After the Fall
Charity NormanIn 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, and his condition is critical. At first, Finn's fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he's prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it happened. And she isn't telling...
WHSmith Edition now contains Exclusive Bonus material including...
Reading group questions
Richard and Judy ask Charity Norman
About Charity Norman
About pure methamphetamine
Exclusive extract from Charity's debut novel, Freeing Grace
After the Fall is a book about a family in crisis. If you enjoy reading family sagas involving current, edgy dilemmas (such as the novels of Jodi Picoult) I really recommend it.
Martha McNamara’s family life in London is in ruins. Thanks to the recession her husband Kit has lost his job. The advertising agency he’s been doing so well in has crashed, and all Kit’s attempts to find another job have failed. Blaming himself, Kit starts drinking heavily.
Desperate for a second chance, Martha and Kit decide to emigrate to N ew Zealand. Kit is a talented artist, and he dreams of fulfilling his potential out there. Working so hard in London to provide for his family, he’s had no time to paint and longs for a fresh start.
Martha and her two small twin sons, Finn and Charlie, are thrilled with their new home in Hawk’s Bay – a small town on the isolated east coast of New Zealand’s North Island (where the author herself lives).
Kit stops drinking, and happily begins to paint again.
Only Martha’s sixteen-year-old daughter Sacha has trouble settling in. In fact, for her, emigrating is the start of a nightmare.
Desperate to believe that she’s made the right decision for her family, Martha tries to ignore her increasing worries about her daughter, until one night, the family is engulfed by tragedy. Their beautiful idle, their much longed for new life in paradise, disintegrates into horror.
In After the Fall, Martha is the narrator, and the book alternates between past and present. As events unfold, we discover what has lead to the disastrous night when a five-year-old boy falls from the upstairs verandah of an isolated farmhouse. He suffers severe internal injuries, and a rescue helicopter is dispatched to airlift him to intensive care at Hawk’s Bay hospital.
The boy’s injuries are life-threatening and he is immediately operated on.
At first, everyone assumes his fall was an accident, but the hospital refuses to confirm this. However, the spokesman tells the local newspaper that police and protection agencies have been alerted and ‘comprehensive enquiries’ have begun.
The little boy is Finn, one of Martha’s twin sons. He’s prone to sleepwalking, so at first it’s easy to suppose his fall is a tragic accident.
But it wasn’t. Only Finn’s mother, Martha, knows exactly what happened.
That’s how After the Fall begins. The rest of this compelling novel charts the complex family dynamics that led up to Finn’s fall. It becomes clear that Martha has a secretive past, and one that’s about to destroy her family.
Skilfully written, the story will appeal to parents of young adults - as well as anyone who is curious about how a family deals with a shattering event.
Reviews & CommentsJoin the discussion on the home of the Book Club
Richard and Judy's posts
07.06.2011 - Tide Clocks and New Reads
Richard gives us a blog on his Have I Got News For You apperance and the joy of tide clocks! Read more
01.04.2011 - Eloise
For those of you wondering just what Judy has been up to the past few months, all can be revealed! Read more
22.03.2011 - New books to come and Dancing on Ice...
Richard's latest on the upcoming list of books being selected for the Summer season and Chloe's final skate on Sunday Read more
... Richard blogs on another busy week. Read more
31.01.2011 - Finally Home...
Filming has wrapped on Who Do You Think You Are? but Chloe continues to Dance on Ice. Read Richard's latest blog here. Read more