Are you sick of seeing older women represented in fiction as just crocheting grandmas or lonely baffled biddies? I know I am. I’m loving seeing more stories about older women with rich, complex, and meaningful lives beyond their kids and the cliches of twilight years. The most recent to fall into my hands is The Tap Cats Of The Sunshine Coast by Christine Sykes – the wonderful folks at Ventura Press and DMCPR Media were kind enough to send it to me for review.
The Tap Cats Of The Sunshine Coast is like The Unusual Abduction Of Avery Conifer meets Strictly Ballroom. Three women – lifelong friends, reunited after many years of life pulling them in different directions – are dancing their way into the Senior Superstar Competition on the Sunshine Coast. Sykes was actually inspired by her aunt’s experience taking up tap dancing later in life, and it’s clear to see her passion for the form and the fun it brings dancers of all ages.
The story is framed as being told by the women – Sofia, Carol, and Bonnie – to one of their granddaughters during the first COVID-19 lockdown. I thought, at first, that it might go in a Daisy Jones direction, but instead it ended up reading as a kind of semi-omniscient first-person tale. That made the perspective a little confusing at times, as to who was speaking and what they knew (or should know) about what went down in the lead up to the final round of the competition.
The dialogue and prose was a bit clunky, too, heavy on the exposition. Nonetheless, The Tap Cats Of The Sunshine Coast is a fun story about friendship, truth, and (most important of all) tap-dancing.