My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“After the Fall” tells the story on an affair from rotating first-person perspectives from each of the players involved in the story. It’s an interesting hook and conceit for the story and it almost feels a bit voyeuristic as we get inside the heads of each person involved in the affair.
Luke and Kate are married to other people–Cressida and Cary. The two couples maintain a friendship, hanging out together, taking vacations together, etc. Luke and Kate are extremely outgoing while Cressida and Cary are a bit more introverted. It’s a case of opposites attracting for each of the married couples, but when Luke and Kate flirt at a wedding, something develops between the two of them. The two eventually begin to have an affair.
“After the Fall” examines the lead-up to, the events of and the fall-out from the affair. Each side of the story is told in short, first-person accounts of what’s happened and it’s a fascinating “Roshomon”-like device to see the events unfold from the various perspectives. Ladd gets inside the mind of each character to try and reveal motivations, thoughts, feelings, justifications, etc for the affair.
At some points, the story follows the standard, predictable path but at others it pulls out a few unexpected twists and turns. Finding out who stays with who and why in the aftermath of things is interesting and a bit unexpected.
Overall, it’s not a great piece of literature, but it’s an enjoyable enough guilty pleasure type of read.