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I came across The View on the Way Down quite randomly on myRecommended page, and the cover was the first thing that caught my eye Coupled with the slightly sparse synopsis, I was intrigued and the rest, as they say, is history.At the beginning of the book, I thought The View On the Way Down would probably be one of those sweet coming of age stories Emma is fourteen years old, her parents are practically divorced but still sleeping in the same bed, and her older brother has disappear I came across The View on the Way Down quite randomly on myRecommended page, and the cover was the first thing that caught my eye Coupled with the slightly sparse synopsis, I was intrigued and the rest, as they say, is history.At the beginning of the book, I thought The View On the Way Down would probably be one of those sweet coming of age stories Emma is fourteen years old, her parents are practically divorced but still sleeping in the same bed, and her older brother has disappeared Emma is lonely, has self confidence issues and a dedication to God And that s when I started to feel a little uncomfortable did I pick up a religious book by mistake Insert spoiler here because I think it s important for people who don t enjoy religious books Emma s religion is a plot device only, and gradually plays less and less of a role in her life.The View on the Way Down is told in multiple POV s and formats, which actually surprised me when it happened although the synopsis actually suggests otherwise, I went into this book thinking it was told completely from Emma s perspective, but all the family members have their say, and there is also one part told completely in letters which worked extremely well.The characters are realistic and varied it was easy to sympathise with Emma, who struggles to make friends and whose family pretty much imploded when she was too young to understand what was happening, and now lives in the fall out without realising why her father isolates himself and her mother throws herself into being the perfect housewife None of the characters are perfect, and all have dealt with the death of one of the brothers, Kit, in their own very personal way.I m always a little wary of books that say they will break your heart in the synopsis I m a pretty tough nut to crack and although The View on the Way Down didn t have me in floods of tears, it was certainly very touching and in parts, quite emotional to read as the characters deal with grief, guilt, blame and forgiveness, particularly in the final third of the book.The View on the Way Down isn t a happy ending book it s a realistic look at family dynamics and grief, and how they effect each person as an individual and as a group And although there are parts that are incredibly sad and even difficult to read, there is also an element of hope that made it a satisfying, well rounded story that was a pleasure to read.Readof my reviews at The Aussie Zombie The View On The Way Down by Rebecca Wait will be published by Picador on 11 April 2013 This is the author s debut novel, she is twenty four years old and she wrote the novel in the evenings whilst working as a teaching assistant the year after graduating.I am really struggling to review this novel I m not a writer and I am finding it difficult to find the words to express just how much I loved this story.A little about the story a family Mum, Dad and teenage Emma, struggling to deal with the The View On The Way Down by Rebecca Wait will be published by Picador on 11 April 2013 This is the author s debut novel, she is twenty four years old and she wrote the novel in the evenings whilst working as a teaching assistant the year after graduating.I am really struggling to review this novel I m not a writer and I am finding it difficult to find the words to express just how much I loved this story.A little about the story a family Mum, Dad and teenage Emma, struggling to deal with their lives after the death of eldest son Kit five years ago There is one other member of the family second son Jamie, who is estranged from the rest of them and living ina drab flat in Sheffield Hundreds of miles away from his family and slowly descending into a world of his own Young Emma has never really known just what happened on the night that Kit died and finds her comfort in eating and in Jesus until one day thebullying and the unhappiness gets too much and she sets out to find Jamie.The real beauty and genius of The View On The Way Down is in it s simplicity, the ease of Rebecca Wait s writing captures the reader from page one and doesn t let go However, don t be fooled by my talk of simplicity , this is a deeply moving and powerfulstory of a family that has been torn apart Four people who have been changed by the same tragic circumstance, yet are dealing with it in four very separate ways.Each character is drawn so beautifully from Kit s darkest depths of depressive illness, to Emma s child like naivety The parents Rose and Joe, so distant from each other, yet unable to let each other go.I could easily have read this novel