Title: Even Angels Fall
Author: FL Darbyshire
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Release Date: August 21, 2014Summary:
After suffering an unthinkable loss, Abbey Miller and her family move to Leeds to rebuild their lives and start again, but the pain and grief that Abbey carries with her is impossible to escape. As she finds herself becoming increasingly isolated from her family, she develops a firm friendship with Lucy, Nathan and Liam, who introduce her to a brand new and exciting world, far removed from all of her problems. But will her new friends bring her the light hearted relief she has longed for? Or will she find herself getting drawn deep into their dangerous and intoxicating world?
Abbey is genuinely surprised at how easy it is to sneak out of the new house. She goes downstairs in her pyjamas to set up her alibi and make it seem as though she is getting an early night, being careful not to make too much of a show and rouse suspicion. Once she is back in her bedroom, she gets ready as quickly and as quietly as possible – occasionally creeping over to the door to listen out for approaching footsteps while doing her hair and make-up. There are a few brief moments of doubt when her conscience almost gets the better of her, but she is still so angry with Janet and Peter that those moments don’t last long. Her window opens fully and is more than big enough for her to climb out of, and her bedroom is thankfully on the side of the house that adjoins to the garage, the roof of which is only a metre and a half below. If that wasn’t the case, her mission might have failed.
Abbey throws her bag as gently as possible into the bushes below, before sitting on the windowsill and swinging her legs round so that she is facing outside. She carefully lowers herself down as far as she possibly can – and with a quick glance back – let’s go of the window frame. There is a dull thud as she lands and she waits a moment, listening intently for any movement inside the house. Satisfied that she hasn’t been heard, she stands on her tiptoes and pushes the window to, so that it is only open an inch. There is a drainpipe next to it that she can use to climb back in, but she will worry about that part later.
Abbey hurries across the garage roof, climbs down onto the garden wall and drops onto the driveway, looking back at the house one last time as she dusts herself off and dashes out into the street. There is still a part of her that can’t believe what she is doing but she won’t turn back now.
Lucy, Nathan and Liam are waiting for her outside the Co-op down the road and their expressions flit between shock and admiration as she approaches.
“We didn’t know if you’d make it…!” Lucy shouts, as Abbey crosses the road towards them.
“I said I was coming didn’t I?” She greets Lucy with a hug; followed by Liam and Nathan – instantly forgetting about her worries and the huge amount of trouble she could potentially be in.
“I got some booze already… you like vodka right?”
“Sure, vodka’s fine…” Abbey isn’t much of a drinker so she can’t really say what alcohol she does like. She had turned 18 in February – two weeks before the move to Leeds – and needless to say there wasn’t much celebration involved.
It was a milestone birthday but it was also a stark reminder of what Ryan would never experience. He would never drink, never drive, never vote. He had died four days shy of their 17th birthday, so the last two have passed by with no real festivities at all. They have become a more sombre occasion, and in a way Abbey feels as though she is betraying Ryan by getting older, almost as if she is leaving him
behind. She is moving forward, while he is frozen…forever sweet sixteen.
After a 15 minute taxi drive through Leeds, past the train station and out towards the bottom end of town, they stop at a modern, high rise building on the outskirts of the city next to the water of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. They pay the driver and approach the main door, where Liam presses a button for flat 38. There is a pause, then a click.
Liam leans forward, putting his mouth right up to the speaker as he shouts in a stupid voice.
“EASY BRUVVAAAA…!” Whoever’s on the other end of the intercom responds in exactly the same way, and the buzzer sounds, releasing the door. Lucy rolls her eyes as the four of them make their way inside.
They ride the elevator up to the ninth floor and walk down a long narrow corridor that is painted and carpeted in neutral colours. Various pieces of modern art hang on the walls and large free standing vases are placed sporadically along the passage way.
“Wow, this is really nice…” Abbey wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t something this up market.
“Yeah, Alex has a pretty high paying job…” Liam laughs and the three of them glance at each other as if sharing a private joke. Once again Abbey feels a little left out, but at least she is here with them. They have included her by bringing her along tonight and she reminds herself that she should be grateful for that.
As the four friends approach the very end of the hallway and flat number 38, Lucy reaches up to knock, but before she has a chance, the handle turns and the door swings open unexpectedly. Abbey stares, wide-eyed and breathless, as everything around her fades into the background. Time seems to stand still and in that fraction of a second, her whole entire universe shifts.
“What time do you call this…?” The man standing in the doorway asks his question in a deep Irish accent that flows so beautifully, it is almost surreal. He is tall, with dark brown hair that is styled into a slight quiff at the front. He is wearing faded jeans, a grey V-neck T-shirt and a set of silver rosary beads that hang just past his chest. He is incredibly lean and toned, with the muscles in his arms standing out in stark contrast to his slender frame. He has incredibly chiselled features with a few days’ worth of stubble and the most piercing, electric blue eyes that Abbey has ever seen.
“We’re not that late! We just had to go pick Abbey up…!” Lucy kisses him on the cheek as she enters the flat and Abbey follows behind, smiling timidly. Her heart is beating so fast it feels as though it is going to explode out of her rib cage. She had never really given any thought to what Alex or the others looked like… she had never asked. So it is a complete shock seeing first-hand how unbelievably good-looking he is.
Liam enters the flat and Alex shakes his hand, slapping him on the back in greeting. Abbey can’t resist glancing back over her shoulder but she quickly looks away when she sees that he is still watching her. He greets Nathan in exactly the same manner, before shutting the door without once taking his eyes from Abbey’s face. She begins to feel uncomfortable under his constant stare and turns away shyly, desperately trying to control her blushing.
Fay Louise Darbyshire is a twenty eight year old, first time writer from West Yorkshire. Born and raised in Leeds, Fay finished High School at the age of sixteen and went on to enrol at Leeds College of Art and Design where she studied Media, Film and English. After graduating into the world of full time employment, her passion for writing remained and she spent several years developing film scripts and screen plays in her spare time, until finally deciding to adapt one of her stories into a book in late 2013. Her debut novel ‘Even Angels Fall’ was released at the end of 2014.
When asked recently how she wanted readers to feel whilst reading ‘Even Angels Fall’, Fay replied;
‘I wanted to challenge them and to challenge their opinion on the stereotypes they might have expected to see in this kind of story. I know a lot of reviewers said they felt conflicted. They knew that they shouldn’t really be rooting for the characters in certain parts of the book and that they perhaps shouldn’t be feeling sympathy for them, but knowing deep down that they are good people caught up in a series of awful situations meant they still wanted them to succeed. All of the characters make bad choices throughout the story, but I wanted the reader to understand the reasons behind those choices and the circumstances that lead them there. I wanted them to feel connected to the characters and to feel empathy for what they we’re going through, despite how extreme it may be…’
‘I like characters that are multi-layered and complicated, because that is real to me. They aren’t saints, but they aren’t villains either. It is never that black and white.’