Dance Move

Wendy Erskine’s debut, Sweet Home, is one of my favourite short story collections ever, so I was thrilled to find out that she had another one coming out in 2022. Dance Move has all the trademark Erskine things that made Sweet Home so memorable: the stripped back, direct writing style, the incisive narratives that meander even as they cut to the heart of the matter. But something about this collection just didn’t click with me. Most of its stories left me confused or underwhelmed. Either way, my main reaction was mostly just, okay…?, and that is not the reaction you want to have after finishing a short story. As to why I felt this way, I genuinely have no idea. The writing was good, and the narratives weren’t poorly constructed or anything, but as a whole package, something about these stories didn’t work for me.

My favourite story was easily “Mrs Dallesandro”; it was the one I found the most memorable, and the one that really stuck with me as I was going through the collection. The other stories, not so much: I remember the broadstrokes of some of them, and the others I just completely forgot about (and it’s only been a month since I finished this collection).

Am I disappointed to be giving this collection a 3-star rating? Absolutely. I really thought Dance Move was going to be a sure winner, especially since I loved Sweet Home so much. But alas, twas not meant to be.

Thanks so much to Picador for providing me with an eARC of this via Netgalley!

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