"A shrieking of wind, screeching of metal as the plane ripped apart, the wicked cold tearing at her throat. Cecelia Williams gripped the seat, fingers burning with pain. She tried to close her mouth, but the sound pried it open, stealing her breath. A giant's hand pinned her to the bulkhead. Tumbling, tumbling...she couldn't determine the floor from the ceiling." This is the first paragraph in the first chapter of After We Fall. The title refers to a plane crash and it's aftermath for all the characters involved in the crash or those affected by the crash.
Cecillia.. one of the main characters, a stewardess and survivor on the plane crash, is struggling in her marriage, her role as a mother and her past. She tends to shut down and has not come to terms with an event that happened to her while in college.
Tom .. Tom, Cecillia's husband, is a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detective of 15 years. Adores his young son and is the primary caregiver to him. He is not sure why his wife has left him and their son, so he struggles with this. He becomes involved in the murder of a young woman which changes all he knows in his life.
Jim.. Along with his wife Esther and their son Ethan, they wait for news about Libby. Who killed her and why?
Freya.. is the daughter of the pilot, Oliver who has died in the plane crash. Questions arise over whether or not he caused the crash in some way.
These four people are inextricably involved in each other's lives as a result of the plane crash and each struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of the crash, Each chapter is told in the point of view of each of the four people. Through them we learn a bit more about the other people in their lives also, Oliver, the pilot of the plane and Richard his son for instance. As the novel goes on, the author weaves the stories of each of the four people and other people in their lives and the reader is swept along in the anger and loss that this terrible event has caused, leaving their lives in shambles.
We eventually find out how and why all the events occurred and the aftermath. Can these people overcome the events that have changed their lives forever? Maybe, maybe not, I don't want to give away the conclusion but I found this novel to be sad, very sad..a terrible event like a plane crash and the murder of a young woman is not a happy occasion and this book is not a happy book. No happy ever afters, just a feeling that all concerned will be allright.
This book moved along at a steady pace, with great character development, and real feelings and emotions. I did enjoy the book, even if it was a sad one, not all events that happen to people are happy events and as the title implies, after we fall, can we put our lives back together and move on? A book that you will enjoy and contemplate long after you have finished the last page. Emma Kavanagh is also the author of Hidden, another psychological thriller.