After The Fall by Kylie Ladd

Continuing my look at the books available as prizes for the latest Reverse Inspiration Challenge, I now want to review Kylie Ladd’s, After The Fall. I want to review it, but I’m not a reviewer. As I said previously, I want you guys to know what I like about these books.

Building on Naked, a non-fiction collection of infidelity confessions and discussions that she co-edited, Kylie Ladd’s first novel After The Fall follows the lives of two couples as they are thrown together and then torn apart.

There’s lots to like about After The Fall, evidenced by the fact that it has been released in both Australia and the United States.

But what do I like about it? I’m going to put on my writer’s hat and highlight the three points that to me make this a great novel.

1. It is unflinching.

The language and viewpoint are brutally honest. Ladd is on the inside of the situation and comes at it from four different angles. The infidelity is looked at from the cheating partners, the cheated-on partners, and occasionally even their friends. It feels like an anatomy study of infidelity.

2. The structure.

Because we know upfront what is going to happen, all the events retold carry a sense of dread, or anger, or sadness. We aren’t given the luxury of hoping there could be a happy ending. The story is coloured by this knowledge, like a Greek tragedy.

3. The characters.

Each chapter is told from a character’s point of view, and that character is fully inhabited so that we are given full insight into their thoughts, motivations and actions. As Ladd jumps from character to character it allows us to overlay the characters’ points of view over the top of each other, exposing lies, secret motivations, and misunderstandings.

For me it is the strong characterisation that really makes this novel special and allows it to be such a nuanced and brutal evaluation of what happens to these couples. The direct access to each character feels unfiltered and immediate.

I say go grab it! You’re wont be sorry. Kylie Ladd is a clever, poignant, and honest writer who has written a novel that is easy to access but imparts a layered, intelligent story.

Find out all about Kylie here. Well, about her writing at least. Follow her on twitter (@kylie_ladd) to fill in at least some of the rest. You wont be sorry.

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