Read The Edge of the Fall by Kate Williams Online

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For fans of DOWNTON ABBEY, ATONEMENT and Kate Morton - a compelling historical saga from the bestselling author of THE STORMS OF WAR.In the aftermath of the Great War, the de Witt family are struggling to piece together the shattered fragments of their lives.Rudolf and his wife Verena, still reeling from the loss of their second son, don't know how to function in the post-For fans of DOWNTON ABBEY, ATONEMENT and Kate Morton - a compelling historical saga from the bestselling author of THE STORMS OF WAR.In the aftermath of the Great War, the de Witt family are struggling to piece together the shattered fragments of their lives.Rudolf and his wife Verena, still reeling from the loss of their second son, don't know how to function in the post-war world. Stoneythorpe Hall has become an empty shell with no servants to ensure its upkeep.Celia, the de Witt's youngest daughter, is still desperate to spread her wings and see more of the world. To escape Stoneythorpe and the painful secrets that lie there, she moves to London and embraces life and love in the Roaring Twenties....

Title : The Edge of the Fall
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781409139911
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 364 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Edge of the Fall Reviews

  • Kate
    2018-11-17 23:58

    The story of the De Witt family continues into the 1920s, mostly seen through the eyes of Celia. This family is damaged by far more than war. 3-3.5 stars.

  • Helen
    2018-12-08 03:49

    I'll make this short. Reading the synopsis: Downton Abby! Kate Morton! Sounds perfect, however, in retrospect I guess too perfect. Sadly, it was neither. "It was as if the war had aged everything, dirtied it all, however much you hid things away."Where did it go wrong for me? (and I'll say 'me' because this might just be right for others). Firstly, The Edge of the Fall is the second in a planned trilogy from historian Kate Williams. That I only learned upon closer inspection (not highlighted obviously anywhere), so I was behind from the get-go. Having picked this book up and not realising this fact, I was a little lost, and most likely, did not appreciate certain character developments. As an addendum, this book gets you ready for book three, so some answers you will not receive.Given this, I don't believe it can really be viewed as a standalone due to the plot of the book. Maybe this book was suffering from middle trilogy syndrome? To my mind, the plot jumped around, everything from the narrative (two characters, first person), to the timeline itself. At times, the alternating viewpoints of Celia and Louisa are difficult to reconcile. In fact I found them in the extreme and bordering on major exaggeration. How could two people see the one event SO differently. At the heart of the book is Celia and, sad to say, I just did not like her. She is a sulky character and you never really feel like being on her side. She just whines way too much: "She's no fun. Always feeling sorry for herself, wandering around under a cloud."Then there is her brother Arthur, and he is even worse. What a cad! Meant to be of course, however, I was most unhappy with the predictable outcome. In my humble opinion there was some much needed editing required as topics of conversation were repeated over and over, even events restated time and time again. We get it! Move on!To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Better editing would have cut much of the repetition and had an increased impact. For example, the inclusion of Jonathan visiting Emmeline's children: why include this? In fact I struggled with much of the plot structure/timeline: Celia's personal drama, suddenly switched to brother's drama (her's totally forgotten), switched to this Jonathan (old beau) on the scene - one hot potato dropped for another with no depth or relevance. I was bordering on a two and a half star rating, however, by the end, I had 'fallen off the edge' (pun intended) and she didn't care and neither did I!"She didn't care. She hoped it poured down on her and everyone else for the rest of their lives."http://greatreadsandtealeaves.blogspo...

  • Patty Killion
    2018-12-05 02:02

    "The Edge of the Fall" is the second novel in "The Storms of War" trilogy.This continuing saga finds Celia de Witt embracing the roaring twenties in postwar London.In the aftermath of the Great War, the de Witt family is struggling to piece together the shattered segments of their lives.I love this family saga and can't wait for the next novel in the trilogy to be released!If you love historical fiction...This is the trilogy for you!!

