Falling Short by Lex Coulton
Falling Short (John Murray) is the debut novel by Lex Coulton and has two central characters’ in Frances and Jackson. Frances is 39-years-old and teaches Shakespeare to a class of six former’s at a North London School, so there is a hint of Shakespeare coming through at times. She harbours a memory of her father that when she was very young was told that he was ‘missing’ at sea but this has led to lots of questions. She also has real concerns about her mother and her eccentric behaviour, but is there something else behind this behaviour? We also hear from Jackson who is a work colleague of Frances and they were good friends but it pretty clear reading both their stories that both are two very fragile characters and building and keeping relationships is something that both are not great at.
The story of Frances’s father really does bring the story to life and makes this a very readable debut novel. This is very much a character driven novel and it is so important that the characters are believable and have a voice. I am pleased to say that Lex Coulton has done just that in Falling Short. For Jackson he recounts his younger life back in his native South Africa and what brought him to the UK. In both Frances and Jackson, they are imperfect people but you did feel for both throughout the story for different reasons. When you realise that someone close to you is suffering from an illness that you know that there so little you can do is so difficult and you feel alone and desperate. This is Frances’s story. At times this book is warm and funny then there are moments that you feel really sad. The desperate search for real happiness can be a lonely search. Lex Coulton is a new and exciting voice in writing and I am interested to see what comes next from Coulton.
Thank you to for the review copy of Falling Short by Lex Coulton
Falling Short was released on 14th June by John Murray and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.