13 September 2013

Book Review: Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke

"What would you do if you could write the story of your life?

After battling a brain tumour twenty-nine year old Emma thinks she is in the clear, but her world comes crashing down around her when she is told her fight was in vain, and there is nothing more the doctors can do.

Realising that she won’t now have time to achieve the things she dreamed of, Emma decides to write her perfect life in a story. She imagines all the things she would have done, the places she would have seen, the husband she would have shared her life with and the family they would have raised. And, mysteriously, as she writes her story, she starts to notice that some of her dreams seem to be coming true.

Now with a real love in her life, and her fading hope burning brighter, reality and fiction start to become blurred. As she writes their life-long love story Emma dares to believe that anything is possible, but can she really change her fate?"

Rating: 5/5

You can buy Another Way to Fall as a paperback or an eBook now.

I'll be honest and say for some reason I hadn't noticed this book until I was contacted by the lovely Jaime at Harper who offered a review copy to me. I read the blurb and thought it sounded like an intriguing read, and I wanted to find out what was going to happen with Emma's story. I was quite prepared for it to be a bit of a sad read, but I don't think I was anywhere near ready for the emotional rollercoaster that I found myself on when I was reading the book. I went from smiling to sobbing, and by the end, I was so moved I couldn't pick up another book for a few days. It's one of those really emotional books that will haunt you and stay with you for a long time, and for me is a must-read.

Emma has been battling a brain tumour for a few years, and she thought she'd finally beaten it. But when she starts getting more symptoms and finds out that her tumour has returned, and this time there's nothing more the doctors can do to help her, she begins to feel bereft. Being only 29, Emma realises she isn't going to get to do all of the things in life she wanted to - travel, get married and have children. So she begins to write a story of her perfect life, with this version of Emma getting to do all those things that she will miss out on. However, as she starts writing her story, things in her own life start changing, and for the better as well. Emma finally opens up her heart, and with that tries to find happiness in the short time she has left.

I don't want to spoil too much of the book, but I have to say how much I loved the character of Emma. Straight away, you get the sense that she is an incredibly strong person having to deal with a really horrible disease, and Brooke writes this so poignantly that you can't help but be touched by it from the first page. Emma's pain, both physical and emotional, is obvious too. Her longing for things she knows she won't have is hard to read and often moved me to tears, and certainly makes you feel grateful that you aren't in her shoes. I can't imagine what it must be like to live with such uncertainty, and while it doesn't always make for comfortable reading, you can't stop turning the pages and being absorbed by Emma and her tale. I really enjoyed the aspect of her writing her own happy ending as well, it was quite bittersweet but the way she felt she was living somewhat through her fictional Emma was heart-warming.

One thing I found really, really hard was to read the scenes with Emma and her mother Meg. I was in floods of tears with these scenes, particularly towards the end because as a mum, I couldn't help but put myself in Emma's mums shoes and the pain she was going through knowing she was going to lose her child. It was very emotional for me in this respect, and I am sure a lot of mothers reading this will be thinking the same thing. It was heart-breaking but such a pivotal part of the story it had to be there. The relationship that Emma had with her sister too was wonderful to read, so close and Brooke writes the pain of both so easily. The love story within too gives Emma hope, and you can't help but wish she could get the happy ever after that she so deserves, even though you know it isn't possible.

Another Way to Fall is really emotional, heart-breaking and moving book that will definitely move you to tears, but it is one that you'll be pleased you've read once you have. It's full of hope and love, showing how families can come together when they are pushed to the very limit, and how you have to be there for each other through the ups and downs, no matter what. Brooke has really tapped into the emotions of these characters so well, their pain, their heartbreak and also their hope too that you are feeling these emotions along with them, it's so powerful. When I read the opening to the book which explains how Brooke lost her own young son to cancer, you can see how she has tapped into her own awful experiences to put across the realistic side to this book, and as you've probably guessed that made me cry even more. Never has a book made me cry so book, but I'm still pleased I've read, and I know it's one that will remain on my 'keepers' shelf, a truly moving book.


  1. Love the sound of this and the cover!

  2. I don't know if I could read this book.... I just cried reading your review!