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.
And then there are the men in their lives: Oliver, confused over why his feminist upbringing hasn’t led him to success with women; Brian, sailing blindly towards the rocks, and Frank, battling his own demons.
Belly Dancing for Beginners is a warm-hearted, moving and often outright funny story of what can happen when women, and the men in their lives, are brave enough to reveal who they really are.
“No, this isn’t a guide on how to shake your belly, it’s fascinating fiction by West Australian author and journalist Liz Byrski. A funny, warm-hearted novel.”
“A road story with a twist, full of spangles charm and drama about three women who go on a belly dancing tour and shake up everything in their lives. Byrski’s forte is getting inside women’s heads and hearts.”
Carol George – Australian Women’s Weekly
“Liz Byrski is an older woman’s friend. Belly Dancing for Beginners is a very funny book yet one with a serious point – women in their 50s and beyond can still have challenging, rewarding and hugely enjoyable lives.”
Christopher Bantick – Sunday Tasmanian
“Warm-hearted and moving, Belly Dancing for Beginners is a delightful celebration of being middle-aged and loving it.”
Notebook Magazine. 2006
“Byrski patently enjoys the process of characterisation. Her 50-somethings are about as far away from the dried-up old maiden aunt as you could get. … The women have something of the wisdom of age but still battle with the complexities of relationships with husbands, children, parents and friends. They are also still intrigued by romantic possibilities and the search for love. (Belly Dancing for Beginners) … is easy to read and sometimes very moving. The plot is interesting – with a tricky little sting in the tale to to keep you thinking. And the theme of older women embracing their coming of age is uplifting.”
The West Australian 2006
Australian Women’s Weekly published a review of Belly Dancing for Beginners [pdf 280k].