Gertrude Samphire’s long life in Jamaica has been, thus far, a lonely train ride: between her childhood raised as an outcast by cold and distant relatives, to her courtship and eventual marriage to a neglectful husband, to her time single-handedly raising children who are eventually taken from her — in one way or another — or drift away on their own, it’s no wonder Gertrude has focused mainly on self-preservation.
After her house is damaged by a hurricane, she is sent by her estranged eldest daughter, Celia, to Ellesmere Lodge, a retirement home for the elite. At first, her stay feels like yet another stranding — until Gertrude discovers freedom she never had before: to write; to dance; to experience friendship; and to look back on her life with fresh eyes and realize how she was wronged and how she has wronged
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
Dancing Lessons is an ingeniously crafted story about a journey of self from silence to speech using the art of dancing.