Will is a seventeen year old boy who has lived a quiet, sheltered life. He’s an only child who has been homeschooled and brought up by religious parents. He is somewhat of a loner, only hanging out with friends that his parents approve of from their church. He is a good son, he loves his parents, but he wants to be a normal teenager. One night of rebellion completely shatters Will’s quiet world.
My heart broke for Will. I could understand how he just wanted to experience things that any adolescent would experience. His one night of normalcy ended up costing him everything that he held dear. His guilt, his shame, and his pain were palpable. Moving to a different state with an aunt that he hardly knew only added to his turmoil. He would be starting public school, he was getting used to a new environment, and he was still in incredible pain every day. Life as he knew it was over. Although he enjoyed some of the freedom that his new situation allowed, he still missed his family greatly.
On the bright side, Will was fortunate to have an aunt who would do anything to help him. Her work kept her out of the house much of the time, leaving Will to merely exist in his bedroom and play video games. He was so alone. Things began to look up when Will spotted his neighbor and her friends out of his bedroom window. Ryanne was quick to come over and invite Will over to enjoy the day and meet her friends. This began a friendship between Ryanne, Will, and her brother, Jax.
Ryanne and Jax’s family life wasn’t happy. Their mother abandoned their family while they were still very young, leaving them with their workaholic father who would be gone for weeks or months at a time. This left Ryanne in charge of her younger brother and all of the household duties. Their lives were far from idyllic.
Will seemed to come out of his shell, blossom, and enjoy the new friendships that he had formed. But his feelings for Ryanne grew deeper than mere friendship and this did not sit well with Jax. Will and Ryanne’s relationship did seem very awkward throughout much of the book. It is understandable since Will never had a lot of social interaction – especially with girls. It was more of a young adult love story. It was innocent, sweet, and had a naïveté about it.
Despite all of the positive adjustments and new friendships in Will’s life, his immense guilt continues to wreak havoc on him emotionally. He backpedals into the lonely, withdrawn young man that he once was and tries to wash his incessant pain away the only way that he can.
The Fragile Fall is a good debut novel that deals with loss, grief, family, and friendship. It’s a story of forgiveness and learning to live again. It is definitely a book that will touch your heart. I would read another book by this author.