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, 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. Not yet. Maybe not ever. Tragedy isn't what the McNamara family expected when they moved to New Zealand. For Martha, it was an escape. For her artist husband Kit, it was a dream. For their small twin boys, it was an adventure. For sixteen-year-old Sacha, it was the start of a nightmare. They end up on the isolated east coast of the North Island, seemingly in the middle of a New Zealand tourism campaign. But their peaceful idyll is soon shattered as the choices Sacha makes lead the family down a path which threatens to destroy them all. Martha finds herself facing a series of impossible decisions, each with devastating consequences for her family.
Richard and Judy's Reviews
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.
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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- ID: 9781743314890
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