Margery Blandon has led a life of principles. Now she finds herself sitting on the 43rd floor of the Tropic Hotel, preparing to throw herself to her death.
Margery Blandon was always a principled woman who found guidance from the wisdom of desktop calendars. She lived quietly in Gold Street, Brunswick for sixty years until events drove her to the 43rd floor of the Tropic Hotel. As she waits for the crowds in the atrium far below to disperse, she contemplates what went wrong; her best friend kept an astonishing secret from her and she can't trust the home help. It's possible her firstborn son has betrayed her, that her second son, Morris, might have committed a crime, her only daughter is trying to kill her and her dead sister Cecily helped her to this, her final downfall. Even worse, it seems Margery's life-long neighbour and enemy - now demented - always knew the truth.
There Should be More Dancing' is a story of Margery's reckonings on loyalty, grief and love.
Reading Group Book Questions
What a rich offering of local fiction this month! My favourite has to be There Should Be More Dancing by Rosalie Ham. Ham has always had a "yearning for the triumph, tragedy and terror of story" and her legions of fans from The Dressmaker won't be disappointed with this, her third novel.
It really is a wonderful read. The marvellous thing about Ham is the way she captures the Australian voice, but it is perhaps not surprising, given what this Jerilderie born author said to us in a recent interview.
Rural community activities - agricultural shows, football grand finals and ANZAC day marches - mean that even today, brass marching bands induce in me a swelling heart and tears of joy. But it was the extremes in my early childhood years, the proximity of the (sometimes cruel) life cycle, the desperation of back-lane cricket and the nefariousness of local adulterers that fed my yen for narrative. I passed a lot of time in the limitless, empty outdoors and I had to amuse myself, and all of these things fuelled my play-acting and the dramas I had going on in my imagination at any given time.
“Rosalie Ham revives some wonderful old phrases: things are ‘not much coph’, and many of Margery’s sentences start with ‘amyrate’. A cast of memorable characters and Ham’s sly humour make this an entertaining read, and fans of her previous novel The Dressmaker won’t be disappointed.”
Australian Bookseller + Publisher
ON SUMMER AT MOUNT HOPE
Rosalie Ham has rendered the intricacies of an isolated Australian community with consummate skill on two occasions, first in The Dressmaker, and now in Summer at Mount Hope. She does not resort to stereotypes.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Rosalie Ham’s second novel is as unforgettable and unput-downable as her first, the quirky The Dressmaker. Ham is a gifted storyteller, her ideas are fresh, unusual and entertaining, and result in marvellous stories steeped in an Australia at once recognisable but also new. There's not a cliché within cooee. Ham also has a great talent for arranging words, using them sparsely to express the most fantastic sentiments. I cannot recommend Summer at Mount Hope highly enough.
The Sun Herald
Rosalie Ham's The Dressmaker was one of those rare first novels that arrived virtually unannounced…and gathered momentum largely by word of mouth to become a bestseller and book club favourite. While it's the social and romantic intrigue that carries the story, it's Ham's wickedly black humour and finely researched social observation that deliver the real joy of the book.
ON THE DRESSMAKER
Ham does show herself a writer with strong visual gifts and a pleasingly sour sense of humour. The Age
Ham writes delightfully rich set pieces and descriptive passages ... Ham's eye for the absurd, the comical and the poignant are highly tuned. It is a first novel to be proud of, and definitely one to savour and enjoy.
A feral version of Sea Change
The Sydney Morning Herald
Number Of Pages: 354
Published: 1st July 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia
Dimensions (cm): 15.0 x 23.4 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.4