Published: April 2nd, 2020
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Domestic Fiction
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour. Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part and to HarperCollins UK for the gifted copy of the book.
At the school gates, there’s no such thing as yesterday’s news . . .
When Liza’s little boy has an accident at the local health club, it’s all anyone can talk about.
Was nobody watching him?
Where was his mother?
Who’s to blame?
The rumours, the finger-pointing, the whispers – they’re everywhere. And Liza’s best friend, Sarah, desperately needs it to stop.
Because Sarah was there when it happened. It was all her fault. And if she’s caught out on the lie, everything will fall apart.
“Tell the truth, lose a friend. Lie, and keep her close.”
An ordinary day becomes the stuff of parents’ nightmares after five-year-old Jack falls from a post at the local health centre. His mother, Liza had asked her friend, Sarah, to check on him only minutes before and was reassured he was fine. But Sarah wasn’t being completely honest when she told her that and is now racked with guilt and facing a dilemma – should she tell the truth and lose her friend or stick to the lie and be there at the worst time in her life?
There are secrets, lies and rumours abound in this emotionally charged novel. There’s an air of mystery and tragedy from the start and we learn that Sarah isn’t the only one hiding a shameful secret and Liza has one of her own. But we don’t know what it is, only that it gives her husband a hold over her and she will do anything to stop even her best friend from finding out. These secrets have a ripple effect, influencing everything else in their lives and threatening to tear their worlds apart.
At the heart of this novel is a story about female friendship. The author has created an authentic portrayal of its dynamics, complexities and competitiveness. The WhatsApp messages are a particularly good example of how women can talk to and about each other and the judgements that can come from other women. I’m sure that the women in this book will feel familiar to us all. I know it made me thankful that the days of playground politics and cliques are behind me.
“Look at everyone here, playing grown-ups, but knowing what the hell they’re doing most of the time.”
I always find it fascinating when we see two very different perspectives on the same events, and enjoyed the dual narration in this book. Sarah and Liza might be best friends, but they are very different people. They are both flawed, complex women who are doing their best. While I found them, and all the characters, well written, I didn’t particularly like any of them. But they were compelling to read and I had a lot of empathy for the things they went through, particularly Liza as she is vilified in the wake of the accident by people who believe she neglected her duty as a mother. It is all too easy to sit behind a screen and judge but sadly it is something prevalent in today’s society, and it must be heartbreaking to be in the middle of a tragedy and face hate and criticism when you need kindness and support.
The Fallout is a timely, emotional and suspenseful novel that also serves as a reminder of the damage that secrets, lies, gossip and assumptions can wreak on people’s lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rebecca Thornton is an alumna of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course, where she was tutored by Esther Freud and Tim Lott. Her writing has been published in The Guardian, You Magazine, Daily Mail, Prospect Magazine and The Sunday People amongst others. She has reported from the Middle East, Kosovo and the UK. She now lives in West London with her husband and two children.
The Fallout is her third novel.
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