This review is written with thanks to Avon Books UK and Netgalley for my copy of If Ever I Fall.
When Jack comes round after an accident, he has no memory of anything that happened previously or who he is. He finds himself living with a retired doctor, Miles, but has no recollection of how he got there. His story is interspersed with the stories of Dan and Maria, a couple whose life and relationship has fallen apart. Can they find their way through the darkest time of their lives?
It is difficult for me to write about If Ever I Fall, particularly the synopsis, without giving away spoilers, as Robertson gradually gives away small details about what has happened to Jack as the novel develops. This is the aspect I enjoyed most about the novel, as Robertson gave away just enough to pique my interest and make me question what had happened without making the plot confusing. I became immersed in the plot very quickly and could not stop reading.
I also enjoyed Robertson's characterisation in If Ever I Fall. The central characters, Jack, Dan and Maria, were so believable, and the descriptions of the plight in which they found themselves so raw, that it was difficult not to sympathise with them and become emotionally involved in their stories. This was heightened by Robertson's use of a variety of narrative styles: Jack's story was written in first person and Maria's story was told through letters. This helped me to look at the narrative from different viewpoints, and question the reliability of each narrator and what had happened to them, thus maintaining my interest. The novel also has several supporting characters, such as Miles, Ruby and Maurice, and these help to add colour to an already rich narrative.
I had read reviews of If Ever I Fall prior to reading it myself, and I was challenged by these reviewers not to cry at the ending. I failed. It is very rare that a book has such a strong emotional impact on me, and the ending will stay with me for some time to come.
If Ever I Fall is available from Amazon.