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Before the Fall by [Juliet West]
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Before the Fall Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 54 ratings

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Length: 400 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
Language: English Age Level: 18 - 100

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It is self-evident that terrible things happen on battlefields. Less talked about is what happens to civilians on the home front. In 1916, Hannah is left behind in London's East End when her husband enlists. Life is tough, and food and money are short. Obtaining work in a cafe, she meets bookish, intriguing Daniel, and her world changes. The great social upheavals lie still in the future, and the lovers run up against convention and bitter family opposition. The outcome is tragic and, given the needless slaughter on the battlefield, horribly ironic, but the parallels drawn between the wastage in the trenches and that of the home front are precisely the point. London's noises and smells seep through a poignant and confidently handled text, which is based on a true story ... arresting. Daily Mail Before the Fall is as poignant as it is powerful. With tremendous sensitivity and insight, Juliet West explores the consequences of private lives engulfed by the public catastrophe of war. At the same time, nothing diminishes the force of her storytelling. Her characters - including London's East End itself - are unforgettable. Alison MacLeod, author of the Booker Longlisted: Unexploded I can't tell you how much I enjoyed Before The Fall. Juliet West has created some wonderfully believable characters and her descriptions of London are breath-taking! I have not read a book that brings the sense of time and place to life as well as this one does. I was living and breathing the war years in London. But it's the love story at the centre of the book that will stay with me ... This is a wonderful book, intelligent, wise, and full of passion and courage. I absolutely loved it and I can't praise it highly enough. I would recommend Before The Fall to anyone who is looking for a superb read, a page-turning drama that's exactly of its time, and a story and characters that will stay in the mind long after the book is finished. Louise Douglas, Bestselling author of The Secrets Between Us This is a wonderful novel, beautifully evocative of the time and place and absolutely heartbreaking in very many ways, I was enthralled throughout ... As a picture of war torn Britain this is extraordinarily fascinating. The background and the claustrophobic atmosphere of life in general is brilliantly captured. Most of all the sense of what life was like for women then - especially those whose husbands were in the trenches - is compelling and emotional. An extremely addictive, passionate and poignant read, based on a true story. lizlovesbooks blog Before the Fall is an astonishing literary achievement. Set during World War I, Juliet West's powerful and crisp prose creates an atmosphere of impending doom and lays bare the hardships of life in London's East End. West deftly captures the voices of the working poor who are caught in webs of duty to country, family, friends, and work. The author understands the complexities of war at the home front, and as bombs fall on London, she pulls us deeper and deeper into this mesmerizing story of desire, love, loss, and courage. Ann Weisgarber, Orange Prize longlisted and Orange New Writers Award shortlisted author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree Before the Fall is a stunning debut - a breathtaking portrayal of life and love in all its complexity. Juliet West's powerful yet subtle prose is utterly riveting. This is a story which haunted me long after I had read the final, heartbreaking pages. Suzannah Dunn, author of The Confession of Katherine Howard West explores themes of loyalty, loneliness and forbidden love, set against a back drop of a ruthless wartime society in which everything everyone does is examined against its impact on the war effort ... West's descriptions of war time London; the poverty, filth, fear and the oppression are, at times, breathtaking. There is much to be read about the horrors of the trenches, but Juliet West eloquently captures the horrors faced by those left behind. District Post West's debut demonstrates promise. Her writing is satisfyingly atmospheric: her East End is damp and squalid, cast in a sub-aqueous murk. Hannah's desperation is sensitively described. Independent on Sunday A superbly written book, full of historic details and descriptions that let you see, hear and smell what is going on. The dingy and grimy streets, the noisy trams, the dark and oppressing stale air, the creek, the docks, the rations, and the bombs. Above all, we are reminded of how much times have changed and how difficult things were for some people just a hundred years ago. As Hannah's life changes in ways she could not have anticipated, and she experiences her father's illness and then suffers depression herself, the huge advances in social and medical support we now benefit from are stark reminders of how things were then. The closing chapters of this book are utterly moving. A twist I did not see coming, an outcome I was totally unprepared for. Juliet West has a real skill in developing believable interesting and multi-faceted characters, set in a place and time so carefully depicted that you can understand the underlying tensions, the social norms and the family values. This book is based on true accounts from the time, which add to a sense of desperation and shock. Yet it is quite conceivable that the tale of Hannah Loxwood is not unique, and the challenges she and her family face were all too familiar to many others. This is definitely one to read, but expect to be moved and shaken as the tale unfolds. The Beesley Buzz --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Juliet West worked as a journalist before taking an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University, where she won the Kate Betts' Memorial Prize. Before The Fall, her debut novel, was shortlisted for the Myriad Editions novel writing competition in 2012. Juliet also writes short stories and poetry, and won the H E Bates short story prize in 2009. She lives in West Sussex with her husband and three children. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B00JL58DI6
  • Publisher : Mantle; Air Iri OME edition (1 June 2014)
  • Language : English
  • File size : 752 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Not Enabled
  • Print length : 256 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 54 ratings
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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
54 global ratings
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Top review from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 1 December 2016
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Mr. M. E. C. Bridle
5.0 out of 5 stars First let me start by saying I do not like what passes for modern romance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 January 2015
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the cover!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 March 2018
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eileen. Lincs
5.0 out of 5 stars ... can I say about this fabulous true story of love and loss in the East end of London during ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 February 2017
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Harrie Bond
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 March 2018
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The Word Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars Compellingly told WW1 love story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 November 2015
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One person found this helpful
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