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Review: Dancing Backwards by Salley Vickers

dancing backwards1 Review: Dancing Backwards by Salley Vickers

She stood, absorbing the subtle shades and distinctive smells of the sea. What a peculiar thing she had done. . .

dancing backwards photo Review: Dancing Backwards by Salley Vickers

I first came across Salley Vickers quite by chance when I was second-hand book shopping one day. Her book Mr Golightlys Holiday had been mis-shelved in the fantasy and science fiction section, and its splendid cover stood out amongst all of the other books. While Im somewhat ashamed to say that I bought a book purely based on its cover, Im glad I did. Mr Golightlys Holiday was a fabulous read, and had me stalking about seeking out Ms Vickers back collection.

Dancing Backwards is Vickers newest book, and was published late last year by 4th Estate. 'I was lucky enough to win a copy from the publisher, but for some reason only just got around to reading it. I can, however, say that it fits perfectly into the single sitting reads category, as I started reading it yesterday night, and finished it at exactly midnight.

Dancing Backwards follows aloof widow Violet Hetherington on board a transatlantic cruise ship, which she is taking to New York to meet up with her estranged friend Edwin. The book takes place over six days, and travels back and forth between the present day, where Violet is heading to meet Edwin, and the past, where we watch her move inexorably away from him through a series of traumatic events and complicated relationships. The contrast between the malleable and bullied Violet Hetherington of the past and the quietly assured, laissez faire woman of the present is fascinating to behold, and I tremendously enjoyed seeing how the present Mrs. Hetherington came to be. Vickers is an excellent writer with an eye for the minute, and she sketches people and their idiosyncrasies with confidence. Her plotting is neat and deft, and her characters are distinct and curious. This is definitely a book youll want to pick up.

 Review: Dancing Backwards by Salley Vickers

Purchase Dancing Backwards.

Listen to a podcast with Salley Vickers on Australias ABC Radio National BookShow

 Review: Dancing Backwards by Salley Vickers Review: Dancing Backwards by Salley Vickers Review: Dancing Backwards by Salley Vickers Review: Dancing Backwards by Salley Vickers

Other books by Salley Vickers you might like: Mr Golightlys Holiday; Instances of the Number 3; The Other Side of You; Ms Garnets Angel

Acknowledgements: ship image by Bernie Condon, courtesy of

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