The novel revolves around a ‘normal’ suburban family who are shaken up after the youngest child – thirteen year old Meredith Oliver – witnesses the abduction of a much more popular girl, Lisa Bellow.
The narration of The Fall of Lisa Bellow is too detached: it is so seemingly disinterested and unaffected by the emotions and traumas that Meredith is experiencing that it was hard to care for her or her family.
Meredith is established from the get go as a ‘normal’ aka boring teenager, one who lacks any sort of remarkable skills whatsover, and one who is prone to jealousy and sulking…she embodies the stereotypical stroppy teenager. Also, Lisa’s disappearance affects her in a somewhat unbelievable way: she fantasies and romanticises her kidnapping, imagining what is happening to Lisa. Meredith thoughts came across as creepy and overtly sexual. The distaste she feels at the sight of her brother’s injury made her even less likeable. Claire, her mother, is also pretty unlikable.
The Olivers had little to offer in the way of family dynamics: they were flat and monotone. Lisa Bellow is an afterthought, and not the focus of this novel. The narrative strives to be emotionless, to observe with detachment what Meredith and her mother are experiencing, and needlessly makes morbid remarks/observations.
My rating: 2 stars