By Danielle McLaughlin
** Publication Date 5 January 2020 **
Nessa works in a gallery where she is procuring both the studio and it’s resident, The Chalk Sculpture. Of course that’s not its real title, but it’s the one most commonly known. Nessa has been taken by Robert Locke’s work for many years. This is the pinnacle of her career studying Locke, by being responsible for the display and curation of his work.
But away from the gallery, there is much turmoil in her life. Her daughter, Jennifer, is a teenager with an attitude. Her husband, Phillip has consented to marriage counseling. And now, suddenly, her former best friend’s son is coming back into her life, along with his father. Life is turned upside down enough without any other surprises.
Melanie Doerr is the next surprise. She is going to lay claim to The Chalk Sculpture. Easily taken for a crazy woman, her story grabs the attention of the public and demands to be heard. Melanie will turn Nessa’s work life, the only thing she is keeping together, into chaos. Secrets will be revealed, and lives will be torn by the events that follow. Hold on, Nessa, there’s turbulence ahead.
Very slow to build, The Art of Falling was written as though you’re riding up the giant hill of a rollercoaster, just waiting for the inevitable fall on the other side. Hence the title. I did struggle initially to get wound into these people’s lives, but as time went on and the hill kept climbing, I grabbed on and couldn’t let go. Secrets always get us in trouble, and this book is full of them. In the end it’s a bit of a tale not uncommon for artists, but I love the way that McLaughlin gave us a new twist on it. Definitely worth the read.