✭Book Review✭ Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting

Walking on Trampolines

By: Frances Whiting

February 3, 2015

Gallery Books

Format: Paperback

Source: Gifted copy from publisher

Praised as “a tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love” (Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret), this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Frances Whiting is equal parts heartwarming, accessible, and thought provoking.

“Tallulah de Longland,” she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgment. “That,” she announced, “is a serious glamorgeous name.” 

From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and by their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.

Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.

Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgivable…
It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce. 

After reading the first few pages of this book I felt an oddly close connection to it. I’ve never gone through most of the things our main character here does, but the realness of the events allowed me to connect with her entirely. 
The events in this book aren’t shockingly unrealistic or absurd, they’re very much everyday life happenings that anyone can go through. Neither the setting (Australia) or time period (late ‘70s-early ‘90s) takes away from the relevancy of the story. Frances Whiting’s beautifully detailed story makes it easy to step in the main character’s shoes.

This is the story of two best friends, Tallulah de Longland and Annabelle Andrews. Together they have highs and lows, both sharing the commonality of being born to parents that are extremely out of the box and at times, not fit parental units. Whether they’re having a good day or a bad day these girls are united every step of the way. 
That is until a new addition to the group slowly shifts their friendship, and in one quick instant,  Tallulah loses two of the most important people in her life. That serenity and safety that swirled around the girls’ friendship is torn away. 

Tallulah has never been able to recover from that day, instead she’s built walls and secluded herself from the world. It isn’t until meeting her boss, Duncan McAllister, that she’s able to begin even considering getting closure and healing from the betrayal that slammed into her from both sides. 
 They had both been my first loves, and that night I let them go, finally realizing that your first love, no matter how big it may have been, wasn't necessarily your true one.
The back and forth between past and present took some time to get acclimated with. I was trying to get a feel for the younger versions of the characters when the story would abruptly shift to another period of time. The same thing happened when I was in present day. The lack of smooth transitions, or in most cases the lack of transition at all was something that disrupted the flow for a bit, but it wasn’t a grave enough factor to completely ruin my reading experience. The jumps were however necessary for the reader to piece together Lulu’s life and figure out what led to the shocking beginning of the story.

What made this story so complete was the various personalities that made up Tallulah’s world. Witty, quirky and each unique in their own way, these characters gave life to the book and each pivotal moment of Tallulah’s life. Her friendships were unorthodox and yet extremely entertaining.

This Australian author’s debut novel is a coming of age story that will teach you life lessons no matter at what age you read it. It’ll take you through points of jealousy, insecurity, anger, loneliness and love. It’ll show you how important family and friends can be and to value both. The soulful storytelling will make you feel as though you’re holding Tallulah’s hand as she experiences life and the transition into adulthood.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read this book and be introduced to Frances Whiting’s writing. Her style is one that makes an impression instantly and because it did so with me, I’ll be watching out for whatever she comes up with next.

Frances Whiting is one of Australia's best known and favourite columnists. For more than fifteen years her Sunday Mail column has engaged readers in the highs, lows and the wonderful of the every day. She is also an award winning journalist and Senior Feauture writer for Q Weekend Magazine in the Courier Mail. She has published two collections of her columns: Oh To Be A Marching Girl, and That's A Home Run, Tiger! 
Walking on Trampolines is her first novel. 

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  1. Amazing review Zandalee!!! I can't wait to read this one!

    1. Thank you! I loved it, the characters are quite memorable. :)


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