23 May 2013
The Shock of the Fall
"I'm going to tell you why we came back from the caravan holiday without Simon and how I spent the next ten years living with him"
Perceptively written from the outset, The Shock of the Fall reveals a challenging journey through the minefield of mental illness, and encapsulates a story which begins with overwhelming tragedy. The heartbreak of the story is revealed slowly, and written in Matthew’s own indomitable style, we learn about his life, the burden of guilt and grief which he carries like a yoke, and the way in which both he and his parents tried to rationalise the responsibility of survival. The unpredictability of the narrative is endearing and the use of font changes and illustrations reveal how the thought processes evolve from those of a confused child, to those of a troubled, and sometimes irascible young man.
There is no doubt that this is a skilful debut novel. Nathan Filer has used his own experiences as a mental health professional to write a tragic, tender and beautifully depicted story, which illuminates love, loss and overwhelming grief in a powerful, yet poignant way.
My thanks to Anne at Random Things Online Book Group - part of readinggroups.org
and Harper Collins for my review copy