Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Review: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Title: Before the Fall
Author: Noah Hawley
Year Published: 2016

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 390
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map)USA (MA, NY)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are the painter, Scott Burroughs, and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a powerful media mogul's family.

Was it by chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something more sinister at work? A storm of media attention brings Scott fame that quickly morphs into notoriety and accusations, and he scrambles to salvage truth from the wreckage. Amid trauma and chaos, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy grows and glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, morality, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.
Review: Reading a book about a plane crash isn't a great idea when I have three plane trips coming up in the next three months, but this isn't really about a plane crash. The crash is merely the vehicle to get us to the story of the painter and the young boy. And, really, it's about relationships in general.

You know the crash is coming and it happens in the beginning of the book, but the rest of the book fills in all the details. Most of the chapters take us through the post-crash life of Scott Burroughs, the only adult survivor. There is also a chapter for each character that dies, showing the reader a bit about their personality, their life, and their moments just before the crash. Each of these chapters gives us a peek into the build-up of tensions, legal issues, and conflicts among the various characters.

I also liked the role of the media and a right-wing TV host who bent all the rules to create the story he wanted to have told. He was so nasty! Overall this book is good, there is tension about how and why the crash happened, will Scott get blamed, and will the boy be okay.

Challenges for which this counts: none

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