When He Fell by Kate Hewitt

Yesterday was the end of term for me and as it happens I have just finished reading this book set in a Manhattan private school. The story revolves around two mothers and their respective sons, single Maddie and her boisterous son Ben and married Joanna and her quiet son Josh, and the way their lives change when Josh pushes Ben at school.

From the outset the story is heartbreaking. We see Maddie trying to cope with Ben’s induced coma, through to his painful rehab, whist also trying to piece together what happened on the playground. Simultaneously Jo battles with her fears over Maddie’s relationship with her husband and just houw culpable her son really is.

Although the story is intrinsically linked to Josh’s actions that day, as it progresses it becomes obvious that the more important issue is how the actions of adults, however small, affect their children. There is a very real tragedy in it, and the ending is upsetting, but also uplifting in a strange way.

Kate Hewitt’s writing is strong and I liked that she wasn’t lazy or predictable with her plotting. I wouldn’t have guessed how the story was going to go, particularly towards the end, and it had me gripped.


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