Falling out of Heaven

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HarperCollins UK, May 13, 2010 - Fiction - 336 pages
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Hauntingly told and emotionally charged, this is an immense story of consuming addiction and the betrayal of trust.

'I knew that the black dot of pain that lay in the centre of his eyes also lay in mine, and that it was a stain that no amount of washing or praying could shift. I think of my loneliness, how it coils around the centre of my being like a long thread of steel and realise that my father must have been the same, he stood on the outside of our family condemned as an ogre, just as I do now.'

Gabriel O'Rourke seemingly has everything: a loving wife, an adoring young son, a worthwhile job. He is rooted in a community, is part of a family, has a home. Yet, gradually, his world slowly pulls apart, until Gabriel finds himself homeless and destitute, living out of rubbish skips on the street. In a psychotic haze he is admitted into a secure unit, his body addled by alcohol, his mind broken. Here, by confronting the blighting reality of his own alcoholism, Gabriel is forced finally to unearth the muddled spectre of the past: the black betrayals by those around him, his traumatic relationship with his father, and the true darkness of some obsessions.

Learning to navigate a landscape pockmarked with trauma to undergo a journey of painstaking absolution and halting reconstruction, Gabriel understands that only by untangling the mistakes of the past can he hope to reclaim his future.


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Best book I've read this year. It is destructive and painful but the healing of Gabriel is simply beautiful. I think it's one of those books where some people will get 36 pages in and put it down in disgust or dismiss it with disinterest and some will read enraptured and feel content at its end. Some of us have endured unspeakable things very early on in life and this books is a testament to the turmoil we all face and the rebirth some of us are fortunate to have. This is my first John Lynch read but I'm definitely going to look for other works. 

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About the author (2010)

John Lynch is a successful film, television and stage actor. Torn Water is his first novel. He lives in France.

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