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The Fall Hardcover – Jan 1 2003

3.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Strong Is the New Pretty

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company; 1 edition (Jan. 7 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316097802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316097802
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #548,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

Uncommonly wise and painstakingly crafted, this tale of struggles on personal and physical slopes ranges from present-day Wales to blitz-era London, tracking two generations of tangled love affairs. It begins with the death of acclaimed mountain climber Jamie Matthewson near his home in craggy North Wales. When Jamie's childhood friend Rob Dewar goes to visit Matthewson's widow, Ruth, the novel steps backwards in time to recount the story of Jamie's relationship with Rob and Ruth. From their childhood onwards, Jamie and Rob share a love of mountain climbing, of the sheer danger involved in it. The two men are rivals as athletes but also as lovers, as they compete for the love of many women-from Ruth, a drifting free-spirited artist who eventually marries Jamie, to Jamie's mother herself. As Ruth's relationship with Jamie evolves, it does not necessarily cool with Rob, straining the friendship between the two. Mawer gradually reveals that the complications began before either Jamie or the narrator were born, describing the kindling of romance between Jamie's father, himself a mountain climber, Rob's mother and Jamie's mother in England during the heady years of World War II. Although the mountain-climbing descriptions sometimes threaten to overpower the novel with their intensity, their metaphorical significance always wins out. Mawer has created characters and situations that overflow with truly believable pain and exhilaration, and he endows the narrative with a surging energy that pushes the book forward, all the way to an end which, like the final line of a haiku, casts a startling light on everything that came before it.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Like his father before him, Jamie Matthewson is a world-class mountain climber and, like his father before him, meets his death while pursuing his passion with a recklessness that fails to exorcise his relentless demons. When Jamie falls during a routine climb in his native Wales, and not on the slopes of Everest as his father had, his death seems more intentional than accidental. For Rob Dewar, Jamie's childhood friend and onetime climbing partner, Jamie's death occasions a fall of his own, a tumble back in time in which he unleashes an avalanche of family secrets that will dangerously bind the two men together in ways neither could ever have imagined. Sons and mothers, husbands and wives, friends and lovers: in Mawer's masterful hands, none of these relationships are what they seem. Intricately weaving time and place, from the bombed-out ruins of World War II London to isolated Alpine mountain peaks, Mawer crafts a sinuously devastating tale of forbidden love and faithless betrayal. A haunting and mesmerizing novel from an expert storyteller. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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