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Tightrope Walker (Mass Market Paperbound)

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Staff Reviews

“Maybe everyone lives with terror every
minute of every day and buries it, never stopping long enough to look.
Or maybe it’s just me. I’m speaking here of your ordinary basic terrors,
like the meaning of life or what if there’s no meaning at all, or what
if somebody pushes the red-alert button, or the economy collapses and we
turn into ravaging beasts fighting over food, not to mention the noises
in an old house when boards creak and things go bump in the night.
Sometimes I think we’re all tightrope walkers suspended n a wire two
thousand feet in the air, and so long as we never look down we’re okay,
but some of us lose momentum and look down for a second and are never
quite the same again: we know.

“That’s why, when I found the note hidden in
the old hurdy-gurdy, I didn’t take it as a joke. I could smell the
terror in the words even before I’d finished reading the first sentence:
They’re going to kill me soon – in a few hours, I think – and somehow
they’ll arrange it so no one will ever guess I was murdered.’”

That’s the beginning of Dorothy Gilman’s The
Tightrope Walker. Amelia Jones is a quietly polite, well mannered and
somewhat terrified young lady who owns the Ebbtide Shop, Treasures and
Junk, in Trafton, PA. When she finds the note in her hurdy-gurdy, Amelia
discovers a strange need to know what happened to the writer of the
note. She knows that whatever was going to happen has happened, she
can’t change that. But still, she needs to know.

Most people are familiar with Dorothy
Gilman’s “Mrs. Pollifax” series, and I do quite like it, but The
Tightrope Walker is one of my absolute favorites and from time to time, I
have to reread it. Amelia’s need to find out about Hannah, the author
of the note, and the journey she takes, both physically and internally,
have always left me feeling hopeful. It’s one of my go-to books when I’m
feeling a bit overwhelmed by life, and it never disppoints.

— Fran


"A superb book."
When quiet, shy Amelia Jones reads a desperate message that has fallen out of a barrel organ in the antique shop she just bought, she can't forget the words, "They're going to kill me soon..." Armed only with the woman's first name and the note written years before, Amelia begins a journey into the past, a search that takes her from the protective cocoon she's wrapped herself in to a precarious world where nothing is the way it seems, where fear is second nature, and dark secrets just might uncover murder--her own....

About the Author

Dorothy Gilman (1923-2012) was the author of 14 Mrs. Pollifax novels, including The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, the series debut; Mrs. Pollifax Pursued; Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer; Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist; and Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled. She was also the author of many other novels, among them Thale's Folly.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780449211779
ISBN-10: 0449211770
Publisher: Fawcett Books
Publication Date: October 12th, 1986
Pages: 224
Language: English