Belly Dancing for Beginners
by Liz Byrski
Gayle and Sonya are a study in contrasts one reserved and cautious, the other confident and outspoken. But their very different lives will be turned upside down when they impulsively join a belly dancing class. Marissa, their teacher, is sixty, sexy, and very much her own person, and as Gayle and Sonya learn about the origins and meaning of the dance, much more than their muscle tone begins to change. Gayle, crippled by the secrets at the heart of her marriage, is forced to face who and what she has become; the seriously single Sonya begins to explore her isolation from her family; and even Marissa, accustomed to seeing other women changed by the dance, must finally confront a horrifying event from her own past. And then there are the men in their lives: Oliver, deeply confused about why his politically correct attitude to women never quite seems to work; Brian, blissfully unaware that he's sailing towards the rocks; and Frank, who's battling his own demons.
'Belly Dancing for Beginners' is a warm-hearted, moving, and often funny story of what can happen when women and men are brave enough to reveal who they really are. I loved this book even though it is about middle aged women "discovering" themselves, much like her other book that I have read, "Gang of Four". She tells a story so well though, and makes it seem so realistic and plausible, that it is a genuinely good read. The twist in the last few pages gives more depth to the story and keeps you thinking.