  • Danielle Urban
    2018-11-25 20:44

    The Edge of the Fall by Kate Williams is definitely a must read for all. For fans of Downtown Abby, this is indeed a read that you won't want to miss. Readers are brought back in time to the Roaring Twenties. A dashing, exciting, and bold time for those living in the time period. The Edge of the Fall will leave readers in suspense even when they have come to the end...wondering what really just happened. The exciting life and ways of the people in London are truly an entertaining read. Drama, action, and a sense of intrigue created on every page. Witnesses are saying that a man has pushed his wife over the edge of the fall...did he really or is it a way of going after an innocent man? Then there's a woman being sent cruel things...A cat goes missing...only to turn up dead...the mystery of who and why will plague readers into continuing their search for the answers as they keep turning the pages. Suspenseful, well-written, and characters that are believable will keep readers coming back to this novel every time. A murderer might just be living near you the whole time...and you won't know it until his plan for freeing himself and you happens. The Edge of the Fall is a thrilling adventure, that will leave readers guessing and feeling goosebumps form on this skin as they dive further into the story. The tale feels so real, that readers will have a hard time shaking reality from fiction. I enjoyed reading this new title by Kate Williams. Her talent shines throughout her historical novel. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.

  • Em
    2018-11-19 21:03

    This book is an odd hotch-potch of different plot lines competing for the reader's attention. I couldn't get "into" the story, because the moment you really got interested in one plot line, the author would bait and switch for a seemingly completely unrelated one. There's some nice historical detail, but I never felt like I had really been taken back in time into the world of the story.Reviewed in my December Reading Wrap Up.

  • Christina Kelly
    2018-11-26 03:43

    I RECIEVED THIS BOOK FREE AS A GOODREADS GIVEAWAY. IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL WRITTEN BOOK DESCRIBING THE RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN FAMILIES AND THEIR SECRETS. I WOULD DEFINETELY ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO READ THIS AND I WOULD MYSELF READ FURTHER BOOKS BY KATE WILLIAMS.

  • Pauline
    2018-12-01 01:42

    Wonderful read. I couldn't stop and lost many nights of sleep just to stay up and read.

