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After the Fall Paperback – 3 Jan 2013
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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.
Reading group notes are available here: http://atlantic-books.co.uk/content/reading-group-notes-charity-normans-after-fall
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Consequently, they take an angry and resentful teenager to the other side of the world, away from her friends and extended family, with whom she has had a very close relationship. The result is, as the rest of the family flourishes in their new home, Sacha - with whom they had already had some behavioural issues - steps out on the road to self destruction. Caught up with establishing themselves in their new home, neither parent registers that there is a major problem, until something potentially catastrophic happens bringing their world crashing down around them.
A switched on Grandfather and newly made friends, help to put things back together and eventually Martha has to accept that for all her family to survive, they cannot all be in the same place.
Well written, with believable characters, this was an excellent read - highly recommended.
Some books grip you from the very first sentence, After The Fall by Charity Norman is one of those books. The newspaper article describing the incident raises many more questions than it answers. How and why did Finn fall? Did he survive? If so, how serious are his injuries? As we read the first chapter another question arises; what does his mother Martha know that she does not want to admit to?
Told from Martha’s point of view we are taken back to over a year before when she and her husband Kit decide to emigrate to New Zealand. It is a decision that shocks everyone but it is one that Martha and Kit feel is best for their family. Her sister Lou is devastated, her father tell her to do what she thinks is best, her daughter Sacha thinks that her mum is ruining her life. Somehow they push through all of this and make the move. On arriving in New Zealand they fall in love with a picturesque house in the middle of nowhere and begin to rebuild their lives with school, work, neighbours and a new community.
As the story progresses through the year between the move and Finn’s fall we are given glimpses of the aftermath, but still no hints as to what really happened. Throughout this I found myself wondering how and where did it all go so wrong? Both Martha and Kit’s careers are picking up, the twins are loving their new home and Sacha has made new friends and is doing well at school.
The characters, including the more minor characters, all feel so real and the beautiful town the McNamara’s live in really comes alive so before you know it you are at the last quarter of the book. The first three quarters had me hooked, but I read the last quarter almost compulsively as we finally learn the truth about the events that led to Finn’s fall.
I would say more but trust me, this is not a book you want spoiled for you, it hit me right in the heart and I am still reeling from it.
The author painted a vivid picture of their new home and its surroundings and as they began to settle in and make friends, it seemed like the move was the best decision they could have ever made. The twins were adorable and I recognised snapshots of my own children in their mannerisms and antics.
Then evil struck! I was completely gripped, feeling Martha's anguish, and when all was revealed I was totally shocked..
Filled with drama, this book will blow you away. Amazing!
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