Wednesday, December 5, 2018

We All Fall Down

We All Fall Down by Cynthia Clark
Head of Zeus/Aria; 12/4/18
eBook review copy; 288 pages
ISBN-13: 9781786699664

We All Fall Down by Cynthia Clark is a recommended drama that focuses on the individuals involved in an incident and the aftermath of their actions.

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.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the Head of Zeus/Aria.

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