Sistah Girls, I don’t know about you but I am not a big fan of movie adaptations, come on, more than half the time they ruin the story, still I’ll admit that they can sometimes be just the plug for getting book recommendations, which is how I found Sheila Williams’ Dancing on the Edge of the Roof, because of Juanita.
I have never been happier to have accidentally discovered a book. I was down on my luck with finding something worthwhile, seeing as I am a big cynic and all. Still, my luck shone when I watched Juanita and saw in the credits that it is an adaptation, I just knew that I would find more with the book.
One of the main things that make Dancing on the Edge of the Roof endearing is that it is true to life. We all know a thing or two about feeling a little too sad and stuck. So, when Juanita decides to do something about her listlessness, I was thrilled to see that her literal journey to finding herself does not fall in her lap.
She doesn’t get to (surprisingly) be in Miz Berman’s will (an overused plot devise if you ask me), and I think it is what allows Williams to give a non-fantastical, well-rounded narration of an everyday woman trying to reclaim and rediscover herself.
I warn you not to write off this book as another boring novel about a Black woman’s self-discovery-it is funny! As in, I could barely contain myself: I mean, who fake-acts like a voodoo witch to punish a group of insulting racists–Juanita, that’s who!
It kinda reminds me of the scene in Seffi Atta’s Swallow, when Tolani does something equally sinister and no less funny to scare away her pervy boss (leave it to black women to think up things like that).
Now, I am sure you can guess how I feel about Juanita. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she loves romance novels, and like me, she learns from them and uses them as a form of escape. It was like seeing a reflection of the delights that I find as a novel enthusiast, which was awesome.
And of course, we cannot forget about Juanita and Jess’ romance now, can we! In the words of Banky W, that is some “good good loving”. I’ll say this, Williams did a good job of giving us a refreshing, exhilarating, and funny read with this story.
This book had me feeling all kinds of happy: like I just wanna dance and I’ve got my groove back kinda happy; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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