  • Emma Crowley
    2018-11-26 22:06

    The Edge of the Fall is the second in a planned trilogy from historian Kate Williams based on the De Witt family. I had only read the first in the series The Storms of War just a few months ago and reviewed it on the blog. I found the first book quite slow to get going but once it did I found it to be a brilliant read chronicling the fortunes of a family with German origins living in England during World War One. With The Edge of the Fall I had hoped the author would take us straight back to where we had left off before. All of the setting up was completed with the long introduction in book one so fingers crossed this next instalment would take us straight to the heart of the roaring twenties. This book proved to be the opposite to the first as the beginning and end were fast paced and packed full of things happen but the middle took a real dip and at times became repetitive and needed something to get it moving on again. That said I did enjoy this book, the prologue did grab my attention as there is mention of a man living in Paris but recently returned to England with his new love. Was this more to come of Arthur De Witt who barely got a mention in the previous novel? I hoped it was as it was obvious there was a story waiting to be told concerning his fortunes during and after the war.When we reunite with the De Witt family they are not the same as they once had been. War like for so many other families has torn them apart but yet they are doing the best they can to piece themselves and the family home Stoneythorpe back together. The house feels old and tarnished and its residents feel the same. Peace had been so longed for but now that it is here what do they do? How can they carry after such a great loss? How can a family so beset by tragedy pick themselves up and begin again? Rudolf - patriarch of the family is broken both mentally and physically after what he has endured whilst matriarch Verena can barely hold herself together not to mention deal with a house run by a skeleton staff 'It was as if the war had aged everything, dirtied it all, however much you hid things away'. Celia although young and naive in book one has been through an awful lot and to me she really is the glue that holds the family together. Still single and always on the lookout for the man of her dreams her ambitions had been put on the back burner as war raged on but now that it has ended she feels lost and adrift. 'It was her, marooned and alone in Stoneythorpe while everybody was out there living'. Stoneythorpe is not the place she grew up in, older sister Emmeline now has her own young family to deal with. Not to mention husband out at all hours of the day fighting for his causes. So who can Celia turn to? Well in steps brother Arthur returning from Paris after the war? Are the families fortunes about to change? Will Celia gain the independence and freedom she craves?I was so glad to see Arthur playing a more prominent role in this book. He had fleeting mentions in the previous novel but you did get a sense that he was an enigma, that he seemed to have some hold over the family and they all held him in awe and now that he has returned and may make a go of the family business things may just be ok. What frustrated me about Arthur was he never came home to his family during the war nor did he enlist. I'm sure he didn't enjoy a playboy lifestyle in Paris during the war years but to me he seemed to get off lightly compared to his brother. Verena held him in such respect and never questioned his actions when that would have been the first thing I would have done. Arthur is clearly different from his other family members, he is headstrong and always get what he wants. With the arrival of cousin Louisa to the family fold after her mothers death a spark is ignited within the household. Celia hopes for a friend but Arthur has other ideas. Louisa was a great addition to the overall storyline. Arthur seemed to take her over despite her being so young and to be honest it was just creepy and controlling. What happens next sets the tone for the remainder of the book as a further deep shadow hangs over the family and plenty of questions needed to be answered.When we do read of Louisa's viewpoint it appears all is not as it seems with her 'friendship' with Arthur. Two questions struck me regarding this, why bring us further into the story only for part two to bring us back in time? Secondly wouldn't it have worked better to intersperse Louisa's viewpoint and story amongst the chapters of part one instead of reading continuously of Celia as parts of her story were flat and monotonous as she appeared to be endlessly lost in a cycle of confusion. Also a few chapters from Arthur's viewpoint would have been nice and might have gone some way towards changing my opinion of him. Even at the end I still wasn't sure what to make of him. As I have mentioned the middle of the book was the weakest for me there was far too much focus on Celia where she actually didn't do much expect mope and wonder what was she going to do with her life. Emmeline didn't want her although when giving birth she didn't say no to Celia's support.These scenes were brilliantly written and had my heart in my mouth as to the outcome. A change of scenery visiting her German relatives in the Black Forest started out good as Celia sees the German people still view the English as their enemy but apart from a trip to a spa town that descends into chaos and a surprising visitor this section all just fell a bit flat. Towards the end though things did pick up and I was glad to see Celia coming to the forefront even what did happen wasn't just or fair.The Edge of the Fall didn't grab me the way it should have mostly because I think it was too long, it could have been shortened and have had more of an impact. It was enjoyable enough and yes it was really interesting to read of life after the war to end all wars as most often books focus on events during the war. It's plain to see that life didn't and couldn't possibly revert back to normal for all involved and that the impact would be felt for many years to come. Did I get the sense of the roaring twenties I had wished for? Sadly not because with the De Witt family things just aren't going all that well. This book isn't full of the glamour of the music, fashions and styles of the twenties because frankly the family are not in that frame of mind with so many things ongoing. I'm still rooting for them though and after reading the final two chapters Kate Williams has really set us up nicely for what is to come in the concluding instalment as within the last few pages a jaw dropping revelation became clear and the reader was left hanging on a thread. The Edge of the Fall is a good enough read but I do think if you just picked this up without having read the first book you would be a little lost and maybe not appreciate certain characters or situations. Do read The Storms of War first and then give this a go. It may not be the highlight of my reading year but the De Witt family have enough going on to make me want to return for part three next year.

