The novel begins with Joe – a young man with potential who is hiding in various cafe and bar jobs. He hasn’t actively returned to the world since the death of his high school girlfriend. The only has two things that seem redemptive in his life – his relationship with a young teenage boy who reminds him of himself, and his interest in parkour – a fitness craze that has him running up walls and leaping from rooftop to rooftop.
When a mysterious nurse rents the spare room in Joe’s share house, a journey begins. Will Joe be able to move on and take responsibility for his life?
Then we have Elise – a woman who is also in grief over a lost child. Elise is estranged from her husband and spends her spare time gazing at the tiger cage at the zoo and researching suicide by tiger.
Time has a way of healing, and both characters are transformed to a degree throughout the narrative.
Set in Melbourne, there is something distinctly local about many aspects of the novel. Jones has created engaging and intriguing characters that are emotionally real. It took me a little while to get into the book and get used to her writing style (she often uses sentence fragments), but overall I found I really enjoyed Leap.