Book Review: Leap

August 11, 2016

This powerful evocative novel, nominated for this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award is a thought provoking journey through grief loss and the different ways individuals deal with it. The book’s central character is Joe, a young man dealing with the aftermath of the death of Jen, his high school sweetheart. His relationship with his deceased partner is multilayered and complex, and one that is revealed to us like a series of clues, bit by bit but still not fully revealed in its entirety. The journey through loss is viewed through a number of lenses. We see not only Joe’s perspective of loss, but also that of Jen’s mother Elsie. Their perspectives though very different, are no less poignant and touching.

Woven throughout the book are central themes of strength – both physical and mental, portrayed through animalistic imagery and an edgy and visceral physicality. While the narrative weaves and darts, sometimes leaving the reader feel a little lost, it always hits its mark, much like the practice of parkour that Joe uses to find his feet after the loss- His emotional journey is very much reflected in his physical practice of parkour, the art of moving from one point to another in a complex, urban environment, unaided and in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

Leap is a beautiful, compelling read about pain, grief and the leap we all must take at one time or another. Take the leap, your heart will thank you. Get it instore and online now. 

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