Monday, 30 June 2014
When her fortune changes, and money is no issue for a change,Nell's husband is keen to move away from their hectic lifestyle in London and put down roots in a country village. Nell isn't really keen but is railroaded into the decision. Nell feels like she didn't really have a choice to move away from all that is familiar to her. Apart from the change of scenery there appears to be a change in Nell's husband too. He soon becomes a different person, and not the person Nell married. Nell becomes lonely and isolated but makes new friends who seem to revel in stories of their open marriages and are the most materialistic people Nell has come across. Nell's life is soon complicated further when an encounter with a young man at a nightclub and a friendship struck up with a local builder soon have Nell questioning everything in her life.
Fly or Fall is one of those books that draws you in right from the start. Immediately I felt sympathy for Nell and how everyone else seems so in charge of her life and she is merely a bystander. She initially is a woman who feels uncertain about her place in the world and is so desperate to blend into the background that she becomes invisible to the very people who should care about her. Nell's life and marriage are typical of many. She married young with very little choice in the matter and simply accepted her fate. She is constantly taken for granted by her children and manipulating husband Trevor. Kept in blissful ignorance about all aspects of her marriage and accepting of the loveless sex life, Nell simply just gets on with things and accepts her lot in life.
Initially, Nell appears to be an older woman and I found it shocking that as I read on I realised that she was in fact a much younger woman with all the regrets of someone who has lived a life full of regret and broken promises. Her outlook on life was jaded and her self esteem was in her boots. There are many underlying stories throughout the course of the book and Nell becomes embroiled in each of them. She struggles to understand the strange feelings that Patrick the builder evokes in her and David, the man she encounters at a nightclub.
Fly or Fall is a book about love, life and a desire to change, despite the fear of failure. In this story we see Nell change into someone that even she struggles to recognise. It is a story of regret too. Regret for those things not done, those adventures never embarked on and those feelings never given in to. However, soon Nell begins to wake up from the life she has sleepwalked through and a change is awakened in her. However, not everyone in her life is happy about it and Nell herself struggles with the range of emotions she feels and the desire to be a different person that suddenly appears from nowhere! Coupled with an attraction to two new men in her life, Nell struggles as her moral compass is unsure which direction it should be pointing.
Fly or Fall is a grown up book. It is a book about having the courage to fly when you are so afraid of falling. Highly recommended.