in one setting, except for the fact that at times I was so moved, and so affected by the writing that I had to put it down, walk away and try to think of other things It s been a very long time since a fictional story has resonated sostrongly with me Although this is at times almost unbearably heartbreaking, the strong feeling of brotherly love and loyalty that flows through also makes it an uplifting story.Rebecca Wait is an extremely talented young author and I m delighted to learn that Picador will be publishing her next novel, whenever that may be This novel is the story of a family suffering Emma s eldest brother Kit died Her other brother, Jamie, left home amid a cloud of anger on the day of Kit s funeral and hasn t contacted his parents or Emma since Emma has no idea why Jamie left or why he refuses to have anything to do with the family Emma s parents have been just existing ever since, while Emma has turned to food as a comfort fix The novel deals with loss, depression and suicide It shows families and the way individuals cope This novel is the story of a family suffering Emma s eldest brother Kit died Her other brother, Jamie, left home amid a cloud of anger on the day of Kit s funeral and hasn t contacted his parents or Emma since Emma has no idea why Jamie left or why he refuses to have anything to do with the family Emma s parents have been just existing ever since, while Emma has turned to food as a comfort fix The novel deals with loss, depression and suicide It shows families and the way individuals cope or don t cope with tragedy While it sounds grim, in many ways it is not Though not a light read, it is an easy read The style of writing is spare and matter of fact It reads like an honest account of such a situation and triggers a range of emotions I read it fairly quickly as I found I wanted to keep reading to see how it all played out It is hard to feel anything but deep sympathy for Emma, who is not only struggling at home but is being bullied at school For debut novel this is a remarkable achievement and it will be interesting to see what this author writes next He was fine some of the time, yes But his mood could plummet at any moment I wondered what that must be like for him I was so very keen to read this novel when I heard about it At the same time, I was very hesitant, because it deals with some things that affect me personally and that I strongly identify with With this in mind, I did wonder how I would feel whilst, and after, reading it The answer was that I was very moved by it and it did affect me, it made me cry and many times it made m He was fine some of the time, yes But his mood could plummet at any moment I wondered what that must be like for him I was so very keen to read this novel when I heard about it At the same time, I was very hesitant, because it deals with some things that affect me personally and that I strongly identify with With this in mind, I did wonder how I would feel whilst, and after, reading it The answer was that I was very moved by it and it did affect me, it made me cry and many times it made me think how astonishing it is, because the author has understood depression and has conveyed it as it is and can be crippling, overwhelming, devastating, rendering a person so different from who they were and leaving those who love the person affected by it wondering what they can do Aspects of the story wereclose to home than I could have realised The story tells of Emma, of her brother Jamie, and her other brother Kit, and of her parents Joe and Rose One of Emma s brothers died five years ago, and the other left the family home on the day of the funeral and hasn t been back since Emma s parents haven t told her what actually happened, and neither have they spoken to each other about it The immense impact of what has happened in the past is finally exposed as events in the present bring it out into focus for all of them Emma is a lovely character who drives much of the story forward I liked her and I felt for her She is sweet and sensitive and is being bullied at school and can t understand why Jamie hasn t been in touch since Kit s death This separation of the younger sister from her older brother with her not knowing why broke my heart Her memories of time spent with her brothers are so important to her, but she has begun to question them She clung on to memories like this, but it had occurred to her recently that perhaps they couldn t be trusted If enough time went by, how could you be sure what was actually true and what you had imagined Especially if nobody talked about any of it It s almost impossible for Emma to bring up the subject of Jamie, and of Kit s death, with her parents, because of the extreme reactions it provokes So she has been left alone with her thoughts about them both Rebecca Wait captures so well the complexity and pain of the feelings of those left behind, not just of Emma but of Jamie, Joe and Rose Jamie has a great deal to cope with, and I was incredibly drawn to him through the way he was portrayed I thought the portrayal of the father, Joe s feelings, was