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Walking on Trampolines
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Walking on Trampolines

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Tallulah 'Lulu' de Longland is a pretty normal teenager - except for the secret language she shares with her quirky best friend, and having a mother who gives names to the dresses she wears. When she meets Joshua Keaton at age sixteen and falls in love, there's nothing to indicate she's heading for the ultimate betrayal.… (mais)
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Walking on Trampolines por Frances Whiting

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Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Set in Australia, this book chronicles Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland's struggle with love, family and friendship. She finds love in the most unexpected places and learns that love comes in different forms. I loved the character of Duncan because I think without him Lulu wouldn't been able to grow up to become the woman she did. At times I found her wishy washy but she was always human to me. Plus who doesn't like a book with a big smelly dog? ( )
  Stacie-C | May 8, 2021 |
Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting is an absolutely beautiful novel of friendship, family, love, betrayal and forgiveness. This captivating story is a wonderful mix of humor that is laugh out loud funny and tender, poignant moments that are heartbreakingly sad. The true to life characters are multi-faceted and flawed but so likable and sympathetic it is impossible not to root for them as they experience all of the joys and sorrows of life.

Despite their very different backgrounds, Tallulah "Lulu" deLongland and Annabelle Andrews became instant friends at the age of twelve. Neither girl has what would be considered an ideal home life but they each find enjoyment in one another's homes. Lulu helps her dad raise her younger brothers because her mother suffers debilitating depression for much of her childhood. Annabelle's parents are eccentric artists and her alcoholic father is more reliable than her less than maternal mother. Nonetheless, the two girls giggle their way through adolescence and support one another through the various ups and downs of their respective lives. But their once rock solid friendship comes to an abrupt end after a shocking betrayal and although Lulu and Annabelle eventually reunite as adults, a split second decision once again threatens their relationship.

Lulu is a wonderful lead character; genuine, kind, loving and incredibly loyal. She is, in so many ways, the anti-thesis of the much more outgoing, rather dominating and larger than life Annabelle. Their friendship is all consuming, intense and excludes Lulu's other friends, Simone and Stella. In the wake of devastation, Lulu retreats into a safe life until she is forced to step out of her comfort zone. Leaving her family and small town behind, she begins working for a dynamic radio personality who is as wise as he is crass.

Annabelle is, surprisingly, an enjoyable character to get to know. Without a doubt, she is self-centered and she hurts Lulu is the worst possible way, but it is impossible not to like her. In spite of these flaws, Annabelle is Lulu's staunchest ally and supporter throughout their childhood. As an adult, despite their strained relationship, Annabelle is there for Lulu when she needs her most.

The secondary cast of characters is quirky, well-developed and quite appealing. Lulu's childhood friends Simone and Sophie are complete opposites but incredibly supportive of her no matter what mistakes she makes. Lulu's boss and friend Duncan McAllister is deeply flawed but this just adds to his (sometimes dubious) charm. It is impossible not love Lulu's dad, Harry, who depends on her more than he should but always has a comfortable shoulder for her to lean on when she needs one. Lulu's mom, Rose, is such a heartbreaking character as she battles to overcome the depression that keeps her from participating in the lives of her loved ones. And, of course, the list of favorite characters would not be complete without mentioning the lovable canine, Barney, who provides Duncan with the means to aid Lulu as she makes peace with her past.

Walking on Trampolines is an emotionally compelling novel of redemption, forgiveness and love. With much laughter and a few tears, Frances Whiting brings life's messiest moments vividly and unapologetically to life. An absolutely breathtaking story that I absolutely loved and highly recommend.
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  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
Annabelle and Tallulah are two young girls from very different backgrounds--Annabelle from one of Australia's most famous and celebrated artistic families, Tallulah the daughter of a plumber--when Annabelle's family moves to small-town Juniper Bay and enroll her in St. Rita's, Tallulah's school. They are nearly instant best friends, and the lives of the two girls and their families become inextricably intertwined. The two girls become as close as sisters, and the two sets of parents, Annabelle's parents Annie and Frank Andrews, and Tallulah's, Harry and Rose de Longland, parent them both, each couple's strengths filling in for the other's weaknesses.

