The fallout will be huge . . .
= The Fallout
[ About the Book ]
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 . . .
[ My Review ]
The Fallout by Rebecca Thornton was published April 2nd with Harper Collins. It is described as ‘a pacy, gossip-fuelled story of one mother’s mistake, and the huge ripple effects on a community already weighted with secrets.’
The Fallout is a novel with an interesting premise. A child is badly injured at a health club. His mother was there as were many others. The mother was feeding her younger child at the time and asked a friend to keep an eye on him. Was it an accident? Was it the fault of the mother? Or was the friend to blame? Rumours are rife, the gossip is viral. Whose fault was it?
Social media plays a very significant role in The Fallout. WhatsApp groups are buzzing with talk of who may or may not have been responsible. Fingers are pointed. Publicly the keyboard-warriors are out in force commenting on the mother’s inability to look after her own children, but in private, the group conversations are offering alternative theories.
Sarah and Liza had been best friends for years. Both had experienced many personal difficulties but had always remained at each others side when needed. From marriages and relationships to children and PTA meetings, they have always found moments of humour to see them through. With their lives being so very busy they communicated regularly with updates and snippets of news through WhatsApp. These brief messages provided company and comfort during the good and the challenging times, but suddenly their friendship was about to be tested.
As secrets are withheld and jealousies hidden, the pot starts to bubble over and the cracks appear. Sarah is jumpy, nervous and on-edge, as accusations begin to fly. Liza is concerned for the wellbeing of her injured son and ignores the comments and the whispers of others. Sarah has always been there for Liza and she has no reason to disbelieve Sarah’s words about what actually happened that day at the club.
There are many different personalities in this tale but nearly all have one thing in common, they are all portrayed as very over-privileged and very materialistic. The levels of deceit, the lies, the whispering was at times very childish, of a school-yard type, leaving me somewhat frustrated when reading.
I didn’t warm to any of the main characters. Liza’s behaviour and actions left me completely aghast, bewildered even. As for Sarah, she was selfish beyond belief. It all became very much about her and her reputation, not about the poor boy who nearly died. Her actions were totally erratic and unstable.
The Fallout unfortunately was just not a book for me. I think the premise is very intriguing and does make for a thought-provoking story but the characters just fell flat. I couldn’t feel any empathy toward any of them at all.
There is one very important message in relation to social media in The Fallout. It can be very dangerous with the ease in which a group dynamic can all play a part in an individual character assassination. We are all guilty of feeding the rumour mill.
Overall The Fallout highlights how easily untruths and assumptions can be manipulated and influenced leading to some very unpredictable actions and consequences.
[ Bio ]
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 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.
Twitter ~ @RThorntonwriter