Summary

Selected for Richard & Judy’s Spring Reads 2013
What do you do when your family's dream becomes a nightmare?
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. At first, Finn's fall looks like a horrible accident; but his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it really happened. And she isn't telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
©2012 Charity Norman (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
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Critic reviews

"Skilfully written" (Richard's review, Richard and Judy's Spring Reads 2013)
"Original, wonderfully written and utterly gripping." ( The Sun)
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Regular price: £12.19

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs on 06-05-13

A compelling read

The story begins with five year old Finn's fall from a balcony at his home. There are hints from the beginning that this is not a simple accident but as we come to know more about each of the characters it is hard to believe that any of them would be responsible for Finn's injuries. The story is told from the viewpoint of Finn's mother, Martha, who reveals how she came to be at the hospital at this point in time, interspersed with chapters detailing her time in hospital - visits from police and social workers and Martha's anxiety on not being able to contact her husband. I found this occassionally irritating as I was so involved with the her telling of her family's history that I did not want to be brought back to the hospital scenes. I loved the New Zealand setting as the wild landscapes, beautiful beaches and local characters were vividly brought to life. The interweaving of the local legends with the modern story was especially skillful. The story was beautifully read and I found it hard to stop listening, especially in the second half of the book when the pace picked up. I found I was thinking about the story long after I had finished it. Charity Norman has been compared to Jodi Picoult and this is a fair comparison. An excellent drama which kept me guessing until the end.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kirstine on 27-06-13

Wonderful: moving and funny

From the beginning there is an inkling that there's much more to the story that the aftermath of an accident. Gradually the listener get to know and care about the main players and travels with them back as forth through time so that their back-story enriches our knowledge of their characters and motivations. I was drawn into the life and travails of the McNamara family as they make a new start in New Zealand. Tension mounts and the story becomes even more gripping. Although there are heart-rending scenes they are leavened by enchanting and funny insights into the minds and exploits of the 5 year old twins who are central to the story.

The narrator is superb. She is able to give different voices the characters such that I felt they were real people.

It's a marvelous, well-written book that I was sorry to finish.

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23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Daryl on 30-06-13

After the fall

Would you consider the audio edition of After the Fall to be better than the print version?

Yes. Nicolette McKenzie did a wonderful job narrating this book. With the exceptions of her accents, which were passable (not great), her tone was pitch-perfect and emotion handled like a paint brush. Her ability to immitate children's voices was well-done without being really annoying, a feat indeed!

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this book and was hooked from the very beginning. One thing I couldn't understand, and probably may not, is Martha's ability to keep secrets to the detriment of her family. Perhaps I will reread this book to get an understanding of the complex loyalties that are beneath the surface, but at a first read I just couldn't get it (the only reason I gave this book 4 stars).

I will read more by both this author and narrator - assuming that whoever published Freeing Grace will allow it to be available in my country (which, as of this review, has not happened).

Great work by a talented author and narrator.

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5 out of 5 stars
By NatesNana on 18-03-13

Fascinating insight into complex family issues

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Issues around redundancy, blended family, immigration and addiction are all covered with sensitivity and depth of insight. Characters are well developed and believable.I will be looking for more from this author.

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