Back in 2013 I posted a review on a book that I had read entitled “Walking on Trampolines”. At the time, I didn’t realise that it had only been published within Australia so if any of my followers who might have been interested in reading it were overseas, they wouldn’t have been able to find it.
Now it appears, that it has hit the shelves in the U.S. and Canada and Frances Whiting (the author) is a little beside herself with excitement. Remember my rant about a particular author? Well it wasn’t Frances (who I also follow on Facebook). Frances is witty, funny and real. I have read all of her books and I laugh quite often at her weekly newspaper column filled as it is with the witty observations of a wife, mother and dog owner living life in this mad world of ours.
I have to tell you that this book is one of the most heart-warming stories that I have read in a long time and meeting Frances to discuss it was one of the highlights of my life. (As a side note, I just took the book out of my book cupboard and the menu from the high tea fell out of it. Ahhh great memories).
So where was I?
That’s right, discussing the book.
Walking on Trampolines has been praised by reviewers as a ‘tender exploration of friendship, families and first loves’. I found it honest, down-to-earth and filled with real characters. What I particularly liked about the story is that both of the main characters (Annabelle and Lulu) have parents with mental health issues. Frances has not shied away from speaking about depression and anxiety and the impact that it has upon the family unit and has skilfully woven this within the storyline of two girls growing up and exploring life together.
I particularly loved her exploration of the character of Rose (who suffers depression) and how the clothes she wore typified the type of day that she was having. Rose took up sewing as a teenager to give her ‘restless hands’ something to do. She began to make her own clothes and bestowing names upon her dresses. Sewing became an outlet for her and a saving grace during times of trouble.
I saw some wonderful images the other day on the FB page of Simon and Schuster that I wish to share:
I know that generally I dress to my feelings so identified in some small way with the character of Rose. Generally when I am really down I want to be comfortable and I really don’t care what I am wearing. I usually wear my flowy house dresses or my shorts with the elasticised waist bands at these times. When I am feeling brighter, then I take more care with my appearance however that doesn’t mean that if you drop around unexpectedly one day and find me wearing any of these things I am really in the doldrums. Sometimes I just like to wear loose, comfortable clothing. lol However I digress.
Despite Rose’s severe depression and anxiety, she is quite a strong character (living up to the adage that what doesn’t kill us makes a stronger) and one night she goes with Lulu to find Annabelle’s father who has disappeared after his marriage break up. Lulu tells her mother that she believes she knows where he is and they find him in the treehouse that he built for the girls. Frank looks down at Rose and exclaims “Ahh a fellow traveller”. My favourite line in the whole book.
It’s funny how when we suffer depression, we find it difficult to talk to others about our feelings yet when someone who knows what is happening in our heads offers the hand of friendship, we take it willingly. We travel the same roads and although our journey may vary, it is still the same road with the same potholes and speed bumps!
Walking on Trampolines is not just about the girl’s parents, it is about growing up together, finding love, making mistakes and learning how to live life. It is also about forgiveness and finding peace within. I really like the title because let’s face it, anyone who has tried to walk on a trampoline does so with great difficulty. I think it’s a pretty good metaphor for life.
So for those of you who might be interested in reading this wonderful book I can now happily inform you that it is now available on your side of the world in both paperback and ebook formats. 🙂
Have a blessed day my friends.