Monday, September 14, 2009

After The Fall - Kylie Ladd

Title: After The Fall
Author: Kylie Ladd
Publisher: Allen&Unwin
Price: $38.00

"The anatomy of an affair" is how "After the Fall" by Australian author Kylie Ladd is described in the book's blurb, and a thoroughly intoxicating and intriguing read it is too. It centres around the marriages of Kate and Cary, Luke and Cressida who's lives are summersaulted into turmoil when Kate and Luke begin a steamy affair. Far from tawdy, the novel explores how Kate and Luke were happily in love with their respective partners yet submitted to a lust and an eventual love bordering on obsession that consumed them and their marriages.

Told in parts by the four characters we see ever facet of the affair, the conflicting emotions, the near misses from each side, the should haves and would haves. It takes a while to get used to this very fast paced style of story telling but I found it drew me in and made me feel the story even more, with no stone or emotion left unturned. It left your loyalties to the characters shifting as effortlessly as turning the page - quite a feat for a debut novelist.

Yet if it hadn't been for the recommendation of a trusted bookie friend, I would never have picked up this novel that hooked me from its intriguing opening:

Kate: 'I had been married three years when I fell in love. Fell, collapsed, stepped off the curb and found nothing but air. Oh, I already loved my husband of course, but this was different.That had been a decision; this was out of my control, an impulse as difficult to resist as gravity.'

I think the only thing that let this absorbing novel down was the choice of cover art; a poorer, less unappealing cover I cannot recall. It does little to make me want to grab the book off the shelf - vital when there are so many (more appealing) covers competing for attention in the stores. I only hope future print runs have a more attractive cover and thus, more attention from readers.


kerri sackville said...

Hey there, just stumbled across your blog like I stumbled across this book in the resort shop on holidays in Fiji two days ago. Like you said, the cover looked awful but it was the best of a bad bunch. As it turned out, it was terrific; I thought it was an excellent, thoughtful and balanced look at affairs from the point of view of all the players (so to speak). Looking forward to more reviews from you in the future now that I've found you!

Café Chick said...

Thanks - I would have been guilty of committing the "judging a book by its cover" sin; I think it looks gross. However, now I'll add this book to my TBR list.

Kylie L said...

Hi Kelly,
A good friend sent me the link to your blog... just wanted to say thanks so much for your lovely review. As a first time novelist it's incredibly gratifying just to think that people *read* yor book, never mind actually like it!
I have to say I loved the cover but it's obviously a case of horses for courses... there is a new edition of the book coming out in Jan 2010 and the cover is quite, quite different. Hopefully it will appeal to more people!

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness!! I am so excited that you commented on my little blog Kylie!! Thank you so much - you have very much made my day!!!

I hope I didn't offend you with my comments about the cover - obviously just my humble two cents worth. I look forward to seeing the new cover design in 2010.

Do you have other books in the pipeline? I really enjoyed After The Fall (in my top 5 reads this year) and am very keen to read more of your work.

Thank you again for commenting! :)

Kylie L said...

Hey, I'm thrilled you bought and read my book! And no, no offence at all- the cover is the publisher's decision anyway, but it's also interesting to get feedback and see what works for people.
Funny timing, because I just handed the m/s of what I hope will eventually be my next novel to my agent last week, and am waiting to hear back from her sometime in the next fortnight. What's also funny is that one of the main characters (and probably my personal favourite) is called Kelly. It's a name I've always liked ;)

Heather said...

I came past your blog and the first thing I saw was the cover art (which I too, dont like). My first thought was that it was a naked anorexic woman lol. Once I'd registered she had clothes on, I got on with reading the review. Looks interesting, I shall buy a copy to read in future. I've just finished reading a book about affairs so maybe I'll wait for the new cover art lol.