Title: After the Fall
Author: Kylie Ladd
This Australian novel is told from the viewpoints of 2 couples who are friends- Luke and Cressida; and Cary and Kate. Luke and Kate kiss then later have an affair.
The book opens with each character telling us of the affair. It then goes back to show how each couple met and how the two couples became friends. There is a buildup to the affair (”the fall”) but once it has happened and is discovered the lives of all of the characters is changed.
Kylie Ladd also works as a psychologist and has used her experience in this field to show us alternative views of the same story. Cary isn’t interested in knowing the details –“What’s there to think about? It happened, it’s over, I’ll survive” while Cressida wants to know why the affair happened and insists on counselling – ‘I’d arrived at the first session wanting to get straight into it, hungry for details, the whole sordid picture”. It was interesting to hear Luke’s justification for loving both Cressida and Kate- “Parents claim they love all their children equally, and no one doubts this. Why can’t it be the same for adults?”
The story moves swiftly with the narrator changing every couple of pages. This also makes it a little hard to follow at first. There is a happy ending for Cressida, the paediatric oncologist, who has moved on from Luke and found a much more suitable partner. For Kate we are left feeling uncertain about her decisions and a little pity for her husband Cary.