Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke

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Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: Emma creates a perfect world in her imagination as a way to cope with the diagnosis that she has an incurable tumour and may not have long to live.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: September 2013
Publisher: Harper
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780007445929

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On a crisp November day, Emma steps out of the doctor’s office, beaming from ear to ear. Finally, she has received the news she has been waiting so long to hear; her cancer is in complete remission. She can now put the last five years behind her and start get on with the rest of her life. At least that is how things would work in a perfect world. Sadly, the truth is a little different. The 'all clear' diagnosis is the first chapter of a book that Emma is writing, a book that is a coping mechanism to help her come to terms with the fact that her cancer is incurable and her options are very limited indeed.

Another Way to Fall contains two parallel accounts of Emma’s life. First, we have the story of Emma’s fight with cancer and coming to terms with the fact that she will very likely die. She mourns the loss of her unborn children and her unfulfilled dreams whilst trying to contend with her controlling mother, needy sister, absent father and unsupportive boyfriend. In the alternative world of her creation, she can live out her fantasies and have it all; a high flying career, world travel, a loving husband and two adorable children. The storyline slips between the two worlds as both narratives merge and part before playing out to their respective conclusions.

The alternative world created within the story was a clever plot mechanism and I really admired the way that Brooke seemed to write in a different style when she wrote as Emma. The characters were all interesting, believable and well rounded. Emma’s family and friends all had flaws and could be overbearing, just as real families are at times, but they all had her best interests at heart and couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. One of the most fascinating relationships in the story was that between Emma and her mother. These very different women clash repeatedly throughout the story and the emotions are raw and intense, but as the story develops, we come to see the complete picture, as more of the backstory is revealed.

Given the subject matter, Another Way to Fall has a deeply emotive storyline and I would challenge anyone to read it and not feel the prickling of tears before reaching the end. The book had added poignancy given the fact that Brooke wrote it in memory of her son, who died of leukaemia. It couldn’t have been an easy book for her to write, but her personal experience undoubtedly gives the characters greater depth. This is not a book about death. It is a poignant and moving celebration of life and learning to appreciate one’s blessings.

For another poignant but uplifting read about coping with cancer, try A November to Remember by Taryn McKeiver. We also have a review of Brooke's The Child's Secret.

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Buy Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke at


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