Fall by West Camel #bookreview #blogtour @west_camel @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by West Camel, Fall. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Fall by [West Camel]

BLURB

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.

MY THOUGHTS

West Camel is such a brilliant writer. I loved his debut novel and his latest book, Fall, is another brilliant, beautifully written piece of fiction. The prose is stunning and the characters are so well drawn. There is real magic in West Camel’s writing; it draws you into the worlds he creates and holds your attention.

We meet twin brothers, Aaron and Clive who both lived in the same apartment building in Deptford. It is their childhood home but both have different ideas for the future. The building is filled with ghosts from their path and this haunts them both. The brothers different ideas create a strain in their relationship. It also becomes apparent that there is a dark secret hidden in their past. I wanted to know more about this from very early on and I wanted to know what really went on between them. As the story unfolds West Camel begins to make clear why both brothers have a very different view of their home. And this is where the darker picture in the story begins to come clear.

The novel is told over a forty year period. In 1976 something horrific happened at the tower which has affected the lives of everyone who was there that night ever since.

All the characters came to life well. We also meet another set of twins Annette and Christine who lived in the tower block in the 70s. They were the towers first black residents and you can clearly see how many people in the building feel about this. They strike up a friendship with Aaron and Clive and I really enjoyed reading the scenes when they were together. The dialogue between them was really well done.

Zoë Goldsworthy is another interesting character. She designed the tower block and I loved that we got added bonus material in the book, drawings showing the building how Zoë imagined it. Zoë is a character who fascinated me from the moment we were introduced to her. I wanted to learn more about her background and what role she had in the story. 

There are some shocking final reveals as the full scope of the family tragedy becomes clear and West Camel reveals what really happened that fateful night that haunts Aaron and Clive’s memories. Fall is such a brilliant book and the title is perfect for it in so many ways. It is a multi-layered book that is so well written and thought out. West Camel is fast becoming a favourite writer of mine and I can’t wait to read what he writes next.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 9th October 2021 (kindle) 9th December 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

Fall is available to buy:

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Attend front new

BLURB

When Sam falls in love with Deptford thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, a history of hidden Deptford and ultimately the solution to their crises.
With echoes of Armistead Maupin, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.

MY THOUGHTS

Attend by West Camel, is unlike anything else I have read this year. I don’t usually read contemporary fiction, but I am so glad I read this book. It is a very hard book to define, as it can easily fit into many genres: crime, magic realism and even romance. Deborah is the lead character in this book who holds everything together and she does become the centre of our focus. Then there are the characters, Anne and Sam, both who are very different to each other, but who ultimately are pulled together in this wonderful, mesmerising and addictive plot. It is a very strong debut that I suspect I’ll be talking about and recommending for a while.

Anne is the first character we are introduced to, a recovering heroin addict, who has just moved into her new home in Deptford. She meets Deborah who comes across as a vulnerable, lonely old woman, but she has a fascinating past which she begins to divulge to Anne. In the end, for me, Deborah came across as one of the strongest characters in this book, which I was surprised by. We are then introduced to Sam who has only recently begun to accept his sexuality, and he forms a relationship with a local thug, Derek, who is well known in the area, which means he has a reputation to uphold. Their newfound relationship is a move that surprises both of them. Sam is also drawn in by Deborah and her compelling stories. These three threads are stitched together in a very clever, and a very well plotted way.

It was the characters in this book which made this book such a compelling read, and West Camel’s writing swept me into his story from the first page and into the murky areas of Deptford. One theme that does come across strongly in this book is the theme of loneliness, and this is what I did think of whenever I thought about Deborah and her stories. There are some flashback scenes in this book when she is revisiting her past, as she is re-telling it to Anne and Sam, and these scenes really did make me want to concentrate as I tried to understand her character more.

West Camel’s writing is what made this book feel so very fresh and unique; there are some wonderful descriptive phrases throughout Attend that added so much depth and colour to his characters and the settings. He is such an exciting new writer and I cannot wait to see what he writes next.

If you’re looking for a book that is dark, has very good writing, but very different to what is currently out there in the market at the moment, then I would highly, highly recommend Attend. It is a stunning piece of fiction. I loved it. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 15th November 2018 (kindle) 13th December 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 287 pages

If you would like to purchase Attend, you can do so by clicking on the links below:

Amazon UK  Waterstones Kobo

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