also particularly well drawn and convincing in showing how difficult it was for him to try and deal with what had happened quite simply, he hadn t been able to deal with it he did nothing, simply carried on as before Head down, struggling through the days Keeping going, getting through He d always known, without having to consider it, that there was no chance of recovery Not for him, not for any of them The passing years hadn t changed a thing There was no getting over this But I have written that the author has been honest and true in portraying this story and these people So we know that doing nothing can t carry on forever, not without someone breaking or something having to give, and for them all to have to face what happened, at last The conclusion felt right to me and I m glad the story ended as it did.The View on the Way Down is a beautifully written debut novel, and Rebecca Wait sensitively portrays painful, harsh truths about depression But it remains throughout a compelling, vital story that the reader has to read to the finish This story is sad, tender, raw and painful but it is also warm and hopeful It is heartbreaking, vivid and it feels very real I felt so involved with this story as I read it, I felt the agonies of this family, I was moved by the characters and I found myself thinking about them after closing the pages I read the book in one day it s very rare for me to manage that Evidently Rebecca Wait knows the ins and outs of what she is writing about here there were moments that I felt were so accurate, so heartfelt and true It had a powerful effect on me to feel the strength and honesty in her words It s an important story, told so, so well The writing is light and understated and yet so incisive The author has a deft touch whether writing about the everyday or the extreme.So many sentences and passages stood out to me There are moments that touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes because they were so simply stated yet so painfully true, such as the observation by Jamie s former girlfriend about the letter he once wrote to her I will let you discover the details for yourself if you read the book It made me think just how much the author has understood about people and life, how she has captured the reactions and realities that rang so true to me as I read One of my principal thoughts after finishing this novel was that it s so special to read a book that actually reminds you why you love reading so much To read a book that you connect with, that takes you away from your world and into the lives of others, into a story that you are deeply moved by and compelled to read, but a book that, when you put it down and return to your own world, makes you feel that you are not alone in that world or not alone with your feelings I hope I have done this book some justice in my review I think there is so muchI could say, but in the end all I can say is I thought it was an amazing, accomplished debut and please do read it I don t use ratings on my blog any but if I did this book would get 6 out of 5 The View on the Way Down is an insightful and honest look at depression and its wide ranging consequences Emma is struggling at school She is starting to lose her grip on things that she had been sure of, like her leadership of the Christian Union school group And there are the things that she s not very sure of, like why one of her brothers left home on the day of their other brother s funeral Never to return Emma navigates her increasingly difficult school life and the silence surrounding The View on the Way Down is an insightful and honest look at depression and its wide ranging consequences Emma is struggling at school She is starting to lose her grip on things that she had been sure of, like her leadership of the Christian Union school group And there are the things that she s not very sure of, like why one of her brothers left home on the day of their other brother s funeral Never to return Emma navigates her increasingly difficult school life and the silence surrounding her absent siblings at home But then news arrives that her brother, Jamie, is now working in a bookshop in Sheffield And the fractured family is forced to face its pastThis is a quick read, but engaging and suspenseful throughout Emma and Jamie s voices are authentic their parents, Rose and Joe, each try to survive their loss in their own way Kit, the first born son is remembered as only a family can I enjoyed this one, but I didn t love it as much as I expected to I think maybe my expectations were too high, though I m not sure why This is the first book I ve read by this author I d certainly tryof her work 3.5 stars. A View on the Way Down is a book with depth but not one without a wry sense of humour.Part one is mainly told from Emma s viewpoint, a teenage girl who is a fervent member of the Christian Union her world unravels when the cool girls decide to join With life at school becoming evermiserable she reflects on the death of her brother Kit and the disappearance of her other brother Jamie.Later on in the book we get to see quite why