Violet Hetherington, recently widowed, has taken the rash step of joining a transatlantic cruise to New York to visit Edwin, an old friend and long-ago lover. As she makes the six-day crossing, she relives the traumatic events that led to losing his friendship and abandoning her career as a poet for the safety of marriage. Moving between the late sixties and the present day, Dancing Backwards is written with the lightness of touch and psychological insight that characterizes much of Salley Vickers’s widely acclaimed work. This bittersweet novel is subtle, poignant, and wonderfully entertaining.
“If you enjoy the work of Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald, James Salter or Anita Brookner, you should be reading Vickers.”—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World“An elegant waltz through a personal history littered with betrayal and regret, crisply and carefully told.”—The Guardian (UK)
“Salley Vickers has a gift for making the most unlikely settings for fiction absolutely compelling . . . She is a brave writer . . . Fresh, intriguing, and enlightening.”—The Independent (London)
“A superior romantic novelist . . . and the novel’s central triumph [is] its portrait of a heroine steadily—and with immense hope—working through the dramas of her quietly difficult life.”—The Telegraph (London)
“A moving story of a good second-chance romance.”—Publishers Weekly
Salley Vickers has worked as a dancer, an artist’s model, a university professor of literature, and a psychoanalyst. She now writes full-time.