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The View on the Way Down Hardcover – 11 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 1st edition (11 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447224698
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447224693
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.4 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 397,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

The View on the Way Down is a novel that deserves to win awards as well as a huge readership. It’s a wise, honest, wonderful read that marks Rebecca Wait not just as a writer to watch out for, but one to appreciate now.’ Daniel Clay, author of Broken

The View on the Way Down is deeply moving – yet unsentimental – and profound, and has a family secret at the heart of it that will remain with you for a long time after you finish reading. It is a novel that needed to be written and which will touch many people . . . a fine achievement.’ Mark Gartside, author of What Will Survive

'The View on the Way Down is written with great sympathy and an aching tenderness. Rebecca Wait’s evocative storytelling is alive to the tragedies and miracles of everyday life, illuminating the grey area between protecting and deceiving the ones we love.' Laura Harrington, author of Alice Bliss

‘A wonderfully moving portrayal of love and pain with a mystery right at its heart. I defy anybody to read this book and not be touched in some way.’ Sally Brampton, author of Shoot the Damn Dog

‘Understated and compelling. I had tears in my eyes at the end.’ Morgan McCarthy, author of The Other Half of Me

‘Wonderfully written… highly sensitive… thought-provoking… ultimately uplifting.’ Bookseller

‘So compassionate, so heartbreaking. I found myself revisiting moments in this novel long after I’d finished reading it; the story wouldn’t let me go.’ Shelley Harris, author of Jubilee

'The writing is so lucid and poetically simple . . . the backstory is handled masterfully . . . The last few chapters build to a devastating climax, and as a reader you are caught in the undertow. It lingers with you, and for those who have suffered similar things, it echoes truth.' Guardian

From the Back Cover

'Brilliant' Stylist

'Unforgettable' Easy Living

Emma used to have two brothers, but five years ago Kit died and on the day of his funeral Jamie left home and never came back. Their parents never talk about what happened. But now Emma is older she is beginning to ask questions - and she's never given up hope that she will see Jamie again . . .

Told with honesty and warmth, The View on the Way Down is the story of a devastating act of brotherly love that will open your eyes even as it breaks your heart.

'This is a book that leaves you contemplating many things. The complexity of sibling relationships, the hidden contagiousness of mental illness, the long shadows cast by childhood and the pain that is the price of love'

Matt Haig, Guardian

'So compassionate, so heartbreaking . . . the story wouldn't let me go'

Shelley Harris

'A wonderfully moving portrayal of love and pain with a mystery right at its heart. I defy anybody to read this book and not be touched in some way'

Sally Brampton

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Redwood the Younger on 8 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in one sitting, on the beach. I was down there by myself surrounded by people having fun in the sun and playing in the sea with tears streaming down my face, trickling below my sunglasses. It is a novel of a family imploding with grief, it feels like it happens in slow motion and yet it is a page turner as much as any thriller I have read. The subject matter is dark, she deals with depression, suicide, grief, betrayal, rage and misery and yet somehow there is a warm heart in the book and a quiet humour that shines through. I absolutely loved it. It is a stunning debut novel, if she can write like this at 24 I can't wait to see what she does in the next decades.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Prawnik228 on 16 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
I start with three confessions.
1. I do NOT cry at books
2. I do NOT read books all the way through
3. I do NOT read soppy, "tear-jerking" books written for middle-aged women that only come to public attention when they get a five-minute slot on Richard and July or Loose Women

Now then, with that in mind, I read The View on the Way Down, expecting the same clichéd emotions used in countless other books to be trotted out by Miss Wait in a vagu attempt to move a few housewives. And I was stunned. This is not one of those sentimental, girly reads. This is a gripping tale of depression and suicide. The View on the Way Down is unsentimental and unsymapathetic; it's a harsh, stark reality of a family that's been destroyed. First destroyed by death, then by the secrets that surround it. Beautifully written and stunningly crafted, this book is an unbelievable debut. How a new writer can possibly come up with something so perfect- especially considering the whole thing was written in her spare evenings working as a TA -is worthy of a book in itself. The characters, contrary to some other reviews on here, are all instantly likeable despite the necessary darkness and emotion that surrounds them all. Clearly speaking from personal experience at several points Rebecca creates a scarily realistic image of the effects of depression, yet never takes the book to the really dark places she could have. And R.E. the first two confessions I made, I read this whole book in three hours, not even pausing for dinner. And I have no idea what the last page of this book says, my vision was so blurred with tears. I deny anyone to read this book and not be affected by it in some way. This is a book you will finish in a few hours, yet think about for months. Amazing and poignant.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
The View On The Way Down by Rebecca Wait will be published by Picador on 11 April 2013. This is the author's debut novel, she is twenty-four years old and she wrote the novel in the evenings whilst working as a teaching assistant the year after graduating.

I am really struggling to review this novel. I'm not a writer and I am finding it difficult to find the words to express just how much I loved this story.

A little about the story; a family; Mum, Dad and teenage Emma, struggling to deal with their lives after the death of eldest son Kit five years ago. There is one other member of the family; second son Jamie, who is estranged from the rest of them and living in a drab flat in Sheffield. Hundreds of miles away from his family and slowly descending into a world of his own. Young Emma has never really known just what happened on the night that Kit died and finds her comfort in eating and in Jesus until one day the bullying and the unhappiness gets too much and she sets out to find Jamie.

The real beauty and genius of The View On The Way Down is in it's simplicity, the ease of Rebecca Wait's writing captures the reader from page one and doesn't let go. However, don't be fooled by my talk of 'simplicity', this is a deeply moving and powerful story of a family that has been torn apart. Four people who have been changed by the same tragic circumstance, yet are dealing with it in four very separate ways.

Each character is drawn so beautifully, from Kit's darkest depths of depressive illness, to Emma's child-like naivety. The parents - Rose and Joe, so distant from each other, yet unable to let each other go.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anon on 22 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Cliche but I couldn't put it down.. it's been a while since I've managed to finish a whole book in just a few days and I now find myself wishing I'd paced myself! Laughing outloud and bringing readers to tears is a difficult thing to do with a book which makes it all the more impressive that this is her debut novel. Depression is a difficult topic to explain, even if you've had it yourself, but the author communicated it in such an eloquent way. Can't wait for the next one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kat on 28 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across The View on the Way Down quite randomly on my Amazon Recommended page, and the cover was the first thing that caught my eye. Coupled with the slightly sparse synopsis, I was intrigued - and the rest, as they say, is history.

At the beginning of the book, I thought The View On the Way Down would probably be one of those sweet coming-of-age stories - Emma is fourteen years old, her parents are practically divorced but still sleeping in the same bed, and her older brother has disappeared. Emma is lonely, has self-confidence issues and a dedication to God. And that's when I started to feel a little uncomfortable - did I pick up a religious book by mistake? Insert spoiler here because I think it's important for people who don't enjoy religious books - Emma's religion is a plot device only, and gradually plays less and less of a role in her life.

The View on the Way Down is told in multiple POV's and formats, which actually surprised me when it happened - although the synopsis actually suggests otherwise, I went into this book thinking it was told completely from Emma's perspective, but all the family members have their say, and there is also one part told completely in letters which worked extremely well.

The characters are realistic and varied - it was easy to sympathise with Emma, who struggles to make friends and whose family pretty much imploded when she was too young to understand what was happening, and now lives in the fall out without realising why her father isolates himself and her mother throws herself into being the perfect housewife. None of the characters are perfect, and all have dealt with the death of one of the brothers, Kit, in their own very personal way.
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