We All Fall Down by Cynthia Clark
Head of Zeus/Aria; 12/4/18
eBook review copy; 288 pages
We All Fall Down by Cynthia Clark is a recommended drama that
focuses on the individuals involved in an incident and the aftermath of
In 1989 five children are living in a foster home with Miriam, their abusive care giver.
Bea, her brother Sebastian, Helen,
Sandra and John have all experienced pain, bruises, and abuse at the
hands of Miriam so they decide on a course of action together and set
out to execute it. Their plan was supposed to slow Miriam down and
protect them a bit, while keeping the children together. Then a terrible
accident happens that resulted in the children being separated from
each other. Ronnie Moss was blamed for the accident and he ran as far
away from Great Britain as he could to escape any recrimination.
It is now 2017 and some business men on vacation recognize Ronnie and
he is arrested and now awaiting extradition. The children, now adults,
are informed of the arrest and the police want their statements about
what they remember from 1989 and the accident. This request brings them
back together, but also causes them a great deal of anxiety and worry
about how much information will be revealed or uncovered.
The story begins with ten-year-old Bea being abused at the hands of
Miriam. The ongoing physical and verbal abuse the children have all
experienced is revealed, as well as how close the children feel to each
other. Their plan is revealed and the reasons for it. Then the accident
happens, resulting in a different kind of pain for Bea, and the children
are all separated. The background information and the actions from
1989 is clearly presented and then where the characters of Ronnie, Bea,
and Helen are looked at in the present day. This is not a mystery or a
thriller. We know what happened. Rather, it is an exploration of the
characters and their motives and thoughts.
We All Fall Down is a slow-moving novel that builds up and
reveals the whole story slowly. I have to admit that the dilemma the
surviving adults are concerned about due to their circumstances from
1989 is really a non-issue. I'm surprised that they didn't just come up
with their final decision right away. I'm surprised they didn't say
something about Miriam in 1989. Sure they wanted to stay together, but
they could have said that while telling someone about the abuse. When
they turn back as adults to the logic they used as children, it's
unfathomable. Either speak up or don't. This is an airplane book. It's
interesting, moderately well-written, and will help you pass the time,
but you won't be too worried if you lose or misplace the book.
My review copy was courtesy of the Head of Zeus/Aria.