“In the early hours of this morning, the Lowe Corporation rescue helicopter was scrambled to airlift a five-year old boy from a coastal address north of Napier”
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.