Eddie Reeves is the daughter of famous photographer and revolutionary Seth Reeves. She has not followed in her father’s footsteps of being an artist, but is so proud of what her father has accomplished and how much he values art and sharing his work with the world. When her father commits suicide, she finds herself shocked beyond belief, trying to cope and grieve while her mother refuses to take off her father’s housecoat and can’t seem to move on or understand. Milo, Eddie’s best friend, seems to be the one helping her through her plethora of emotions, but when an old student of her father’s shows up, Eddie believes he is the answer to finding out the mystery of her dad’s death.
Author Courtney Summers has, unsurprisingly, captured beautifully grief and the darkness surrounding death and suicide. The pacing, wording and description of emotions are perfectly aligned to bring us a revealing novel, yet not one bogged down and held back by the dark side of experiencing death. As we follow Eddie throughout the novel, there seems to be no interruptions for clarification of night or day. The novel flows in a way that it never really matters whether the sun is up or everyone else in the town is sleeping, which puts us directly in the mind of Eddie and her mother, who cannot seem to establish normalcy in their lives, rightfully so.
Besides Eddie and her mother, other dynamic characters in the story shine. Beth, her mother’s oldest and best friend, is practically living with them and trying to get them down a healthy physical and emotional track, accomplishing little more than driving Eddie away. With her healthy green-tinted morning shakes and her demands for Eddie to get herself together, it becomes very easy to hate Beth. Yet the author has not kept her a one-dimensional character, as there is more revealed about Beth that helps us peer into her helpful yet controlling heart. Culler, Eddie’s father’s former student, is also a character to be mentioned. As he plays a very important role in the grieving process for Eddie, it is critical for us to understand him, but only to a point, as is revealed towards the end of the novel. Alongside Eddie, we feel the excitement, confusion and doubt in Culler’s presence.
Although every reader may not experience a death so tragic in their lifetime, Fall For Anything is not one to be missed. The depth to which the author goes into the psychology and mannerisms of humanity is to be applauded and admired.
Fall For Anything
by Courtney Summers
Published by St. Martin’s
This novel satisfies both the Canadian Reading Challenge and the Contemps Challenge.