– Illustration by Emma Inge –
Jo grows up on the top floor of a high-rise block of flats in Glasgow. Far from resenting his surroundings, Jo likes his home and is proud to live in what his father calls ‘the eagle’s nest’. When his father starts to supplement his earnings as a Taxi driver by getting involved in crime, his mother leaves. But Jo remains faithful to his father, believing that his father is just helping people out. At this point Jo falls in love with Ellie, the wealthy, estranged daughter of one of his father’s colleagues. Inadvertently the two of them get involved in a burglary and end up being chased out of Glasgow and through the highlands. They have an adventure together that doesn’t work out as they hope and are both rudely awoken to the harder realities of adults and their parent’s ability to make mistakes. Jo and Ellie share hopes, disappointments, fear, let downs and ultimately having to leave childhood behind. There is a constantly changing backdrop of run down housing, wild countryside and the sea. It’s a story about feelings, but also a story of how people are connected to where they live, be that in a lift up to the 32nd floor or a path up a lonely mountainside.
Falling is a coming of age story, but anybody can read it or have it read to them. There are elements that might go above the head of somebody younger than about ten, but nothing unsuitable!