We All Fall, Helen Vivienne Fletcher
Combining a coming of age story, with paranormal aspects, this YA novella sensitively incorporates the subjects of disability and same sex attraction.
The main character, Myra, is a circus kid, who once old enough, had joined her parent's aerial act. Then she fell, injuring herself badly, so she now lives with constant pain, and the differences that the disability in a circus environment have created in her life. Now working on other performers costumes, Myra has become an acute observer of the circus life, she spends her life shaking the sequins from her hair and clothes, wearing, but not able to perform, in the trappings of circus. She's particularly close to the only other person of a similar age to her in the travelling group - seventeen-year-old Luca, who definitely hopes there is more to the relationship than friendship.
When Giselle joins the circus Myra is fascinated. A teenager as well, Giselle is a blind fortune teller, although whether she is blind, or this is part of her act, Myra's not sure - but she's drawn to Giselle. Perhaps as her first ever female friend, perhaps more.
A novella in length, the title - WE ALL FALL has a double meaning. The circus has been plagued by falls and minor accidents recently, and Luca and Myra's personal feelings are definitely of the teenage falling variety, but is there more than coincidence to these accidents and the arrival of Giselle and her strange mother.
Addressing many challenges of young lives in such a short novel is quite an undertaking, and the way that sexuality, disability, and the difficulties of teenage friendship and family relationships are explored is beautifully executed. There are some paranormal aspects built in here as well and they don't clash with the rest of the narrative in any way. More of a supernatural styled thriller than an out and out crime novel, WE ALL FALL is well worth reading.
Myra fell from the trapeze, and then she fell in love. Which one will hurt her the most?
Something is not right at the circus. Since Myra’s accident, there have been an unexplainable number of falls, and a strange, hot wind whispering through the tents.
Then, a new fortune teller arrives.
Myra meets Giselle, the beautiful, blind, child fortune teller, who often speaks of spirits in a way which may or may not be a joke. Myra finds herself drawn to her, despite the fact that she doesn’t believe in psychics.
When someone she cares about becomes the next victim of the falls, Myra must face the unnatural cause behind them. Will Myra be able to save the people she loves, or will she be the next one to drop?