and how this tragedy happened and why We have insights int A View on the Way Down is a book with depth but not one without a wry sense of humour.Part one is mainly told from Emma s viewpoint, a teenage girl who is a fervent member of the Christian Union her world unravels when the cool girls decide to join With life at school becoming evermiserable she reflects on the death of her brother Kit and the disappearance of her other brother Jamie.Later on in the book we get to see quite why and how this tragedy happened and why We have insights into Jamie s life before and after Kit s death, his father Joe s response to the tragedy revolves around his shed and Rose his mother retreated into creating sumptuous dishes for the family, not helping Emma s weight issues All these characters are well rounded, ones that I will miss now that the last page has been turned, which in my opinion, is the sign of a good book.This is one of those books that truly earns the sobriquet poignant and although it keeps well away from being mawkish it left me with a real sense of sadness for the whole family This book deals with a subject that most of us shy away from but Rebecca Wait handles all aspects with delicacy and a lightness of touch making it an accessible read I received a copy of this book through theVine Programme I ve been postponing reviewing this book for several weeks because my feelings are quite mixed Rebecca Wait seems someone I d quite like admire if I knew her, in The View on the Way Down she is quiet, understated, but extremely effective As a study in how a suicide affects a family, this book appealed to me eventhan Miriam Toews s All My Puny Sorrows, partly because Toews s characters seem to be constantly knocking themselves out to be characters whereas Wait s are allowed to be v I ve been postponing reviewing this book for several weeks because my feelings are quite mixed Rebecca Wait seems someone I d quite like admire if I knew her, in The View on the Way Down she is quiet, understated, but extremely effective As a study in how a suicide affects a family, this book appealed to me eventhan Miriam Toews s All My Puny Sorrows, partly because Toews s characters seem to be constantly knocking themselves out to be characters whereas Wait s are allowed to be very ordinary that is an aspect of this book I loved Ordinary people experience grief every bit as intensely as characters famous literary intellectuals too Wait gives us a very true portrait of what happens when members of a family deal with loss in all the wrong ways In caregiving we distinguish six stages in the process of recovering from loss you need to recognise, react, recollect, relinquish, readjust reinvest Rose Joe, the mum dad, haven t even dealt with the beginning two stages, pretending to their daughter Emma that Kit s death was an accident Kit s room is kept just as it was when he was a teenager Rose devotes herself to preparing meals full of calories carbs which only aggravate poor Emma s weight issues that make her the laughingstock of her school Joe simply doesn t talk about it spends all his leisure time in his woodworking shop, neglecting his work as a solicitor He is totally estranged from his other son, Kit s slightly younger brother Jamie Tho Toews s family were poisoned by religious toxicity, Joe believes in nothing all He thinks of backaches headaches as a cross he had to bear then we re told He hated the way religious language invaded everyday speech Reminded him of Emma s religious craze, which thankfully seemed to have dampened down in recent months I d say that in Meyers Briggs terms Joe is an off the charts ISTJ woodworking is an appropriate hobby for him he has about as much spirituality as a chair Jamie, whom we discover has some reason to be afflicted by guilt, has buried himself in a dead end job in a bookstore treats his girlfriend abominably When he does attempt to become reconciled with his father, Joe ignores his efforts In some respects parts of this story are a kind of reverse parable of the prodigal son when Jamie attempts to rise go to his father, father isn t having any My principal problem with The View on the Way Down was with Kit, the elder brother who commits suicide Had I been Jamie, my issue with grief would have been that I wasn t entirely displeased that Kit was dead He is constantly superior, patronising overbearing, even in the flashback scene the beginning of the story where they re boys playing on the beach I found the scene in the pub where Kit humiliates Jamie in front of his friend Sam painful reading, Virtually all suicides are squalid affairs, but Kit s is particularly bathetic he needn t have made Jamie complicit Jamie of course should have called 999 there are some things you just do however sympathetic he may feel with Kit s desire to end the psychic pain However the book gripped me all the way through to a resolution that I could both believe accept So I thought that whilst Rebecca Wait s characters displayed some flaws inconsistencies that made it hard for me to empathise with them, she really gets it so far as the effects of