Between 'The Clairvoyant Countess' & 'Kaleidoscope' is 'The Tightrope Walker'. Another tale told in a gentle manner, ripe with characters being Characters, not caricatures. Another favorite where choices are made & a life is actively led.
Quote 1: ' Sometimes I think we're all tightrope walkers suspended on 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.' (page 9-10, paragraph 1)
Neatly explaining the title & the main characters' motivation.
Quote 2: ' "It gave me a certain feeling," I said, choosing words cautiously, "and out of this feeling came the idea that maybe life isn't meant to be easy, that it's a kind of pilgrimage or testing ground, and we have to fight like warriors to live. I mean to live well.:" ' (page 95, paragraph 4)
Amelia speaks of *her* favorite book, & how it impacted her life.
1 Visual: 'I pushed the buzzer and the woman who opened the door at number 305 looked as if she'd never experienced an inadequate moment in er life. She was easily six feet tall, an Amazon of a woman with a face like a Barbie doll. She wore jodhpurs and a white shirt open almost to her navel, and her curves were breakneck; I must have said 'wow' without realizing it, or perhaps my eyes did, because she grinned.' (page 37, paragraph 3)