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After the Fall

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  3,113 ratings  ·  351 reviews
In the quiet of a New Zealand winter's night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He's fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse, and his condition is critical. At first, Finn's fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he's prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how ...more
Paperback, 366 pages
Published December 1st 2012 by Allen & Unwin (first published 2012)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,113 ratings  ·  351 reviews

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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
4.5 stars, almost a five. I did not expect this book to be both brilliant and powerful, it was most certainly both. The book is based around the fall of a young boy from a balcony, that in itself is sad enough but it's the back story surrounding this family that really makes for excellent reading.

I felt like I was right there with all the characters, in their home, part of the conversations, it was so real. It tackles some tough family issues and is a book that would be fantastic for a book
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very moving and heartbreaking story which I really enjoyed.

Martha and her family have moved from London to New Zealand to start a fresh after her husbands business collapses.
Four year old twins Finn and Charlie are quite excited about the move and are delighted with their new home. However sixteen year old Sacha is not thrilled with moving and is having trouble settling in. Martha is also pleased as her husband Kit stops drinking and starts doing his painting again.
But Martha and Kit
Julie Doyle
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow...I think I can confidently say that this was one of the best books I have read. They say 'Never judge a book by its cover' and this certainly applied to 'After the Fall'. The innocent happy looking picture on the front cover gives no indication of the trauma which is to unfold. I guess I had a head start with the book. My daughter and her family live in NZ I have visited on many occasions plus I read the NZ newspapers daily online so the geography of the country and the social problems were ...more
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
4.5 stars

Oh wow…what a read! Had me guessing until the very end. It’s more than just about a boy falling off a balcony… quite distressing in parts but a brilliant, gripping and emotional read. The McNamara’s are a reasonably happy family who relocate to New Zealand then without warning their life alters. Quite scary how life can unravel in a blink of an eye.

It was a nice change to read a book set in New Zealand, the scenery description was spellbinding and learning of the local legends was
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-stars, read-in-2015
I gave 5 stars to Charity Norman's The Son-in-Law , which had an emotive narrative, characters I really cared about and a moral dilemma that was as heart wrenching as it was soul searching.

I'm not sure what happened with After The Fall. As with The Son In Law it centres around a family in crisis, but despite a promising start I realised around the half way point that I wasn't remotely engaged with either the family or the plot. There was so much irrelevant backstory to plough through that by
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

Second Chances by Charity Norman. (2012).
(Published as After The Fall in the UK).

Finn is a 5 year old boy who is severely injured after falling from the upstairs floor of his family's isolated home in New Zealand. It seems like an accident. Only his mother Martha knows how it really happened and she doesn't intend on telling. The family moved from the UK to New Zealand to start afresh but now Martha is faced with decisions she didn't know she would ever have to
Rea Cobb
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charity Norman is a new author to me, having heard on a number of occasions that her work is along the lines of Jodi Picoult I was intrigued to see if her writing can live upto such a great writer.
Martha is a heart-warming character. She always wants to try and do what she thinks is best for her family and when she see’s that the best thing for her marriage would be to move to New Zealand there is one person who isn’t happy with the new plans and that is her daughter Sacha. Sacha is a typical
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A highly addictive, haunting and heartbreaking tearjerker that keeps me turning the pages, gives me goose pimples and leads me to find myself stifling my sobs. Fantastic!
Dale Harcombe
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second Chances
Charity Norman
RRP $29.99
Second Chances starts with a news account of the fall of five year old Finn from a first floor balcony of an out of the way property. Finn is flown by rescue helicopter to hospital. As a result he ends up in the intensive care department of the hospital with severe injuries, supposedly the result of an accident while sleepwalking but is it? Or is there more to the story?
The mother plunges the reader into the story as she relates about
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I heard about Charity Norman’s second novel After The Fall I was really looking forward to reading it as it sounded fantastic. I’m a big fan of Jodi Picoult and to see the novel likened to a Jodi Picoult novel, I was thrilled. It’s took me a little while to get around to it – it’s length daunting me a little bit, it’s a massive book! Not that you’ll notice that once you start reading, believe me. It’s a novel I thoroughly enjoyed and I’m pleased to know Charity will have a new novel out in ...more
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an extraordinary and wonderful read this was!
I've had this book on my shelf for a long time, and , on a whim, decided to pick it up.
Within a few pages I was hooked. The writing was wonderful. I was transported right to New Zealand as soon as I began reading.
From the cover, and the title, I could never have guessed what an absolute gem this book was.
I read the last 100 or so pages in the early morning, not being able to sleep through thinking too much about this book!
I cried too, more than
Stephanie Forster
There are so many things that I would like to express about this book, but it is difficult. I'm writing this review quite some time after finishing it, yet the story and the characters still linger in my mind. I didn't have any expectations for this book - I hadn't read a book by this author before and hadn't read any reviews for her books. I read the blurb and it appealed to me, so I gave it a go. I had no idea that I would enjoy this one so much.

As you may know, I'm a huge Jodi Picoult fan and
Megan Readinginthesunshine
I was very intrigued by this book. The cover appears innocent, with two little boys running along a beach, enjoying the world around them. But the blurb tells a different story altogether, hinting at secrets, drama, accidents and a rocky road for the family involved, and so I was desperate to start reading.

