Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Juggling - Barbara Trapido

I am so grateful for being steered to Barbara Trapido by the blogger here.  I started with Brother of the More Famous Jack, which the blogger had posted about, and then went on to Temples of Delight.  I loved them both.  I got Juggling from the library and, as I started to read it, I realized it was a sequel to Temples of Delight.

Alice and Joe Angeletti have been married for over ten years.  Pam, the daughter of Alice's dead friend, Jem, is studious, pretty in a voluptuous Madonna and Child way, and perfect.  Christina is bright and pretty in an elfin way, but more frivolous and outspoken, always up for stirring up trouble.  They've been raised in American, but then are sent to boarding school in England, the one where Roland Dent, a previous boyfriend of Alice's, teaches.

While there, they meet two boys, Jago and Peter.  Peter is delicate and Jago is charismatic, bright, and handsome.  He has a posse of boys (and girls) who just want to be enveloped in his aura.  Christine falls for Jago, but until a traumatic event in the woods, he doesn't pay any attention to her.

There are so many interesting and odd characters in this book that it's hard to even start to tell you about them all.  I especially like Dulcie, tall, beautiful, edgy, foulmouthed, poor, in love with books of all kinds.  I think the 'juggling' of the title ultimately refers to the interchanging relationships of the characters.

This book, even more than Temples of Delight, is sort of like Alice in Wonderland meets real life.  It's magical without being fantastical, magical in the sense that I read on in awe as more and more secrets were uncovered and unreal things happened.

According to Wikipedia, Barbara Trapido lives in Oxford.  I wish I could tell her how much I admire her writing.

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