Jessica Barry's new novel Freefall, is a shot of the clouds taken from an airplane.
And that's where the book begins - a plane crash. Ally Carpenter is the only survivor when her fiancee's plane crashes. She picks up a few things, stuffs them in a backpack and starts limping off the mountain. She's hurt - but from her inner thoughts we learn she's desperate as well...."I know what's coming for me."
Ally's mother Maggie is informed of the crash - and the death of her daughter. And the news is all the more gut wrenching as she and Ally have been estranged for the last two years.
Freefall is told in alternating chapters from Ally and Maggie. We know Ally is alive - and her desperate flight from the crash has only raised more questions for the reader. Who or what is she fleeing? Why? Will she make it? Or is she too hurt? And then the narrative switches to Maggie. She can't believe Ally is gone and starts to try and piece together the last two years of her daughter's life.
I adore this method of storytelling. But I have to admit, it keeps me up very late - I desperately want to know what's going on with each character. And boy, oh boy, does Barry ever keep the tension high. Every chapter seems to end on a cliffhanger or a revelation. And you just have to keep turning pages! The who and why become clearer as the book progresses and more is revealed, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.
Freefall is a plot driven novel, but I found the characterizations done just as well. I really liked Maggie, her self awareness and her determination.
This was the right book at the right time for me - I was looking for a fast paced, action filled read. And I found it in Freefall. See for yourself - here's an excerpt of Freefall.