Even when, as they are seniors in high school, Tallulah has her first real boyfriend, Josh, the two girls remain close, sharing everything--more than Tallulah realizes.

At the core of the novel is a painful betrayal, one that winds through their lives for more a decade after.

I love both these girls, and their parents, and their complicated, tangled relationships. Harry is the most solid and stable among them, but Rose has a resilience and ability to accept others that seems to come from her own struggle with depression. Annie and Frank are both more mercurial and even flighty, but they each bring a creativity, a confidence, and a message to the two girls to value and trust their own talents.

We see the story through Tallulah's eyes, and it's her story most of all. It's her struggles, failures, and triumphs we see most intimately, but she's surrounded by equally rich and compelling characters. Those include not just the two families, but their other friends, and Tallulah's deeply flawed and totally delightful boss and friend, Duncan, after she leaves Juniper Bay.

It's an emotionally rich and rewarding story. Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting is a highly recommended coming-of-age novel.

Set in Juniper Bay, Australia, Annabelle Andrews and Tallulah (Lulu) de Longland became best friends when they met for the first time at St Rita's in seventh grade. After meeting they become inseparable, like sisters , but we know from the opening scene that their friendship is likely going to be more tangled and complex than it appears at the beginning. Inevitably, there is betrayal and one of the girls is left wounded and floundering, trying to recover but still suffering. The question is, after the opening scene, who betrayed whom and why.

This is a very well written and easy to read novel that was almost addictive at times. You will want to know what happens and then what happens next. There are several strong bonds of friendship between different characters and the bond between parents and their child is also represented. The families represented in Walking on Trampolines are complex and unique, as are the friendships. None of the relationships are presented as perfect. They are all complex and fraught with difficulties. Bonds between characters are broken and, when restored, they are changed. Characters need to forgive and, maybe, move on to form new relationships.

If there is any weakness in Walking on Trampolines it is that the ending is a bit too pat and easy to predict. Life rarely all falls into place so comfortably. But if you are looking for chick-lit that is well written and conflicts are resolved, you should try this debut novel by Frances Whiting.


Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Gallery Books for review purposes. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
I received an ARC copy of this book for review. Being that it is an uncorrected proof, the book could have changed between the time of this review and the book's February release.

I'm really glad I read this book. I've read a lot of coming-of-age stories, but the main character in this story is in her 20s, so it felt easier to connect with her.

Walking on Trampoline tells the story of Tallulah "Lulu" de Longland, and all of the people that have come into her life as she navigates how to become the person she wants to be (or already is). There's love and loss, huge mistakes and big triumphs. It's a story of imperfect characters in imperfect relationships. Lulu commits an... indecent act at the beginning of the story and goes through out the rest trying to understand how her past has affected her future. I promise it's not as cliched as it sounds. There were times when I was frustrated with Lulu, but I think it was because she was saying and thinking the things I think to myself. Confused, self-conscious, undermining things that we tell ourselves, in turn limiting ourselves from truly living.

I finished it a few days ago and still can't find exactly the right words to describe it. I know that I liked it very much, and I know it's a book I'll pick up again, and lend to friends, and recommend to others. The characters are beautiful. I especially loved Rose, Lulu's mother, and her affinity for naming her dresses. I've been working in the costumes and textiles department of a museum with women who do exactly the same thing with the pieces in the collection, and it put such a smile on my face. ( )
  CarleyShea | Mar 3, 2015 |
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Tallulah 'Lulu' de Longland is a pretty normal teenager - except for the secret language she shares with her quirky best friend, and having a mother who gives names to the dresses she wears. When she meets Joshua Keaton at age sixteen and falls in love, there's nothing to indicate she's heading for the ultimate betrayal.

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