  • Carron
    2018-11-30 20:45

    I found this story a bit disappointing in the end. It had potential but it just annoyed me in the end. Arthur was just a spoilt brat, Celia lacked substance and we never really got the full story from Louisa's perspective despite more being alluded too. It felt like many aspects of her behaviour remained unexplained. Was she simply a silly manipulated girl or was there more to the story?Meanwhile, the courtroom scenes were plain frustrating. I'm not sure when the laws around hearsay, lawyers "testifying" (telling stories), speculation and the likes came in but I just spent the whole of that section wanting to yell objection and yet the defence lawyer did nothing. It smacked of poor writing rather than character development. The prosecution lawyer spent more time telling stories than actually presenting any evidence or actually interviewing the witnesses about what really happened. Yet the defence lawyer did nothing. It was hard to tell if the defence lawyer was meant to be seen as competent and calm under pressure with assurance of a win in the end, or clueless and inept. I didn't get swept up in the narrative of the lawyers in that section.Maybe it would have been different if I'd read the other book in the series although I didn't know it existed at the time and this one appeared to be a stand alone title. Perhaps it was leaning on character development that occurred in the previous title. I'm not sure. But had I not been listening to this in audiobook form, I doubt I would have made it to the end.

  • Jonathan
    2018-11-22 20:42

    The second in this series about the de Witt family is set post World War One. Celia once again takes centre stage, and has more troubles heaped upon her. Themes that were left up in air in The Storms Of War are for the most part dealt with, although with a few surprises. One major change is the reappearance of eldest brother Arthur, absent in Paris for the duration of the war. His return, though welcomed by the family, is one which leads to a change in direction of the storyline. Less a family saga this time and more a whodunnit (a woman falls from a cliff in Margate at the opening of the book). Secrets and lies abound, and Celia for one seems surprisingly blinded to all that goes on around her. Maybe this is because she is caught up in her own deceptions, but either way she did annoy me a bit. Still very enjoyable, but overall I preferred the first book.

  • Heather Matos
    2018-11-14 20:47

    Read the first book of the trilogy, The Storms of War and this one which is the second. Loved both and am patiently awaiting the third one. Love to read stories that tell us what people went through in war times and how it changed their lives. I know it's fiction but there are bits that represent real life.

  • Sarah Tebb
    2018-12-01 03:45

    Honestly, wasn't as good as the first. Was disappointed as I had really come to love the characters, especially Celia and I found her to be a tad irritating in the second book. Doesn't stop me from recommending or enjoying the first - just sad the story didn't wow me.

  • Debbie
    2018-11-30 22:51

    A bit fluffy in places and then again a sort of a grim Downton type story with an Anglo-German family in the centre of the story.

  • Megan
    2018-11-27 22:59

    i received this book through a goodreads giveaway. this book wasn't my cup of tea. if you like things like historical dramas then this is for you.

