Review: Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting

Title: Walking on Trampolines

Author: Frances Whiting

Published: Pan Macmillan Au October 2013

Status: Read from October 11 to 13, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Tallulah de Longland and Annabelle Andrews were the best of friends from the day they met at St Rita’s in Grade Seven. For the next six years they were inseparable, finding in each other an ally against Sister Scholastica, The Piranha Sisters and the eccentricities of their respective families. And then on the day of their high school graduation, Lulu discovers Annabelle in the arms of Joshua Keaton, and her future lays in tatters.

In part a coming of age tale, Walking on Trampolines is a delightfully engaging story about the joys and sorrows of friendship, first love and family.

Most of us, at least briefly, have had a best friend like Annabelle or at least recognise the dynamic. Lulu and Annabelle’s relationship is a reminder of the all consuming nature of teenage friendship, and the devastation of the inevitable betrayal that destroyed it. Since I spent hours on the trampoline with my childhood best friend, the title, with the tagline ‘It’s not how far you fall but how high you bounce.’, resonates with me particularly, conjuring memories of promises made on a mat of blue elastic weave, to be ‘best friends forever’.

Oh and first love, the thrill, the excitement and passion and then the crushing pain when dreams of forever collapse. For Lulu the simultaneous loss of her boyfriend and her best friend paralyses her so that while Annabelle lives the life with Joshua that she had imagined, she is stuck, keeping the books for her father’s plumbing business, until her father forces her to take a risk.

Family is an important theme in Walking On Trampolines but it is the complex relationship between mothers and daughters that Whiting captures particularly well. Lulu’s mother names her dresses, ‘Grace’ is “…buttercup yellow with a Peter Pan collar and a row of pearl buttons down the front to the waist…” but when the shapeless ‘Doris’ makes an appearance, Lulu knows to tread lightly. Annabelle’s artistic mother doesn’t make lunches, or do birthday cakes and abandons her husband and daughter for a fling with her brother in law.

Further populated by a charmingly flawed cast of characters from Annabelle’s eccentric father, Frank to Lulu’s crass, yet wise mentor, Duncan, and the rabidly Catholic Stella, Walking on Trampolines offers heart, humor and drama as Lulu learns that she too is capable of the extraordinary.

Funny, tender and bitter sweet, Walking in Trampolines is a wonderful debut fiction novel from Australian columnist, Frances Whiting. I adored this story and I am looking forward to her next already.

Available to Purchase From

Panmacmillan I Boomerang Books I Booktopia I Amazon Kindle

via Booko



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helene Young
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 19:10:53

    Fabulous! This one was on my radar but I’ll add it to the reading list. Love that it’s set in a town I know well 🙂



  2. Carole's Chatter
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 05:22:28

    This sounds like a goodie. Would you like to add it to the October Books You Loved collection over at Carole’s Chatter? Cheers



  3. Danielle
    Oct 20, 2013 @ 08:40:03

    Okay, I’m gonna go buy this based on your fab review )



  4. writenote1
    Oct 20, 2013 @ 12:21:55

    I loved this book! Definitely add to your lists.



  5. Teddyree
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 08:24:47

    Wonderful review Shelleyrae, I love relationship and family dynamics stories so I’m adding this one to my read list.



  6. ela gibson
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 17:01:02

    I really loved walking on trampolines. Probably one of the best books I have read for a long time, I could have read it in a day but I really didnt want it to end, it was so good and really touched my heart. Frances whiting is a brilliant writer, now my favourite!!



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