Thursday, 12 December 2013
The Opposite of Falling by Jennie Rooney
Jilted by her fiancé, Ursula Bridgewater has been left on the shelf. It is the early 1860s and Ursula decides to travel - Thomas Cook is conducting tours abroad – and tentatively she begins with a trip to Wales. Ten years later and Ursula still has the travel bug, and without a husband or any meaningful way to occupy her very able brain, she plans a tour to the United States. She hires a new maid, Sally Walker, to be her travel companion.
Sally has been brought up in a convent and seen little of the world. Painfully shy, she is overwhelmed by Ursula’s frankness and generosity, but nervous of the journey ahead. When Ursula books a balloon ride at Niagara Falls, Sally is panic stricken but the handsome young balloonist, Toby O’Hara, equally takes her breath away.
Toby was just a small boy when he witnessed his mother’s death following an attempt to fly a contraption made by his father. The possibilities of being airborne have haunted him since. The three characters’ stories converge towards a thrilling climax as each makes an important discovery.
The Opposite of Falling is a lively read made all the more interesting with its description of a number of issues of the day, such as the development of new technology, the class system and the place of women in society. Jennie Rooney is the author who gave us the acclaimed novel, Inside the Whale.
Reviewed by JAM
Catalogue link: The Opposite of Falling