Touching earth lightly by

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"I've got to get out of that house." Janey looked almost small, walking past these angled girders.
–Margo Lanagan - Touching earth lightly - c.1996 - pg.1

ISBN: 1864488239

Growing up is hard. Even when you have encouraging responsibly parents, like Chloe. When you don’t, when your parents are like Janey’s, consistently putting you in harms way and causing your damage how do you cope? Chloe and Janey are best friends, they live their lives entwined in each other. Chloe is sensible and practical. She keeps Janey somewhat rooted. But nothing can keep janey from trouble. Free-spirited is a charitable description of her life-style. Some of the girls from her school used much harsher terms, she was worse than a prostitute, she didn’t even charge for what she did in the boy’s toilets! But free-spirited is the more accurate description. Janey can’t see the dangers in her life. Or perhaps it is because she has so many that she doesn’t look for an escape. There are no ways out for her.

This is one of those books where there isn’t a whole lot of plot, but the characters are so wonderful that you don’t really notice until you come to the end and try and recap the story and find that to do so would be to spoil what little there is. This isn’t a criticism of the book though, because I thoroughly loved it. Both Chloe and Janey were so real and so entertaining.

And the writing! Lanagan certainly has a gift with words, she can write passages that in another’s hands might come across as clumsy, mawkish and overly sentimental, but from her they are just painful depictions of grief and trying to deal with tragedy and loss.

It really is a heartbreaking book and one that I think will stay with me. Highly recommended.

I couldn’t find any other reviews of this book, if you’ve read & reviewed it let me know and I’ll add a link.

Post Author: Fence

5 thoughts on “Touching earth lightly

    Caroline

    (29 December 2010 - 9:23 am)

    This sounds very good, will have to see if I can get it. I haven't heard of the author before.
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Literature and War Readalong 2011

      Fence

      (31 December 2010 - 10:32 pm)

      I really love Lanagan's writing. Her short story collection, Black Juice was the first thing by her I read, and although I didn't love all the stories I did love the collection. The first story, Singing my sister down is wonderful

    […] Susan Hated Literature She'd much prefer to read a good book Skip to content HomeBrowse …by Actorby authorby Dewey Decimal Numberby Directorby general tagby Genreby script writerby SettingReading Challenges2011 Reading challengesWhat is this place?101 (updated) facts about meBrand new “facts about me” ← Touching earth lightly […]

    Nymeth

    (17 January 2012 - 9:54 pm)

    Oh, this sounds beautiful. I saw you talking about it on Twitter and all I can see is that I'm really glad that having an e-reader now will make exploring her back catalogue easier.
    Nymeth´s last blog post ..Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey

      Fence

      (17 January 2012 - 11:07 pm)

      Lanagan said recently on her blog that her whole back issue will be coming out in ebook format. So far I think it is just this and The Best Thing (which i've just read, and loved).

      Touching Earth Lightly still makes me sad when I think about it. But that's a good thing :)

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