Millpoint Book Review - Leap by Myfanwy Jones
Set in the urban sprawl of inner Melbourne “Leap” by Myfanwy Jones follows the story of Joe and Elise; two people with very different lives affected similarly by the loss of a loved one.
23 year old Joe is hiding from his life. Giving up his plans for university he works dead end jobs and invests all of his spare time into perfecting his parkour, the intensive and precise movements giving him a sense of control and purpose.
Wife and mother Elise, reeling from her loss and the separation with her husband, develops a near obsession with the tigers at the zoo. Coffee in hand she visits them secretly every week to sketch and observe, finding solace in the powerful animals and the connection they have to her family.
With chapters dedicated to Elise’s fixation with the tigers, Joe’s moments of wallowing in self pity and the very modern setting and characters (parkour, hipster bars, eccentric friends living behind a laundromat) I expected this to be little more than a fictitious story for a young audience; but as it unfolds you become more invested in every character and you find yourself wanting to read more.
This is hugely to the credit of Jones’ writing. She paints each characters emotions and the world around them with poetic precision which adds depth and intrigue to what could be a hollow story on an over done topic. A book that should be disheartening is instead beautiful and reflective, showing the ways in which people navigate their grief and, more importantly, seek redemption.
This is a unique and wonderfully written urban fairy tale to kick off a new year of reading !