"The Leap" is a short autobiographical story by Louise Erdrich about Anna Avalon, a famous acrobat. The mood is sentimental, nostalgic and melancholy, without being overly sad or depressing. Anna Avalon's daughter narrates the story and explains three important events in Anna's life. These events are especially important to the narrator because they led to the narrator's existence and ultimate survival. The mood is serious but warm as the narrator expresses gratitude and admiration toward her mother.
Sentimental and Enlightening
Erdrich writes with a casual, conversational tone that supports the somber, tender mood. The short story reads like personal memoirs or a journal. The narrator recalls her mother's heroic survival after lightning damaged her trapeze wires, leading to her husband's and unborn baby's death. The narrator talks about how her mother fell in love with a visitor, the narrator's father, as he looked after her mother following the accident. The narrator also remembers when her mother saved her from a house fire using her trapeze skills. The mood of "The Leap" is heartfelt, loving and sincere.