Fear of Falling – Cath Staincliffe

What if your child ends up hurting those you love?

Lydia and Bel have been best friends for years, from wild teenage days all the way through to motherhood. Bel becomes pregnant by accident and has a fraught relationship with daughter Freya, while Lydia and love-of-her-life Mac, after failed fertility treatment, choose to adopt. Gorgeous toddler Chloe challenges them more than either of them had ever expected and as a teenager her behaviour escalates increasingly out of control, pushing their marriage, and Lydia and Bel’s relationship, to breaking point.

A harrowing and heart-breaking story of the splinters that can tear mothers and daughters, husbands and wives – and friends – apart.

About the Author:  Cath Staincliffe is a best-selling, award-winning novelist, radio playwright and the creator of ITV’s hit series, Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. Cath’s books have been short-listed for the British Crime Writers Association best first novel award, for the Dagger in the Library and selected as Le Masque de l’Année.

In 2012 Cath won the CWA Short Story Dagger for Laptop, sharing the prize with Margaret Murphy with her story The Message. Cath was shortlisted again with Night Nurse in 2014. Cath’s Sal Kilkenny private eye series features a single-parent sleuth working the mean streets of Manchester. Trio, a stand-alone novel moved away from crime to explore adoption and growing up in the 1960s, inspired by Cath’s own experience.

Letters To My Daughter’s Killer was selected for Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club in 2014 and featured on ITV3s Crime Thriller Club. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey novels based on the popular UK TV series.

My Review:

Fear of Falling is not an easy book to read but none of Cath Staincliffe’s standalone books are “easy” to read, but they are IMPORTANT, POWERFUL, GUT WRENCHING, EMOTIONAL and above all “WRITTEN FROM THE HEART”.

Cath Staincliffe has written a book about adoption but instead of fluffy happy ever afters, she focuses on what could go wrong and she does NOT hold back.  Writing with a personal insight as she tells the reader that she was adopted herself as a baby in the postscript, this book is a very powerful and heart breaking tale of love, friendship, family, parenthood and how far you will go to protect your child.

Fear of Falling focuses on the friendship of Lydia and Bel who met as teenagers and follows their lives through love, marriage and motherhood.  Bel is a free spirited, independent young woman, who can’t settle down, flits from one job to another and one bed to another and falls pregnant accidentally.  Lydia is a hardworking, conscientious, careful and focused and falls in love with Mac in her early twenties.  When they decide to try for a baby, Lydia and Mac’s life is turned upside when they find out they can’t fall pregnant without IVF and when the final attempt of IVF fails they decide to adopt.

It’s impossible for the reader not to feel emotion or empathy towards Lydia in her struggle to become a mother and equally it’s difficult not to feel angry with Bel with her approach to motherhood, both characters are so different but so brilliantly brought to life by the author.

This is a phenomenal piece of writing about a very difficult topic and the fact that I read this in an afternoon proves it was literally unputdownable!  Cath Staincliffe is one of those authors that I know before I even read the blurb that the story will be unique and compelling, gripping and powerful and more importantly thought-provoking.  5 stars from me.

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