Disclaimer: A while ago, I was contacted by an Author Support Specialist from TCK Publishing, seeking my review of an unreleased book. After some discussion, I received an advance review copy of I Let You fall on the 16ᵗʰ of June. I had the opportunity to go through the book on 18ᵗʰ. And here are My thoughts about the book, which is set to release on 20ᵗʰ June.
I Let you fall is Sarah Downing’s alternative take on what being trapped in a coma feels like. The story is told in the third person about a school teacher Eve Chapman who finds herself in a hospital emergency room after an accident. Soon, the readers are introduced to the consciousness of Eve being outside her mortal body and Eve realising that she is in a coma.
As the story progresses, Eve tries to understand the limits of her situation. But soon, in her quest, she meets Luca, another comatose soul who becomes her friend and guide in explaining her situation and limitations. Eve finds him to be ‘bossy’, but in the present condition, he is her only guide who has some grip on the situation. He is like a beacon whom she misses whenever she feels stuck.
Soon readers realise that there is an entire alternative world where these comatose souls are guardian angels in the literal sense. Luca teaches Eve about ‘the touch’ and ‘how to do something useful’ in helping and supporting others in the present situation. Throughout the story, their bond grows and strengthens, and their peculiar relationship looks cute in a distinctive way.
Eve was discovering new ways of making a difference and helping others but was disappointed with her physical state as – “she had no privacy now. Everything was laid bare for all to see.” She struggles to get the attention of her loved ones, which includes Nathan – her boyfriend, Douglas and Mary – her parents, Hattie – her sister and Cali – her best friend at school. No matter the efforts she puts into her family and friends, they are simply unable to see, hear or feel her.
The story also explores different perspectives on the present situation of Eve from various characters. As Nathan – her boyfriend on witnessing her facial scars was fixated on -“I just want you back to your old gorgeous self, Eve, that’s all.” Whereas Mary – her mother confided in her hat – “I love you so much, Eve. Please come back to us, darling girl. I don’t know what we’ll do if you don’t.”, “I’m so worried about your Dad. It’s breaking his heart, seeing you like this. You were always his favourite, you know.”
In the background, there is also a parallel story of Rob Barclay, his wife Sarah and elder teenager son Will (who is about to appear in his first GCSE exams) and younger son George (who had failed kidneys and needed frequent dialysis). Will looks for ways to be out of home as – ‘Mum and Dad will only go on about how George’s treatment went today, and I’m just not sure I really want to hear it.’ As Will explains to his teacher that – “he’s my brother, and all this sucks, but sometimes I just want to go home and be normal for a bit, you know?” the author captures the psyche and conflicts of a growing adolescent teenager. Overall I found this section of the story easy to relate to as it showed with so much simplicity the everyday struggles of a family trying to make the best of their given situation.
The novel is about love and life. It successfully highlights that once taken away, how seemingly ordinary everyday things we take for granted are the ones we dearly miss. As Eve explains –
“Surely life itself is worth going back for, whatever level it’s on,” as ‘There’s more to life than just arms and legs. There’s love, and relationships, and…’
Overall the story is written in a simple, easy-to-follow language and provides an easy weekend read at 338 pages. I found the concept of comatose souls being guardian angels helping humanity difficult to come to terms with. However, I still credit the author for a unique and different thought in this domain. While discussing the story with my wife, she told me some Korean dramas had explored similar themes, but this was unique for me. After halfway through the story, when many subplots are introduced, and the story appears to become ambiguous, the author weaves everything towards the end to provide a plausible ending.
The concept might not be to everyone’s liking, but it’s a unique and novel concept. Some sub-plots are easy to relate to by most of the readers, and overall, the story is simple. The author does deserve credit for venturing into this domain and exploring such a complex side of the consciousness. Readers looking for a light weekend or late-night read might grab a copy of Sarah Downing’s latest work for sure they won’t be disappointed.
For readers looking for the book, here is the link to the book:
I Let You Fall: A Romantic Drama (Amazon.com)
I Let You Fall: A Romantic Drama (Amazon.in)
And here is the publisher’s website link:
And here is the author’s website:
- Total pages: 338
- Genre: Romantic Drama
- I Let You Fall: A Romantic Drama by Sara Downing