Jumping the green is an excellent first novel
by Leslie Schwartz
a meditation on grief
The main character Louise Goldblum is a sculptor. She is creating
an installation based on the death of her beautiful sister Esther
who was murdered by an unknown man that she had just had sex with in a motel.
Louise obsessively recreates in her mind
the moments leading up to the death of
the sister she idolized. Esther's death was a seemingly inevitable consequence
of her own risk-taking self-destructive behaviour, brought on by guilt
over the suicide of her boyfriend.
Louise's attempts to make sense
of her sister's death lead her to imitate Esther's dangerous lifestyle.
She meets a photographer Zeke who initiates her into a world
of humiliation and sadomasochistic sex. Zeke tells her
I might hurt you. I haven't killed anyone. Not yet. The safe word
is cease. You say cease, I stop.
From then on we wonder whether Louise will be able to resolve
her feelings about Esther's death and say cease or whether
Zeke will kill her.
As well as being dark the novel is funny and clever
with some wonderful descriptions of
growing up with an alcoholic mother. The author's voice is always
clear and true. If you're writing a novel yourself this will make you