Spring, 1915. Katie Crilly gets the news she dreaded: her beloved twin brother, Liam, has been killed on the Western Front.
A year later, when her home city of Dublin is suddenly engulfed in violence, Katie finds herself torn by conflicting emotions. Taking refuge in the home of a friend, she meets Hubie Wilson, a friend of Liam’s from the Front. There unfolds a remarkable encounter between two young people, both wounded and both trying to imagine a new life.
What I Thought:
I was slightly conflicted about this book. On the one hand, it lies exactly within my field of interest in dealing with the First World War, and it also led me to look into the events of the Easter Rising and the participation of the Irish in WW1 as I had known little about either. All good things.
But on the other hand, I felt myself very disconnected from the main character, so didn’t enjoy the book as much as perhaps I could have done. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with Fallen – some of the writing, especially those parts describing Dublin, is descriptive and quite poetic, but I found much of Katie’s dialogue stilted and as a character, I wondered how well she fit into the time period of the book. I know that she is supposed to be rebellious and an educated woman, but I think I found her too modern in some respects – maybe this is a failing in me rather than the author, but I’ve read other characters in the same time period who have been rebellious and yet still believeable in the historical setting.
Unfortunately, I also found the book ended rather abruptly with several threads completely unresolved which disappointed me a bit.
In short, Fallen has a number of things to recommend it – which seems to be the consensus on Goodreads, but it wasn’t quite what I had expected, or hoped for.