Tallulah (Lulu) de Longland and Annabelle Andrews first met at age twelve, when Annabelle sashayed into the classroom where Lulu was already seated, and bewitched her. Lulu was completely enchanted by Annabelle and her parents, artistes named Frank and Annie, and Annabelle’s habit of creating new words from two separate ones (glamorgeus), a secret language that would define the unique and magical world they would create.
Lulu’s parents, Harry and Rose, were eccentric in their own right, so there was also something appealing here for Annabelle, who craved the kind of attention she got at the de Longland home. Harry, a plumber “plumbing the depths of excellence,” proudly announced his skills via a sign at the front door; and Rose, serving baked goods and naming the dresses she wore, which also seemed to announce her moods, would reveal herself to be fragile and lacking in mothering skills, but able to create her own special ambience.
When Joshua Keaton sailed into Lulu’s life a few years later, and she felt the pangs of first love, she had no idea that, before high school was over, her world would implode, creating lasting scars. Meanwhile, the nuns at St. Rita’s, the Catholic School, would instill attitudes that would define expectations for both Annabelle and Lulu, but which Lulu alone would try to live up to.
Walking on Trampolines is a delightful story of friendship, betrayal, and ultimately discovering one’s truest self.
Populated with interesting characters, like Duncan McAllister, a radio personality who takes Lulu on as his personal assistant and then proceeds to be her mentor and her closest friend in adulthood. And then there is Will, someone Lulu meets when she moves to Willow Island with her loving companion Barney, Duncan’s dog.
What shocking thing does Lulu do that will change the direction of her life? How will what some consider her betrayal turn her life around and give her the chance to truly shine? And how will Duncan’s legacy inspire Lulu to express her unique self?
Set in Australia, beginning in a small town named Juniper Bay, we follow Lulu’s journey, rooting for her as she finally transcends the mistakes of the past, while reclaiming the core elements that made her who she was. I liked the healing moments near the end, and the joining together of the characters in a dramatic protest. 4.0 stars.