Today it’s over to Mandie who is sharing her thoughts on Fall, the latest novel from West Camel. I read the book as part of the blog tour last year and really enjoyed the original and emotional styling of the book. You can read my review here. Here’s what the book is about:
About the Book
Estranged brothers are reunited over plans to develop the tower block where they grew up, but the desolate estate becomes a stage for reliving the events of one life-changing summer, forty years earlier.
Twins Aaron and Clive have been estranged for forty years. Aaron still lives in the empty, crumbling tower block on the riverside in Deptford where they grew up. Clive is a successful property developer, determined to turn the tower into luxury flats.
But Aaron is blocking the plan and their petty squabble becomes something much greater when two ghosts from the past – twins Annette and Christine – appear in the tower. At once, the desolate estate becomes a stage on which the events of one scorching summer are relived – a summer that shattered their lives, and changed everything forever…
Grim, evocative and exquisitely rendered, Fall is a story of friendship and family – of perception, fear and prejudice, the events that punctuate our journeys into adulthood, and the indelible scars they leave – a triumph of a novel that will affect you long after the final page has been turned.
Illustrations by David F. Ross
Twins Aaron and Clive have not spoken for forty years, torn apart by events in the past and now they are at odds over their childhood home, Marlow Towers, a place that was designed by their mother and the place that Aaron still calls home. Clive wants to redevelop the flats, but he is unable to get his brother to agree to move out despite everything around him being abandoned. When two other former residents move back into the towers, it brings back memories for both Aaron and Clive and makes them face a past they have both been trying to forget.
Whilst this book may feel slow to start with as we get to know Aaron and Clive and their relationship with each other, their mother and fellow twins in Marlow Towers Annette and Christine, it is these insights that really draw you in, giving them the complexity and depth that make them seem so real and have you wondering how they got to where they are now.
As you are taken along the dual timeline, and more is revealed I found that I could see the similarities and the differences in both sets of twins and I could see how they were drawn to each other despite the attitudes of the time that were both brilliantly and sensitively handled. What was also evident was the influence Aaron and Clive’s mother tried to have over her children and the estate she had created. Unwilling to give up control of either it was this that had the most impact on the events and the ripples they created.
There is just something about West Camel’s writing style that automatically makes his books stand out. His ability to shine a light on the past and its highs and lows with descriptions that will transport you right into the heart of the story is truly amazing. You find yourself wanting to get to know the characters and become invested in their lives, knowing from the start that the story will have many layers and will not be as straightforward as it may appear. Having loved his first book Attend, I can say without a shadow of a doubt West Camel is fast becoming an Author I just can’t wait to read
About the Author
Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editorial director at Orenda with editing The Riveter magazine and #RivetingReviews for the European Literature Network.
He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres, and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. His debut novel, Attend was published in 2018, and was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize and longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award.
Books by West Camel