Margery Blandon is getting old. She’s been living in the same house for over 60 years – since she got married, seen her children grow up and move out, and has maintained her home and her lifestyle to the same impeccable standard the whole time. Or so she believes. Rosalie Ham’s latest novel, There Should Be More Dancing, is an insight into the mindset of the older generation. As they move out of the established suburbs, and young families move in, what happens to all those old relationships, the old stories?
Told from Margery’s point of view this is a tale of stasis in a world of change. Margery has been documenting wisdom in the form of cross-stitch embroidered pillows for most of the last 60 years so there is always a motto to hand for any situation, but when it seems her family are ganging up on her to try to steal her house, or send her to a nursing home, or take early inheritance of Margery’s jewellery, she is almost at a loss for words. Adding insult to injury a council appointed nurse has taken up visiting and encouraged Margery to get a flatmate, who turns out to be the last person in the world that Margery would ever want living with her.
When all this comes to a head, who could be surprised when Margery starts thinking of escape by jumping from a tall building. She plans it down to the last detail, what time of day and what her last meal should be. It is while sitting in the hotel room contemplating the past month, that Margery comes to the realisation that the problem she faces is not that the world has changed, but that she hasn’t. And with that epiphany, maybe it isn’t too late to salvage her family life after all.
There Should Be More Dancing is available now: Random House Australia RRP $32.95