speechbubble Books (14 April 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0956730612
- ISBN-13: 978-0956730619
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1 x 12.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,288,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Leading the Dance Paperback – 14 Apr 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
I shall look out for other work by Sarah Salway.
Some of my personal highlights include a woman who has a portrait done of the contents of her fridge, which seems amusing, but deals with bulimia; a wife who secretly follows her husband's affair via his emails; a touching tale of two sisters and their loneliness; a boy who has been taught to ignore his mother's afternoon visitors; and especially the woman who locks another woman in her basement!
I can honestly say that not one tale within this collection disappointed, and I'm sure everyone will find their own personal favourite. Despite being very short, each one seems to have depth, and I will certainly be going back to read them again.
I very much enjoyed Sarah's voice, and the way she writes, and I will be actively hunting more of her work.
However, such brutality, even when beautifully portrayed can become hard to digest and I found my enjoyment of the book was tempered by my hope that the next story would contain a little more light, humour or optimism, that the skill describing isolation, selfishness and domination would also apply itself to genuine affection. Emptiness almost became a cliché that threatened to undercut the originality of the action.
If you are in the mood for heart warming tales this isn't for you but if you are prepared to remove the rose-tinted spectacles for a while, you will find much to admire and appreciate in Salway's collection of stories.
Leading the Dance is a collection of short stories that are laced with domesticity, yet they all have an edge that marks Salway's skill as a writer. I am left intrigued by the craft and the skill required building convincing worlds, narratives and characters within such limited space.
A bulimic who has the inside of her fridge painted, an affair that smells of pear drops, sexual suspicion leading to bondage, visions of Jesus blessing aubergines, the fragments of an affair through letters. There are more.
The stories are original, yet the characters have a familiarity that connects them to the reader. The reader is drawn into each world and forced to experience emotions through the lexical choices made.
Sarah Salway's writing has a delicacy that appears effortless and natural, yet each and every word is perfect. I absorbed each word. I last felt like this reading The PowerBook for the first time. And I know that I'll read Leading the Dance again.
Sarah Salway injects fragility and grace into the art of storytelling.