Coming of age tale of three very different Students.,
This review is from: The Fall (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)This is the story of three students all coming to terms with themselves and their futures whilst at University in Florence, Pennsylvania.
There is Haile who has left New York and more importantly her controlling mother in order to find herself as a musician and not a prodigy violin player as was her mother's intention. She has been living for so long under the matriarchal thrall that now she is at a loss as to where to begin, but art history class seems like as good a place as any, and with an enigmatic celebrity for a Professor she feels she has made the right choice,. Then in walks blue eyed Ian.
Ian is struggling with a controlling patriarch who is a leading football coach and has taken it as a slap in the face that Ian not only has dropped football, and moved away but has also taken up tennis! What he does not know is that Ian is gay and has moved away from his parents to a seeming backwater University to discover how to be himself. He is going to room with life long friend and football jock Casey.
Casey meanwhile is the golden kid, captain of the football team with the perfect WAG girlfriend and studying medicine as a back up plan. He is slowly coming to the realisation that his air head girlfriend is with him for what he represents as a trophy boy friend rather than who he is. The constant struggling to live up to the impossibly macho stereo type is driving him nuts. He also realises that despite the hype that all too often surrounds sporty types, he is never going to hit the big time.
We also have the back story of a homophobic crime that resulted in the suicide of a previous student and what drove him to take his own life, all three students and the dead boy's stories will become inter mingled and in many ways help define who they are to become.
This is a debut for Ryan Quinn and some have criticised this for being posited as a gay coming out tale, when it is actually advertised as a `coming of age tale', so it was not an issue for me. It is a well written and in many aspects compelling read and I did get engaged with all of the characters. The one I felt could have been given more fleshing out was Jamie from the coffee shop, but that is hardly a deal breaker. Generally speaking you can tell care and effort has gone into relaying the very different personalities of each of the participants and as such this is an exceedingly good first novel. I would be more than happy to read his next one which I hope is not too far away.