Wednesday 12 November 2014

An Unchoreographed Life by Jane Davis

Reviewer: Liza Perrat, author of Spirit of Lost Angels and Wolfsangel

What we thought: A brilliant and cleverly-written story about the relationship between a single mother and her daughter. When Alison discovered she was pregnant, she gave up the chance of being a prima ballerina and took up prostitution to give her daughter, Belinda a chance of a decent life.

After a chance encounter with a seemingly perfect family, Alison is offered the opportunity of making more money. The family welcomes Alison with open arms, and she gets a taste of the life she so desperately wants for Belinda, but can this wealthy couple be trusted?

I loved the well-rounded, flawed characters: child narrator, Belinda and her skewed six-year old view of life, and her mother, Alison, even when she did things that made me cringe.

As I approached the end, I was enjoying the story so much I couldn’t decide what I wanted most: to quickly find out what happened to the characters or for the book not to finish at all. In the end, the author left me with hope––hope for a decent future in such a chaotic life that any of us could fall into, given the right circumstances.

And when I turned the last page, I was left thinking: what would I have done in this situation?

Highly recommended to readers of thought-provoking literary fiction.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Books with great characters such as those by Maggie O'Farrell, Ann Patchett and Anne Tyler.

Avoid if you don’t like: Stories about hookers.

Ideal accompaniments: Three glasses of Möet & Chandon, wearing slinky undergarment and high heels.

Genre: Literary fiction

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