#AusReadingMonth2020 Fall On Me (novella)
- Author: Nigel Featherstone
- Title: Fall On Me ( pg 118)
- Genre: novella
- Published: 2011
- List of Challenges 2020
- Monthly plan
- #AusReadingMonth2020 @Bronasbooks
- Bingo card: TAS
- #NovNov @746Books
- I had so much fun reading this book!
- I even contacted the author via Twitter!
- He told me he wrote the story
- …during a month’s stay in Launceston Tasmania.
- I decided to investigate this town, its streets and iconic buildings!
- NOTE: book is perfectly paired with author’s REM playlist!!
- NOTE: …there are more songs, so read the book and keep Spotify handy!
- Radio Free Europe…is a favorite of mine in chapter 6!
- As Anna says (housemate): “it’s good to allow a bit of nostalgia into your
- …life every now and again….”
- Fall on Me is short enough to be read in one sitting.
- What’s not to love?
- A novella is still a novel and this one has
- complexity with relationships (Katelyn, Fergal)
- …and the all the subplots (Anna, surviving in Lonnie = Launceston, Tasmania)
- A novel if too long looses focus
- …but Nigel Featherstone uses compression and intensity
- …to keep this reader glued to every page!
- When I started this book about a tense father-son relationship
- I expected Lou to go into a rage
- ….similar to that of the father character in the film “Billy Elliot”.
- But, no …Lou shows the reader how hard parenting is.
- He tries with compassion “to feel with” or “to suffer with” his son.
- Main characters: Lou Bard (bar owner), his son Luke, Anna (housemate)
- Setting: Tasmania, Launceston (Lonnie)
- Timeline: 1 week
- Father (Lou): needs to protect his son from danger,
- Son (Luke): need to be his own person, coming of age
- Theme: social norms, father/son relationship, coming of age
- Title: reference to REM “Fall On Me”, Lou’s favorite song!
- 1st plot point: Lou enters the main conflict
- …he is confronted with Luke’s art installation.
- 2nd plot point: Lou feels empowered after
- …after Luke’s important decision about his art show.
- ….Lou feels everything seems to be going his way.
- 3rd plot point: Lou …feels he must be absolutely honest
- …with himself about himself after café incident.
- HINGE point: Lou must choose between
- …his wants (lies) and son’s needs (truth)
- Lou: ” I’ll never, ever let you down.”
- Climax: Opening night of Luke’s art installation!
- Resolution: How has Lou changed?
- Listening in silence can be the best means of communication.
- CH 1-2-3…Lou tells his son: “
- Character change? “…Let me show you how brave I can be.”
- …will Lou have to prove this later in the story?
- Ending:…feels like the sound of a bell ringing.
- #Bravo !!! Nigel!
Strong point: the book provides tension and suspense.
- Featherstone uses flashbacks to fill in the blanks and
- …reveal some important truth about a character’s past.
- Ch 4: the love of Lou’s life Katelyn Somers
- Ch 5: Lou is a single father caring for a one month old son
- Ch 6: Lou’s friendship with Fergal and his love of the band REM
- Ch 14: Grief is a thing with feathers….
Left a mark to on me?
- Is defined by Poe
- “as a narrative that can be read at
- one sitting of from one-half hour to two hours,
- …and that is limited to ‘a certain unique or single effect
Favorite moment: chapter 5
Trigger – Housemate Anna tells Lou that Luke is trying to tell him something:
- “It’s a puzzle, Lou, for you to work out.”
- Anna: “…if talking doesn’t work, let the silence work for you.“
Favorite moment: chapter 6 …the duties of a parent….
- Father realizes he wants to protect his son from danger….but
- “children must fly….whatever happens the boy must take to the skies.”
Favorite moment: end of chapter 18
- This reader is holding her breath…waiting for release
- …at the end in a kind of catharsis!
- Classic Aristotle!
- Luke: “...there are things he needed to do, but he didn’t elaborate.“
Favorite quote: chapter 19:
- “Ah, the nakedness of a heart,
- the nakedness of a breath,
- the nakedness of a gift”
Australia: Launceston (…my research)
- N. Featherstone told me via tweet:
- “...I wrote the novella 11 years ago
- …while spending a month in Launceston“.
- I decided to have a look at Launceston via Google!
- Wellman Street – This street is mentionend 19x
- I can only find a Welman Street in Launceston
- …perhaps Featherstone wants to keep this address purely fictional
- …or was this a typo? (Nigel?)
- Eureka Street – fictional
- Charles, Frederick, Elizabeth, Margaret, William, Frankland Street(s) – all real streets
- Balfour, Brisbane, Brougham, Wellington, York Street(s) – all real streets
- Gleadow Street is in Ivermay Tasmania, town next to Launceston
Ch 2: “Celtic Barbery”
Ch 2: “I think I’ll have a Boag’s, says Luke”
Boag’s Brewery established in 1883 in Launceston Tasmania!
Ch 3: Cataract Gorge Kings Bridge
- Ch 8: Lou: “No”, not there” .…the Bridge is inside him, wedged there like a bullet.
I’m intrigued, thanks for sharing your thoughts
I was looking for a Tasmanian piece to finish off my AusReadingMonth – sounds like you’ve found the perfect one me to try! Father-son relationships are on my mind a lot right now.
I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did! Novellas are surely on my TBR for 2021!
Fall on Me demonstrated that a novella can have all the depth (…with less lengthy back stories and more characters) as a novel. Novels? I still have a few Dickens to get through!
I really enjoyed this novella whenI read it some years ago. I grew up in Launceston and had friends in Welman Street.
After reading the book…I feel I know Launceston!
This novella just had everything….all tied up with a bow!
If you can suggest any more novellas…..please leave a comment!
At 185 pages, this might be stretching the definition of novella, but I can recommend ‘Mother Tongue’ by Joy Kornblatt. Also (112 pages) ‘The Years, Months, Days’ by Yan Lianke.
Thanks so much for the feedback…I will investigate these books!
I’ve finally come around to read your post on this. I love that you contacted Nigel. This was the first of his trilogy that I read, and I really enjoyed it too. It was interesting because it came out at the time of an art controversy here (Bill Henson – check Wikipedia) and I assumed the book was in part a response to that. It wasn’t! Nigel has such warmth in his writing for his characters, doesn’t he.
Nigel is so sweet.
He still responds to my tweets on Twitter and when I sent him a quote from his book FALL ON ME as reaction to the photo of his 91 yr old father that he shared…he was so amazed! Of course one can’t remember every word in a book written 11 years ago. Have a look on Twitter @NGfeathers. I’m on @nl_burns
Oh I follow Nigel on social media, Nancy, and have seen the photos of his father. (I see his tweets, but I mostly respond to him on Instagram, as that’s where I spend more time. I don’t tweet much.) I have worked with Nigel on blog mentoring programs (you can see posts on them on my blog) which came to a halt this year for you know why! (I will find you on twitter and follow you but don’t expect many comments – just too many places to communicate and too little time 😀)
…lovely to have contact with you on Twitter….one of my silent majority! Ha!
I will be!