Nik Perring's Reviews > Leading the Dance

Leading the Dance by Sarah Salway
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's review
Sep 15, 2008

it was amazing

Some books, more specifically short story collections, are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. And I found myself thinking this about Leading The Dance, by Sarah Salway this week.

You see, I never read the stories in collections in order. I don't know why, I just don't. Last week, after many weeks of dipping in to it, I realised that sadly I was nearing the end. I probably only had one or two stories left to read, though, as I'd not read it in order, I didn't know how many.

So, like those last few chocolates in a box you've really loved, I tried to save them. You know, as a treat. I didn't want to be greedy and scoff them all in no time. And I didn't want to lift the lid and see how many (or few) I had left. I wanted to enjoy them. And enjoy them I did but...

The box is empty now, and I'm disappointed.

I want more.

I loved the first book (Something Beginning With) of Sarah's I read. And I love this, I think, as much. It is, I think, the best collection of short stories I've read. It's delicate and tender in places, and heart twistingly sad in others. It's not short on laughs either. And if there's one thing that's present right the way through the book it's the uncanny way that you can empathise with or recognise almost all of the characters.

It is expertly written and hugely enjoyable. The prose sparkles mostly, while at times it is nothing short of dazzling. And touching.

A fantastic collection.

- from 19.01.2008

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