The Rabid Readers Review – Maljie, Teaching a Cat to Dance by Jim Webster

This is the sort of book that wraps you in a warm hug and tickles your ribs until you scream with laughter.

Maljie is the kind of a woman you don’t know if you’d be frightened spitless of or want to go for a beer with. Whatever, she is a creation of true comic genius.

The circumnavigation of ‘authority’ is written in such a way as to pull you into the conspiracy – always on the side of Maljie and her band of colourful underdogs.

I can’t recommend Jim Webster’s Port Nain books highly enough.

Five resounding stars. But. Don’t read the book with a drink in hand…

Jane Jago

Cheering Reading

I’m not sure what it is, but there is something irresistibly uplifting about the Maljie stories – well, to be honest about all but the very darkest tales by Jim Webster about Tallis Steelyard and his strange friends and acquaintances of Port Naain.

Maljie has to be the uncrowned queen of Port Naain, although I would not be surprised if one day we find she became queen too, it would be a completely Maljie thing to do, but she is a woman who needs no other authority than her own intense personality.

This is a book to cheer and warm, but it is packed with social commentry as well and no small amount of wisdom too:

“The law is like a monster which will gobble up everything in its path. But because it’s an elderly monster, lame and blind in one eye, it depends on people to help it. If the people are grown-up then sometimes you get justice and sometimes you get mercy, and sometimes you might get both.”

So with wisdom, with cleverness, with cunning, with a smile on her face and always with enough – usually very subtle but sometimes laugh out loud – humour to make you chuckle, Maljie dances her way through the pages of this third selection of her memoirs.

E.M. Swift-Hook

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