The book opens with an accident: Martha McNamara sees her five-year old son Finn fall from their balcony. He is rushed to the hospital in a critical condition and the whole thing is a blur.
Liz Barnsley
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
With these chilling words starts "After the Fall", a novel about a family and their move to New Zealand. Through a series of flashbacks from Mum, we discover how they came to be in NZ, what has happened to them since they arrived and the true nature of the accident that has befallen Finn.Charity Norman has written a terrific novel about what really could be any family - yours, mine, your next door neighbours. They are normal, happy people, very well drawn and it is easy to move into their world. ...more
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a compelling and heartbreaking story about a family and the life changing events that occurred. Martha is with her five year old son, Finn, who has "fallen" from a second story balcony and is in a coma from a head injury. The back story leading up to this event is interspersed with the current day. Martha and her family have escaped their now bleak existence in England to New Zealand, away from family and friends. Martha, a physical therapist, adjusts to her new job while her husband, ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Second Chances is a moving, heartbreaking story of family tragedy. Martha has moved her family from London to New Zealand in a bid to start fresh after her husbands business collapsed. Her four year old twins, Finn and Charlie are delighted with their new home, Kit has stopped drinking and is painting again, only 16 year old Sacha is having trouble settling in. Desperate to believe that she has made the right decision for her family, Martha ignores the signs of her daughters discontent until one ...more
Second Chances is a compelling novel exploring the complexities of family life in the wake of a life-changing relocation and tragic accident. This is the sort of novel I love; it was gripping and thought-provoking, making me question what I would do were I in a similar situation.

The structure of the story was somewhat different to what I expected. The story starts on the night of five-year-old Finn’s traumatic balcony fall before jumping back to the time when the McNamara’s decide to move from
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interestingly, this book started a solid 5 stars for me. As I neared the middle, it dropped to 3-4 stars. But, it did end on a 5 star read.

I've read a few books based in New Zealand now - it's refreshing - it's not a common country I read about much. I hope to read more in the future!

So, this story is based around a family who moves to New Zealand - the land of purity - from England in search of work and a better lifestyle for their children. For much of the first part, the main character
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually read books much quicker, but felt is needed a slower pace. It was great to be absorbed into the family and their move to New Zeland.
I partly read this book a my brother has emigrated there.

The book is based on relationships, new and old, I enjoyed the back story and how it was told.

The story morphed into something I wasn't expecting.
This is the first Charity Norman book and I would read more.

Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book is emotional! First one for me by this author and I've been blown away and will be reading her others. This book is so well written and the words just form such beautiful sentences. I felt like I knew these characters, so three dimensional and the relationship between kit and Martha is something special. I cried at the end. Absolutely brilliant and demand that everyone reads this book.
Emily Goode
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not put After the Fall by Charity Norman down. The story begins with a tragedy that has struck the McNamara family. Five year old Finn has fallen from the balcony of their New Zealand home and has been rushed to the hospital. But the real story is what led up to this tragic fall. The book is captivating, the characters are very real, and the descriptions of the landscape of New Zealand are superb. If Charity Norman’s other books are as good as this one, she may become one of my new ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've not read anything by Charity Norman before, but I'll certainly be keeping a look out for her books now. This was very hard to put down.
It begins with 'the fall' - five year old Finn falls from a balcony at his home and then we go back in time to find out exactly what happened to bring the family, Finn's twin Charlie, his parents Martha and Kit and his half-sister Sacha, to that point.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-zealand
‘I hoped I was dreaming, because this was a terrifying nightmare.’

Five-year-old Finn is taken by rescue helicopter to hospital one night after a fall from the upstairs balcony of his family home deep in rural New Zealand. He has been known to sleepwalk, so the fall was surely just a terrible accident. However, Finn’s mum Martha knows more about what happened that night than she is prepared to reveal to those questioning it.

The McNamara family has moved to New Zealand to make a new start. There
April Andruszko
An ok read but a bit predictable.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once started can't stop until the end.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second Chances by Charity Norman - I've had this book sitting on my shelf to read for about four years. The cover and title was what appealed at first, but this book is so much more than I expected. The story takes a twist that pulls at the heart of the dark fears of parents for their children. I found the writing and storyline compelling, as well as the characters and landscape of the story. Definitely a good read :)
Bill Kupersmith
I could have given this book anything from two to four stars. In favour of four is that it is a read I could scarcely put down, for only two stars some serious difficulties with the narrator's bad decisions, for which she never takes responsibility. The solution at the end for Sacha was the one I came up with before the family removed to New Zealand in the first place - she could have been spared a lot of anguish.

As an OT Martha is quite hard to believe. She lies consistently about a serious
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fall of the title refers to the fall of a child from a balcony and the fall from the Eden his family have found within the glorious landscape of New Zealand. The story is told in the aftermath of Finn's critical injury, in flashbacks. This is a clever move on the part of the author, as we are left in suspense as to what exactly happened when he fell. Mum is not saying - so we know there is something unsayable about the incident. Hints and clues pepper the narrative, with a good few red ...more
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story begins with a family who have been struggling through the recent economic downturn and they make the decision to emigrate to NZ. This move they believed would largely eradicate their financial woes and provide a better lifestyle for their children. There were a couple of obstacles in the way of this plan. A horrified 16 year old daughter who was extremely unhappy about the move and a sister and brother in law who couldn't accept the decision. However, when the move finally took place ...more
This is an engrossing read about a family who up & move to the otherside of the world & what happens when their new life in paradise turns sour.

As is so often the way, it’s told in two parts which compliment each other nicely. Starting with the immediate aftermath of the fall & being interspersed with Martha’s memories of the events leading up to it. It’s very readable, the easy style matched with the gripping storyline had me well & truly sucked in - the combination of knowing
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Charity Norman was born in Uganda, brought up in draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham and met her future husband under a lorry in the Sahara. She spent years as a barrister in York Chambers, until - realising that her three children had barely met her - she moved with her family to New Zealand and began to write.

After the Fall/Second Chances (2013) was a Richard & Judy and World