For my last book review of 2021 I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for the incredible Fall by West Camel. Thank you as always to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this superb book.
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.
Illustrations by David F. Ross
About the author:
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.
Fall by West Camel is a superbly written dual timeline novel that I know will stay with me for a long time to come. Set in Deptford, the narrative moves between the present day and the long, hot summer of 1976, a summer that changed everything for twins Aaron and Clive. Now, forty years later, Clive is a successful property developer and Aaron, who is now estranged from his brother, is refusing to move out of the tower block their mother designed.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author but it most definitely won’t be my last. His writing is so powerful, instantly transporting you to that boiling hot summer of 1976 as the tension simmers, threatening to boil over. Teenagers Aaron and Clive live with their architect mother in the tower block she designed. There they meet twins Annette and Christine, who bring excitement, loud music and drugs into their lives. But something happens during the sweltering heat of the summer that changes their lives forever. Now, in present day Deptford, Annette and Christine reappear, forcing the brothers to confront the ghosts of their past…
I don’t want to say too much about the plot as this is a book you need to read and discover for yourself. But suffice to say I absolutely adored it! West Camel’s writing is so beautifully nuanced that it takes your breath away. His use of language is exquisite, the story moving along at a steady pace as the tension slowly builds until you feel as though you can barely breathe. Fall is a complex and multilayered tale of family relationships and racial tension, with characters that stay with you long after the final page has been turned.
West Camel is a new author to me but one I will look out for again in the future. His writing is gorgeous and Fall is a novel I would highly recommend.
Fall by West Camel is available to purchase now:
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Thank you so much to everyone who has supported my little corner of the blogging world this year. See you in 2022!