Just a few months ago this book, An Unchoreographed Life by Jane Davis, came up on my radar. Someone had posted about it and as soon as I read the summary, I couldn’t wait for it to come out. Then I had the amazing pleasure to actually meet the author in person at The London Book Fair! We spoke a bit while drinking wine and eating fish and chips among other amazing authors and publishers. Once the book was out, I had it on my Kindle and moved it to the top of my TBR pile. (And this cover…talk about drool-worthy!)
The characters, the story, the twists and turns, the disappointment, the ending – this book has it all in the right places. I loved Belinda, the child narrator, I loved her mother Alison. I was rooting for them from the very beginning, even when they did things that made me cringe or made me want to tell them off.
There were some pieces where I didn’t feel the emotion. Parts that effected the rest of the story. But it all turned out ok because the flow of the prose and Davis’s great writing style held me captive.
(SPOILER ALERT! I give a little bit of the plot away here, but really not much so read on without worry.)
I wanted Alison to dance again. Or at least be connected with it. But what Davis did was so much better. So much disappointment in such a beautifully crafted way. I mean really. It was amazing. A very good way to let me down easily and show that the story couldn’t go backwards, only forwards.
Davis also has an incredible knack for making everything count. Each moment in every chapter had meaning, was meant to be there, and was strong even if I didn’t know it at the time.
The ending was perfect. Davis left us with hope in the midst of a messed up life that anyone of us could be living. I connected very strongly though I am neither a dancer, mother, nor prostitute.