• Dance, Gladys, Dance

Dance, Gladys, Dance


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978-1-897126-76-9 | 2012 March | 344 Pages

Available as an audiobook on Audible, Hoopla, OverDrive, Audiobooks.com, Scribd, eStories, Downpour, Libro FMKoboGoogle, and Apple.


Twenty-seven-year-old Frieda Zweig is at an impasse. Behind her is a string of failed relationships and half-forgotten ambitions of being a painter; in front of her lies the dreary task of finding a real job and figuring out what “normal” people do with their lives. Then, a classified ad in the local paper introduces Frieda to Gladys, an elderly woman who long ago gave up on her dreams of being a dancer.

The catch? Gladys is a ghost.

In Dance, Gladys, Dance, Cassie Stocks tells the uplifting story of a woman whose uncanny connection with a kindred spirit causes her to see her life in a new way—as anything but ordinary.

Dance, Gladys, Dance is a winner. You don't want to stop reading.”
~ Sharon Butala

"Provocative, compelling, and filled with unexpected humour, Dance, Gladys, Dance is a delightful read.”
~ Donna Milner

Dance, Gladys, Dance is a lovely demonstration of the importance of creating, whether it’s art, friends or food. Connection—reaching out to others—is the ultimate value of this charming and thoughtful novel.”
~ The Globe and Mail

“What a wonderful gem of a novel! Dance, Gladys, Dance is a fun novel with a serious side too and from the first page I was hooked and couldn’t put it down.”
~ Peeking Between the Pages

“Fun from page one to the end!”
~ Catholic Canada

"I can’t think of the last time a book made me laugh (many times!) and cry (again, many times!)."
~ Book Drunkard

“At its heart this story is about creating a life: whether that's through art, craft, business or relationships. I loved how Stocks takes fine art, domestic craft and feminism and stirs them all into a story that, despite its darker moments, sadnesses and soul-searching, ends up being uplifting and life-affirming. This book satisfies, and entertains, and provokes thought. A perfect book to sit down and discuss with other readers, with all its twists and turns and Ideas. A fabulous debut!”
~ The Indextrious Reader

”[a]n entertaining blend of humour and pathos, friends and families, the living and the dead.”
~ Anjana Balakrishnan, Herizons Magazine

Dance, Gladys, Dance makes some pointed feminist and social commentary amid the sarcasm and depravity.”
~ Devin Pacholik, Pages and Patches

“[t]he characters are zany and interesting, and, while Stocks has a witty tone, she deals with very serious, sometimes downright devastating, themes.”
~ Caroline Barlott, Avenue Edmonton

“I loved hanging out with the characters in this book.”
~ Joy Fisher, The Coastal Spectator

Chapter One

She Needs The Room To Bake

I had no point of navigation but I was hell-bent on finding my way to Ordinary. I didn’t know what I hoped to find on that voyage or, God forbid, at the end of it, but I knew there was nothing but bilge rats and bullshit on the course I’d been following.

I still awoke at night as if in midthought. That copy of Emerson’s Essays … did Norman keep it? I’d be compelled to run downstairs to the storage room and root through the boxes I brought back from Kentucky with me. First, though, I had to rouse Ginny to find the key. Ginny tolerated these wakings only twice, and then, griping about delusional roommates, she had a copy of the key made and hung it by the condo’s front door.

It’s a physical deficiency you feel in the middle of the night after a breakup. Oh shit, you lie there thinking. It’s not the books or the brassieres—I’ve left my thighs in his spare closet.

Along with my ex, Norman, and possibly some missing-inaction body parts, I’d abandoned my creative spirit in Kentucky too, left it disintegrating underneath a tree beside the Barren River (symbolically enough), buried alongside the last paintings I swore I would ever do.

Ginny had left the newspaper on the kitchen table folded open to the employment section, alongside a conspicuously placed red pen. I sat down at the table and wriggled in the chair. Ginny’s condo is the Shrine to Design: titanium white walls, ebony floors, leather furniture, and none of the clocks had numbers. I could never tell what time it was, not that I had anything to be late for. The two kitchen chairs were Bertoia Wire Chairs, sans cushions. The wire frame was incredibly uncomfortable and my butt would be dented like a reverse waffle when I stood up. If the other items in the room and I were featured in a certain Sesame Street game, I’d be one of the things that’s not like the others.

I unfolded the paper and turned past the help-wanted ads to the furniture-for-sale column. I’d be getting my own place again, someday. It didn’t cost anything to look and I wanted to feast my eyes on the cost of a nice flat-bottomed kitchen chair.

Underneath the amazing queen mattress & box, cost over $1100, sell $495, there it was:

B E A U T I F U L old phonograph for sale. 78 record player.
Excellent condition. Gladys doesn’t dance anymore.
She needs the room to bake. Bring offer. Ph. 254-9885.