Review: After the Fall by Kylie Ladd

After the Fall

by Kylie Ladd

‘That’s the thing about falling, it doesn’t go on indefinitely, and it rarely ends well.’

In her page-turning fiction debut, neuropsychologist Kylie Ladd delivers a searing portrait of two marriages united and betrayed by friendships.

‘I had been married three years when I fell in love,’ begins Kate, a firecracker of a woman who thought she’d found the yin to her yang in Cary, her sensible and adoring husband. For their friend Luke – a charismatic copy writer who loves women and attention in equal measure, and preferably together – life has been more than sweet beside Cressida, the dutiful paediatric oncologist who stole his heart. But when a whimsical flirtation between Kate and Luke turns into something far dangerous, the foursome will be irrevocably intertwined by more than just their shared history.

After the Fall follows the origin and fallout of the most passionate of affairs through the eyes of all four characters, unveiling the misunderstandings and unspoken needs that lie beneath our search for love and connection. The narrative moves effortlessly between past and present, painting a nostalgic picture of the two marriages at their most idealistic – the exact moment when like turned to love – and at their most volatile. Thanks to the boundless compassion with which Ladd draws her characters, one can’t help but root for them as they wrestle between newfound desire and remembrances of time past, all the while spinning toward an inevitable conclusion.

Steeped in psychological insight and raw emotion, After the Fall is an unsettling novel of the many ways we love and hurt each other.

Kylie Ladd has a wonderfully easy writing (or reading) style, that flows seamlessly. After the Fall is a series of short chapters that conveys each of the characters points of view, in relation to the affair between Kate and Luke. Kate is a flighty, sociable, bubbly girl who met her husband Cary soon after the breakup of an intense relationship. Cary is almost her opposite, calm, level-headed, happy. Luke is a flirtatious womaniser who doesn’t seem to understand that a woman could not possibly find him attractive, and Cressida(Luke’s wife) is a dogged workacholic who felt very secure in her job, marriage and life.

The book begins at the end, and then works its way through the intensity of the affair, the before, during and after, even though it twists and turns the reader never feels lost. We get to know the characters very well and it is hard not to get involved in their plight, cheering for Cary, condemning Luke and Kate, and feeling sorry for Cressida, then hooraying when she takes the action she takes. Kylie has a very visual writing style, there is so much colour in the book that I wanted to reach through the pages and shake Kate and Luke by the shoulders and tell them to snap out of it, before they hurt the ones they are meant to love the most. I initially thought that due to the subject matter (adultery) that I might struggle with reading the book. However Kylie managed to develop the characters along with the plot to make it a thoroughly enjoyable read.

I discovered Kylie Ladd through .au and am really looking forward to her new book that is due for release in June 2011.

Recommended Retail Price $32.99

Published by: Allen and Unwin or DoubleDay

Recommended Age: 18+

My Rating: 4/5


One Response to Review: After the Fall by Kylie Ladd

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention After the Fall by Kylie Ladd « The Hungry Bookshelf's Blog --

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