Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Fear Of Falling by Cath Staincliffe @CathStaincliffe @LittleBrownUK #FearOfFalling

What if your child ends up hurting those you love? 
Lydia and Bel have been best friends for years, from wild teenage days all the way through to motherhood. Bel becomes pregnant by accident and has a fraught relationship with daughter Freya, while Lydia and love-of-her-life Mac, after failed fertility treatment, choose to adopt. Gorgeous toddler Chloe challenges them more than either of them had ever expected and as a teenager her behaviour escalates increasingly out of control, pushing their marriage, and Lydia and Bel's relationship, to breaking point. A harrowing and heart-breaking story of the splinters that can tear mothers and daughters, husbands and wives - and friends - apart. 

Fear Of Falling by Cath Staincliffe was published in paperback by Constable (Little Brown) on 9 May 2019. 

I've read most of Cath Staincliffe's books, she's been one of my favourite authors for many years. Reviews of some of her previous novels are on Random Things; Blink Of An Eye, Witness and The Silence Between Breaths. 

I'd missed the author's latest couple of books so was pleased to take the opportunity to purchase a couple when I attended her event at the East Riding Festival of Words recently, and also delighted to get my copies signed and dedicated.

Fear of Falling deals with an issue that is rarely spoken about. The author herself says in her Afterword that adoption is often looked upon as a kind of fairy story; all happy endings and smiles all around. In this compelling and excellently written novel she deals with the difficulties that can arise through adoption. She looks at how a child can bring so much more than happiness and joy to a couple, and just how much damage can be done to both the adults and the children in these situations.

Lead female characters Lydia and Bel are as different as chalk and cheese yet have a long, enduring friendship that has lasted since childhood. Sensible Lydia is now extremely happy in her relationship with Mac whilst fly-by-night Bel flits from one job to another, and one man to another. There's just one, rather large, blot on Lydia and Mac's landscape and that's Lydia's infertility. When Bel becomes pregnant another yet another fling, Lydia hurts, yet she and Mac take delight in caring for Bel's daughter Freya when she's born whilst Bel appears to resent, even dislike her child.

After the stress and horrors of failed IVF, Lydia and Mac make the decision to adopt. They have to go through more invasive tests and interviews, but finally they adopt little Chloe and they feel that their life is complete.

Chloe is a damaged child. Damaged, and damaging and it's soon clear that she's not the perfect daughter that they longed for. Chloe's behaviour becomes more and more destructive as the years progress and Lydia and Mac's relationship is tested to the ultimate limit. Bel and Freya remain a fixture in their lives, and it's Lydia's dearest wish for the girls to be friends.
However, it is this wish that brings the biggest and most terrible of tragedy and will completely change everyone's lives, forever.

Cath Staincliffe expertly and sensitively portrays a family in a crisis. She examines the total commitment of Lydia who is determined to be the best mother, but is facing an impossible task due to the damage inflicted upon Chloe. It is a very sad reflection of our Social Services too, as this young couple are abandoned by the authorities, with no help offered at all.

Emotionally tense and heart-wrenching, this compelling and complex story totally gripped me. This author always delivers. I was emotionally wrapped up in all of the characters and their issues. Highly recommended.

Cath Staincliffe is a best-selling, award-winning novelist, radio playwright and the creator of ITV's hit series, Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. 
Cath's books have been short-listed for the British Crime Writers Association best first novel award, for the Dagger in the Library and twice for the Short Story Dagger, winning in 2012. Cath's Sal Kilkenny private eye series features a single-parent sleuth working the mean streets of Manchester. 
Her debut Looking For Trouble was serialised on Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4. 
Trio, a stand-alone novel moved away from crime to explore adoption and growing up in the 1960s, inspired by Cath's own experience. 
Letters To My Daughter's Killer was selected for Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club in 2014 and featured on ITV3's Crime Thriller Club. 
Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey novels based on the popular UK TV series. 
Cath created the probate detective series Legacy for BBC Radio 4 and guest writes on the Stone police drama. 
Her recent stand-alone novels examine the impact of crime on ordinary families. 
The Girl in the Green Dress was inspired by her experience as the parent of a transgender child. Cath's latest book, Fear of Falling, is a story of female friendship and the challenges of adopting a child who has had a traumatic early life. 
Cath is one of the founding members of Murder Squad - a group of Northern crime writers who give readings, talks and signings around the country. 
Cath was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK and now lives in Manchester, Lancashire with her family. 
You can follow her on Twitter, @CathStaincliffe, where she hangs about when she should be busy writing!

No comments:

Post a Comment