Before the Fall by Juliet West
1916. Across the channel, the Great War rages; in London’s East End, with her husband away fighting, Hannah Loxwood struggles to hold everything together. She has sacrificed so much for a husband who left her behind, a husband who may never come home. Then, when she meets David – thoughtful, intelligent, quietly captivating – Hannah find herself faced with the most dangerous of temptations…
As the war grips tighter and bombs fall down upon the streets, the stakes for the couple grow ever higher. Soon Hannah and Daniel will realize just how precarious their happiness is, as their destiny rushes towards them…
Beautifully wrought, utterly compelling and with a twist that will leave you breathless, Before The Fall, inspired by a true story, hurls you into a London torn apart by the First World War and paints a vivid and haunting portrait of one woman’s struggle. (back cover)
Hannah’s husband has gone to war leaving her with their two children. She’s not happy when she has to move in with her mother, sister, and brother-in-law. Hoping to earn some extra money, Hannah takes a job at a café where she meets Daniel Blake. Working as a ship worker exempts him from war, which isn’t to everyone’s liking.
I had read a lot of good reviews about this and I had high hopes for this one. It wasn’t bad but not as good as I wanted it to be. I didn’t quite connect with any of the characters and even the ending didn’t really move me. Especially Daniel felt very distant which wasn’t helped that Hannah’s narrative was in the first person while Daniel’s was in 3rd person.
It moved too slow at times to keep my interest. But on the positive side, it did give a realistic feeling about the time.
Published: Pan Books (2017)
Source: My own