A compelling, moving tale of a love affair, set in the East End during World War 1 and inspired by an unforgettable true story. A great war. A powerful love. An impossible choice. I think the war is everywhere: in the rain, in the river, in the grey air that we breathe. It is a current that runs through all of us. You can't escape the current; either you swim with it, or you go under. 1916. Across the channel, the Great War rages; in London's East End, with her husband away fighting, Hannah Loxwood struggles to hold everything together. But when Hannah takes a job in a cafe, she discovers a glimpse of freedom away from her needy young children, her spiteful sister and desperately ill father. While the conflict drags on, Hannah battles with the overwhelming burden of 'duty'. She has sacrificed so much for a husband who left her behind, a husband who may never come home. Then, when she meets Daniel - thoughtful, intelligent, quietly captivating - Hannah finds herself faced with the most dangerous of temptations ...As the war grips tighter and bombs fall down upon the streets, the stakes for the couple grow ever higher.
Soon Hannah and Daniel will realise just how precarious their happiness is, as their destiny rushes towards them ...Beautifully wrought, utterly compelling and with a twist that will leave you breathless, Before The Fall, inspired by a true story, hurls you into a London torn apart by the First World War and paints a vivid and haunting portrait of one woman's struggle.
Poignant ... arresting. Daily Mail As poignant as it is powerful. Alison MacLeod, author of the Booker Longlisted: Unexploded Evocative and powerful. Good Housekeeping Breathtaking ... intelligent, wise, and full of passion and courage ... a superb read. Louise Douglas, Bestselling author of The Secrets Between Us Satisfyingly atmospheric. Independent on Sunday An incredible debut novel ... superbly drawn. Historical Novels Review An astonishing literary achievement ... mesmerizing. Ann Weisgarber, Orange Prize longlisted and Orange New Writers Award shortlisted author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree A stunning debut - a breathtaking portrayal of life and love in all its complexity ... heartbreaking. Suzannah Dunn, author of The Confession of Katherine Howard A wonderful novel, beautifully evocative ... passionate and poignant. lizlovesbooks blog West's descriptions of war time London; the poverty, filth, fear and the oppression are, at times, breathtaking. [She] eloquently captures the horrors faced by those left behind. District Post A superbly written book, full of historic details ... expect to be moved and shaken as the tale unfolds. The Beesley Buzz A compelling read and one that will haunt you for some time to come. Sussex Style
Juliet West worked as a journalist before taking an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University, where she won the Kate Betts' Memorial Prize. Before The Fall, her debut novel, was shortlisted for the Myriad Editions novel writing competition in 2012. Juliet also writes short stories and poetry, and won the H E Bates short story prize in 2009. She lives in West Sussex with her husband and three children.