Book review – Family Dancing – David Leavitt

ABACUS, Great Britain 1999.

It is a warm book full of care about the family, sensitive with humour and very good imagination. The stories are either describing the complex relationships within the family or simple things such as the daily program or the boiling of food. The mother in the story has cancer but the author doesn’t make the reader to be sad about it because it gives hope with the fervour and the humour of the whole book. The relationships include young homosexuality that is presented in a subtle way which does not annoy. 

Quotes from the book.

She went to one meeting of therapy group, and they told her to scream out her aggression and beat a pillow with a hammer. 

Lying there terrified, in her flannel nightgown, the mouthpiece firmly in place (to prevent teeth grinding), her eyes searching the ceiling for familiar cracks, her hands pinching what flesh they could find as if pain could prove life is realistic.

Mediate on your cancer. Imagine it. Visualise it inside of you. Then imagine it’s getting very cold. Imagine the tumours freezing, dying from freezing. Then a wind chips at them until they disappear. 

Bones jutting out of skin, hair in clumps like patches of weeds on a desert.



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