This Chick Read: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

This story starts with a plane crash and admittedly, as my father is a retired pilot, plane crashes are not my favorite subject to read about.  However, as the plot unfolded, the plane crash, although it was the impetus driving the plot, was not what this story was about.  This novel was about human nature.  Noah Hawley revealed each character’s strengths and flaws, using flashbacks to reveal either the growth or decline of each person. Heroism, hatred, greed, kindness, love, and innocence, all qualities entwined through this story, driving us toward a resolution that was satisfyingly real.

I will admit that Scott Burroughs, the main protagonist, and hero, was a somewhat confusing character, at least to me.  He survives a plane wreck, swims miles through the ocean, carrying a little boy on his back.  Chaos ensues, papparazzi stalk him, women throw themselves at him, and he barely reacts to most of it.  Maybe it was the shock of the crash, but his actions were very dreamlike, and to me the hardest to figure out.  Maybe because his actions, those of being a hero, were done without thought. Every other person in this book’s actions were very deliberate, which made them easy to understand.  So, because of that I had a difficult time liking his character.  Although, I liked that he made a connection to the little boy he saved, the only honest emotion we got out of him until the end of the book.

This book has been touted as one of the great books in 2016.  I don’t disagree with that at all as it was so well written. I do wish it had left me with more of an emotional impact at its conclusion, instead of the feeling of relief that the book was finished.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher Grand Central Publishing through NetGalley, for my honest review.

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Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved

3 thoughts on “This Chick Read: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

  1. Literary Elephant

    Great review! Our reactions were very similar. Scott, especially, also confused me at times. The relationship between him and the boy was the only part about him that really felt solid in the present story line, although I also appreciated his history with swimming. I wanted to like him more, but he felt a bit shell-like.

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