Sunday, 3 November 2013

After the Fall by Charity Norman

        The opening lines are of Finn falling from the balcony, his little body disappearing into the dark and then the thud as he hit the ground. Beautifully described giving the reader the full impact of the fall; quite startling.

 The McNamara family consists of Martha and her husband Kit, Martha's daughter Sacha and the twins Finn and Charlie. From the outside they look like the perfect family; Sacha is a talented musician, clever and popular at school. The twins are cute bundles of energy and life. Martha, an occupational therapist is close to her family and in love with the handsome and charming Kit. But scratch the surface and the picture isn't quite so sunny; Kit has recently lost his well paid job and the family is under pressure as he tries to face his demons. As crisis hits, the family seek a new beginning in New Zealand but although their new life might seem like paradise, the tensions soon begin to grow again.

Martha wanted the best for her family hence the move from England to New Zealand. But not it seems for Sacha her 16 year old daughter who dislikes the move, where they live and her school, a typical difficult teenager. Kit is an artist and the move is to help his career.

We don’t know how and why Finn fell and Martha’s explanation that he sleep walks doesn’t ring true and nor does it to the Drs in the hospital. The story has many twists and turns. The rail on the balcony was too high for Finn to just fall. The true story doesn’t come out till right at the end. 

This book raises the question of how far would a mother go to protect her family. This book had so many facets and would be a good read for reading groups, as there is so much to discuss ranging through topics of substance abuse and dependency, emigration and its impacts, parenting choices and the pursuit of a dream lifestyle.  
I would certainly recommend this..  I couldn’t out it down and sat up into the early hours reading. 
It was the second book I have read by Charity Norman and she is now on my list of favourite authors. I loved it so much that I left  a message on the FB page and she answered! Wa-hooo!!

Other books read by Charity Norman:- Freeing Grace; The Son in Law.

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