‘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‘
[ About the Book ]
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.
[ My Review ]
Fall by West Camel was published in paperback original December 9th with Orenda Books (ebook Oct 9th) and is described as ‘thought-provoking, gritty and evocative literary fiction, triumphantly recalling a time and a place.’
Set over two timelines, Fall is the story of a family torn apart by a singular and tragic event in 1976. Twins, Aaron and Clive Goldsworthy, moved into Marlowe Tower in the 1970s, part of a new development designed by their mother, architect Zoe Goldsworthy. They had previously lived in a home with more land and space, but their mother believed that, as she designed this new complex promoting a new way of living, she and her family should be seen to also embrace this new life. Their parents were estranged so the boys grew up never knowing much about their father.
When designing the complex Zoe included some hidden corridors and stairways, so the boys spent their formative years exploring and generally using the entire complex as their own personal playground. They never really mixed properly with the other residents as it was clear from the outset that Aaron and Clive had a much more privileged beginning than many of the local community. But they never felt too lonely because, as twins, their bond was very strong.
In the sweltering summer of 1976, Aaron and Clive were considering their futures. Clive was university bound but Aaron was unsure of his path. They were now eighteen and hungry for some excitement. On a sunny evening they crossed paths with the energetic and fiery sisters, Christine and Annette, also twins, who had just recently moved into Marlowe Towers. Where Annette and Christine went, people followed. They had a magnetism that drew people in. They were spirited, exciting, challenging, which Aaron and Clive were immediately attracted to. But the local community became incensed as Christine and Annette were inviting a different crowd into the area, and tempers were frayed.
Today Clive and Aaron’s relationship is severed, having not made contact with each other for forty years. Aaron still lives in Marlowe Towers and Clive’s property development company now wishes to level the whole complex and redevelop the area. Offers were made to any remaining residents, with alternative living arrangements, which most accepted but Aaron refuses to move. He remains steadfast in his view that he will not be forced out of Marlowe Towers and, as the story unfolds, we get an insight into his thoughts. Meanwhile Clive is undeterred, frustrated with his brother’s obstinate stand but Clive is very unprepared for what happens next.
West Camel weaves a poignant tale, dipping in and out of the 1970s and today, as the story of Aaron and Clive Goldsworthy unfurls. Fall is an exploration of fractured family dynamics, racial tension, jealousy, prejudice and so much more all beautifully and sensitively handled by West Camel. It is a study of humanity and the tension that can arise in communities where different opinions abound and the impact of same. Fall is a book packed with regret, grief and sadness, a book that is almost mesmerising in its descriptions of people and place.
Fall is an eloquently written tale, a wistful and nostalgic story of two brothers who wasted time, too much time, as they got lost in their own remorse and anguish, fearful of discovering the truth behind that fateful summer of 1976.
[ Bio ]
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 editor at Orenda with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghost-writing a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine 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.
Attend, his first novel was shortlisted for the Polari prize.
Twitter – @west_camel