The Trapeze Act
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Loretta’s mother was a trapeze artist in Europe, the star of the famed Rodzirkus circus, before she walked out on her drunken husband and his debts while on tour in Australia. But a life in 1960s suburban Adelaide was always going to be difficult, even if she does land herself the most handsome young barrister of the town, and Leda’s behaviour raises more than a few eyebrows.
Leda’s father, handsome barrister Gilbert Lord, has no interest in his past, but hidden in a wardrobe are the journals of his ivory merchant great-great-grandfather who led an expedition to Australia’s desert interior to search for elephants.
For Loretta, growing up in her mother’s flamboyant and often outrageous shadow, life is stifling and at times brutal. But the harder she tries to separate herself from her mother, the more she longs for her attention and love—and the more she finds that the past is inextricably woven into her own life and who she is.
The Trapeze Act weaves stories of the circus and the doomed ivory expedition through a novel that is at once a heartbreaking tale of the search for acceptance and a celebration of the lustre and magic of life.
Libby Angel is an Australian poet whose work has appeared in several journals. The Trapeze Act is her first novel.