grief are concerned She has a new book coming out I look forward to reading it I found this book upsetting to read, and now I am finding upsetting to write about Because it deals with some difficult subjects the consequences of depression the pain of bereavement and loss the far reaching effects of grief can do that strike very close to home I carried on reading and now I am trying to write because Rebecca Wait set those themes at the heart of a compelling family story, and because her perception is so acute that I find myself deeply moved and very nearly lost I found this book upsetting to read, and now I am finding upsetting to write about Because it deals with some difficult subjects the consequences of depression the pain of bereavement and loss the far reaching effects of grief can do that strike very close to home I carried on reading and now I am trying to write because Rebecca Wait set those themes at the heart of a compelling family story, and because her perception is so acute that I find myself deeply moved and very nearly lost for words.The View on the Way Down is the story of a family Rose lost her eldest child, and she is trying to cope by making a lovely home for her husband, trying to fool herself into thinking that of only she can do that everything will be alright But her husband, Joe, is withdrawn, going through the motions at work and retiring to his shed at every opportunity Because her is angry, with the world, but most of all with his surviving son Jamie left home, and broke contact with his family, on the day of his brother s funeral Now he works in a bookshop, and drifts through life alone Emma is much younger, and she doesn t know what happened on the night that Kit died, she doesn t know why Jamie left home, but she feels their loss and the grief that pervades her home deeply She has a coping strategy comfort eating and the Christian Union.Each character is beautifully realised, and so I was drawn into the story I cared, and I needed to understand.The story began with Emma, and I couldn t help but love her She was lovely, she was sensitive, and when she found herself being bullied at school she felt overwhelmed and so terribly alone Both of her brothers had abandoned her and she felt that loss terribly her parents haven t talked to her about what happened, and she feared that the distress she might cause if she asked questions And so she tried to manage, to work things out, by herself, but it all became too much And so she ran.Jamie s ex girlfriend saw him at work, she knew the family situation, and she thought it best to let his parents know where he was That gave Emma somewhere to run But Jamie was struggling just as much as she was, with the loss of the brother he had looked up to, with everything that had led up to Kit s death, and with his knowledge of what really happened the night Kit died At first Jamie was not quite so easy to love, but I felt for him, I really did And I came to love him too as he raised himself, to look after Emma, and to call is parents to let them know that she was safe.That changed everything I came to know Kit as well as his siblings, because Jamie began first to think about, and then to write about, the past His story was so real, so moving, that it very nearly broke my heart.That I felt so deeply for these three siblings, that I was so upset, is a measure of what Rebecca Wait has achieved in her debut novel I never doubted that she really knew, that she really understood, and that her accounts of depression, of bereavement, of grief, were utterly, utterly credible And the simplicity and the clarity of her story and her writing allowed that understanding to shine.The children were in the foreground of the story and their parent in the background, but their emotions and experiences were just as real and just as moving.Some things I know through my own life experiences, some things I know because others have told me, and so many moments struck a chord, touched my heart, made me stop and catch my breath.And though it is upsetting, it is also a great joy to find a book that captures those life experiences so very, very well I am sure it is a book that will resonate with those who have lived through any of those experiences, and a book that will bring greater understanding to those who have not.I would so love to see it widely read, to see it talked about, and to see it showered with plaudits `Free ☠ Kopfüber zurück ⇱ F nf Jahre sind seit Kits Tod vergangen Der j ngere Bruder Jamie lebt ein schattenhaftes Dasein, entfremdet von seiner Familie, gel hmt durch die Ereignisse der Vergangenheit und die unbeugsame Wut seines Vaters Die Eltern sind in Schweigen versunken und froh, dasswenigstens Tochter Emma ein zufriedenes Leben zu f hren scheint und offenbar gar nicht genau wei , was damals geschehen ist Doch als Emma lter wird, beginnt sie, unbequeme Fragen zu stellen, in der Hoffnung, das Geheimnis um Kits Tod endlich zu l ften Als die Antworten ausbleiben, beschlie t Emma, der Sache selbst auf den Grund zu gehen, und rei t von zu Hause aus, um ihren Bruder Jamie zur Rede zu stellen