Levitation for Beginners

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Author: Suzannah Dunn

Category: Fiction & related items

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Abacus

ISBN: 9781408707234

RRP: $49.99

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‘A deliciously unsettling read‘ Clare Chambers, bestselling author of Small Pleasures

A sharp eye and keen wit are brought to bear on the secrets and lies of a small rural community – secrets and lies that may prove deadly.

It’s 1972 and ten-year-old Deborah is living a ten-year-old life: butterscotch angel delight and Raleigh chopper bikes, and Clunk Click, and Crackajack and Jackanory, Layla and the Bee Gees, flares and ponchos.

But new girl Sarah-Jayne breezes into school, pretty as a picture and full of gossip and speculation, as well as unlikely but thrilling stories about levitation. The other girls are dazzled but Deborah is wary and keeps her distance. That same week, eighteen-year-old brickie Sonny turns up on her doorstep with a stray tortoise and begins an unlikely friendship with her young widowed mum. That’s bad enough, Deborah thinks, but then Sonny starts work on a site opposite the school and Sarah-Jayne decides he’s the latest love of her life. Nothing escapes Sarah-Jayne, and Deborah fears what she’ll make of her mum. It’s good to be different, her mum often says; but not, Deborah knows, too different.

So, Deborah changes tactics, keeping her friends close and her enemy closer, even stepping up for some of Sarah-Jayne’s levitation sessions. Then she’s invited to Sarah-Jayne’s lovely house, where she meets her charming family and encounters Sarah-Jayne’s big sister’s fiance, Max, which is when she senses that all isn’t quite as it seems.

Readers say:

Suzannah Dunn is a master at dissecting the relationships that are closer than “just friends”, those love affairs we have with our oldest friends, the attachments we formed before we were old enough to rationalise our preferences – the friends of our blood and bone. This book is a subtle, elegant and creepily powerful examination of what happens to one such friendship’ Five star reader review for Venus Flaring

I love this book and have read it and re-read it many times. It is so evocative of being a teenage girl in the late eighties and yet it somehow manages to be timeless. It perfectly captures the sense of self-importance that we all have as a teenager’ Five star reader review for Blood Sugar

Levitation for Beginners transported me right back to my ’70s schooldays. The clannishness and micro-cruelties of 10-year-old girls were brilliantly authentic. I especially liked the innuendo and half-grasped truths that filter down to Deborah from the adult world and the slowly building unease. I loved that nothing was over-explained; it all made for a deliciously unsettling read – Clare Chambers, bestselling author of Small Pleasures

Her dissections of the quiet hell of family life are splendid, and she has an absolutely convincing voice of her own – Malcolm Bradbury, praise for Darker Days Than Usual

All adolescent life is here, lovingly portrayed, captured with breathtaking accuracy. Suzannah Dunn is a gifted writer – The Times, praise for Blood Sugar

Compelling power…Dunn shows again her gift for making the ordinary seem extraordinary – The Times, praise for Venus Flaring

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