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After the Fall [Paperback]

Charity Norman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 Jan 2013
A Richard & Judy Book Club pick

In the quiet of a New Zealand winter's night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He's fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse, and his condition is critical. At first, Finn's fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he's prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it happened. And she isn't telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

Tragedy isn't what the McNamara family expected when they moved to New Zealand. For Martha, it was an escape. For her artist husband Kit, it was a dream. For their small twin boys, it was an adventure. For sixteen-year-old Sacha, it was the start of a nightmare.

They end up on the isolated east coast of the North Island, seemingly in the middle of a New Zealand tourism campaign. But their peaceful idyll is soon shattered as the choices Sacha makes lead the family down a path which threatens to destroy them all.

Martha finds herself facing a series of impossible decisions, each with devastating consequences for her family.

Frequently Bought Together

After the Fall + The Son-in-Law + Freeing Grace
Price For All Three: 14.50

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  • The Son-in-Law 4.92
  • Freeing Grace 5.59

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1743314892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1743314890
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charity Norman was born in Uganda, and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years' travel she became a barrister in the North-east of England, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. Her debut novel Freeing Grace was published in 2011. After the Fall (Second Chances in Aus/NZ)followed in 2013 and was selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club. The Son-in-Law was also published in 2013.
Find Charity on Facebook at and on Twitter as @charitynorman1

Product Description


Original, wonderfully written and utterly gripping, this is a corker of a tale. --The Sun

After The Fall is a gripping tale that would appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult and Joanna Trollope... A page turning book to while away a winter's evening. --Red Online

Jodi Picoult had better look over her shoulder - she's got a new contender by the name of Charity Norman. --Sydney Morning Herald

About the Author

Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years' travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law in the northeast of England. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. Her first novel, Freeing Grace, was published in the UK in 2011.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic gripping read xXx 6 Jan 2013
By realovesbooks TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Charity Norman is a new author to me, having heard on a number of occasions that her work is along the lines of Jodi Picoult I was intrigued to see if her writing can live upto such a great writer.

Martha is a heart-warming character. She always wants to try and do what she thinks is best for her family and when she see's that the best thing for her marriage would be to move to New Zealand there is one person who isn't happy with the new plans and that is her daughter Sacha. Sacha is a typical teen and doesn't like the idea of change and it is as though the whole world is going to come crashing down on her because of the move. I can't say I loved her character but I do think she was a fantastic character and she is a crucial part to this book and plays the perfect character.

What won me over with this book is how unpredictable it was. At the beginning when we find out that a little boy has fallen from a balcony something didn't feel right and as we got a few chapters in I had my own little theory as to what really happened but I have to admit I was way off track! There was so many dark twists in this book that I didn't see coming and this held my attention all the way through.

The story follows the lead up to the accident and every so often there is a chapter back in the present day in the hospital with Finn and Martha. This was not a book that you could easily pick up and put down, you needed your full attention and I found it impossible to put down. I was tense when reading this book I was on the edge of my seat it was so detailed that I actually felt as though I was sitting and watching a film!
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good storyline - shame about the writing 11 Feb 2013
By caz06
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on the back of all the reviews on Amazon. The storyline was hard hitting but the language style was that of a flimsy chick lit book. I found the language used quite cloying "ebony hair" "caramel locks" "spread eagled like intergalactic starfish". It seemed like the author had to describe every situation by trying to compare it with another experience that was completely irrelevant and I found it really annoying by the end. I also found the character of Bianka a bit unbelievable. I did persevere with the book as on the whole it was a good story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Five-year-old Finn is taken by rescue helicopter to hospital one night after a fall from the upstairs balcony of his family home deep in rural New Zealand. He has been known to sleepwalk, so the fall was surely just a terrible accident. However, Finn's mum Martha knows more about what happened that night than she is prepared to reveal to those questioning it.

The McNamara family has moved to New Zealand to make a new start. There newfound paradise is idyllic but it won't be without problems or challenges for them all. The move was prompted by a need to escape and try to find a new life for them, especially for Martha and husband Kit, an artist whose business in the UK has failed as so many others have, and whose thoughts were descending into despair at where his life was heading. Martha thinks the move will offer a chance to save him and revitalise his painting with the beautiful landscapes they discover all around them. Martha and Kit's twin sons, Finn and Charlie see it all as an adventure; they'll miss their Grandfather and friends but will soon adapt to the new place and see all the possibilities for play and exploration. Martha's daughter from a previous relationship, Sacha, is sixteen-years-old and for her it is a difficult time to be separated from everything she has even known.

The narrative shifts in time, and the author builds up the background to the move, introducing us to Martha's sister and father, to Sacha's life at school, and to Kit's troubles. We are aware of the history that has prompted the family to move.

This is a lovely novel, so well written, with a central character in Martha that has so much to deal with, and tries to do the best she can for her family. She carries secrets from the past, and she has her love tested to the absolute limits.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By Megan ReadingInTheSunshine TOP 100 REVIEWER
I was very intrigued by this book. The cover appears innocent, with two little boys running along a beach, enjoying the world around them. But the blurb tells a different story altogether, hinting at secrets, drama, accidents and a rocky road for the family involved, and so I was desperate to start reading.

The book opens with an accident: Martha McNamara sees her five-year old son Finn fall from their balcony. He is rushed to the hospital in a critical condition and the whole thing is a blur. No-one seems to know how it happened, apart from Martha, but she isn't telling, not just yet.

Martha then takes the reader back to when the family were in England, thinking about moving to New Zealand. Martha's husband Kit longed to start painting as a career if they emigrated, twins Charlie and Finn wanted an adventure, and sixteen year old Sacha saw it as a nightmare. Through Martha's memories we travel with her as she recounts their time in England, the move to New Zealand and the highs and the lows that they encountered.

I must say I quite enjoyed this book. I absolutely loved the opening chapter! Finn's accident captured my attention immediately, and I was keen to find out more: Was he going to be okay? How did it happen? Dis the other family members know yet? Immediately after we were taken back by Martha to when the family were in England. This did take a chapter or so to become engrossed in as my mind was still back in the present with Finn. However, as the story progressed, I did enjoy reading about the background of Martha's family and the events that ultimately lead up to the present day.

The second half of the book was particularly gripping, as a lot begins to happen and the pace quickens.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic characters.
Although some parts of this story were fairly predictable, the amazing characterisation carried this through. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by lindsey
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very enjoyable unexpected turns
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read especially if you have teenage children.
Published 16 days ago by iona glover
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book.
Published 17 days ago by Lorraine
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and Moving ....
This is a sensitively written tale of a family on the edge. Because of the family dynamics Martha finds herself walking a tightrope of diplomacy. Read more
Published 18 days ago by SunnyB
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it.
Really enjoyed all the descriptions of New Zealand. Couldn't put it down. An emotional read. Highly recommend this book. Plan to read others by this author.
Published 24 days ago by Home Economics Department
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripped from the start
This was a great read with hints at twists and turns making me never sure where it was going. The suspense ha me turning page after page to see what happened next.
Published 25 days ago by TaniaJVaughan
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the
Thoroughly enjoyable story. Enough content to keep the reader interested right through to the end. Loved the book
Published 28 days ago by Rona Burroughs
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It started very well but it did`nt keep my interest so I didn`t finish it
Published 29 days ago by periway
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
Really enjoyed this found it hard to put down, shows family life in all it's complexes. I recommend it highly
Published 1 month ago by Jula B
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