  • Bree T
    2018-12-12 21:41

    It seems I’m forever requesting or picking up books without realising that they’re the sequel to a previous one because I read this one without knowing until today when I went to c&p the description, that it’s a sequel. That explains quite a few things I think. If I’d read The Storms of War before this one I would’ve grasped the family’s situations much better and things that felt a bit vague, such as the marriage of the sister of the main character, would’ve made more sense.The story begins at the end of WWI and the de Witt’s are struggling to reestablish their places in the world. Their stately pile was used as a hospital during the war and because of family patriarch Rudolf’s German extraction, their lives are definitely not what they once were. Oldest son Arthur has returned from abroad but seems sly and secretive. Elder daughter Emmeline has married and moved to London now and Celia, youngest of all has returned from doing her part for the war effort. The family are preparing to welcome Rudolf and Verena’s niece Louisa to the household and Celia is excited, hoping to befriend her. She is to be disappointed though as Louisa it seems, bonds far more quickly with Arthur despite their significant age gap. When Arthur takes Louisa to London, ostensibly to give her a season it instead sets forth a storm of tragic events that will test the family’s strength and faith in each other and shine more of a negative light upon their heritage.The biggest problem for me in this book was that it felt so very obvious. The prologue means that there is basically no doubt in the reader’s mind what occurs and so Celia and everyone running around trying to get to the truth of it, trying to unravel a mystery made for pages and pages of somewhat tedious reading. I know the characters aren’t aware of the same things that the reader is but it felt like there should’ve been more of an attempt to blur the lines a little, make a bit “did it or didn’t it?” when really it seems as though there’s no doubt from the very get-go. Everyone seems to place mostly unwavering faith in a lazy, greedy wastrel who doesn’t really deserve their loyalty and I felt quite dissatisfied with how the bulk of that story played out.The story shifts between Celia and Louisa and I have to say, I did find Louisa’s portion much more interesting than Celia’s and perhaps that was because I didn’t know about the previous book when I read this one. Celia’s story revolves too much around some “fauxmance” with Tom, the son of the help at her parent’s home and it never seemed to be going anywhere to me, always floundering and the whole thing just felt very awkward to read, especially after Tom’s confession. Louisa’s story was much more interesting but I had to wait so long to really get to it and it felt like a lot of the really meaty part was missed out as we skipped away again. Louisa’s narrative should’ve been a bigger presence in this story, considering all that happened. Instead I felt it got too bogged down with Celia, always back to Celia and for a lot of the time, she really didn’t have much going on until well after the time of Louisa’s stay at Celia’s family home and her time in London. Celia’s trip to Germany was quite interesting, a glimpse into the lifestyles of those who had made money from the war in Baden-Baden. Most of Celia’s story seemed to come much late in the book (and apparently this is the second novel in a trilogy, so I think I can see where the third book is going) but by the time it all began to unfold, I think I’d kind of lost interest. Everything felt too contrived, no one really talked to each other, just about everyone could’ve done with a few home truths.It seemed promising at first but didn’t live up to my expectations. The story jumped around too much for me and elaborated too much on stuff that didn’t interest me and skimmed over what did as well as signposted the major “dilemma” or climax of the novel far too obviously. Even now that I know it’s a trilogy and a lot is explained probably in book 1, quite a bit of my dissatisfaction with this book doesn’t have much to do with that.

  • Suzie Groers
    2018-12-10 00:44

    This story begins at the end of World War 1 with Celia, the youngest daughter of the de Witt family, who are trying to piece back their lives after the devastation of the previous years. Celia is a complex character who struggles to connect with anyone - the younger of her two brothers, Michael, has been killed during the war and her sister, Emmeline, is now married to an activist who is bent on changing society. Her parents want her to go to finishing school in London with her cousin, Louisa, and Celia is at first reluctant, but then sees it as a means of escape from her family home, Stoneythorpe Hall. Part two of the story is about Louisa, the death of her mother and her move to Stoneythorpe Hall. Louisa is young, trusting and vulnerable. She is hoping to connect with her relations and soon forms a relationship with her older cousin, Arthur, but Arthur may not be all he seems and have ulterior motives of his own. He takes Louisa to London, away from the rest of the family, and thrusts her into a hectic social scene. Thereafter, the story reverts to Celia and her awkward holiday with her German cousins in Baden-Baden. She is soon joined there by Tom, who has connections with the de Witt family, and questions about his dubious parentage. They find a connection with each other which is soon blown apart by revelations from the past and Celia runs back to London, via Paris, and into yet more controversy. Celia takes up life on her own in London and makes a firm declaration to her family, but this is soon forgotten when they are overtaken with yet another tragedy and Celia is back living with her sister Emmeline again. I am pulled in two different directions with this book; on the one hand I enjoyed it, the time setting and the details, the manners and the behaviour of the characters, but on the other hand Celia is a pretty sulky character and I found it really hard to like her or sympathise with her very much. Life keeps happening to her and she is left to pick up the pieces, but she stays aloof, unhappy and doesn't really connect with anyone with any degree of affinity. This is the story of the de Witt family, trying to cope with the events after the First World War with questions of family loyalties and the need to cling to a way of life that is rapidly evaporating into thin air. A story told mainly through the eyes of Celia; her need to escape the family home, her failure to connect with her young cousin, her pursuit of Tom who ultimately reveals himself to be something that no one could have predicted and her support of her older brother when he is accused of a heinous crime.All in all, an interesting story to anyone who enjoys reading about the time period.I chose to read this title from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  • Jill Meyer
    2018-11-24 21:50

    There are times when reviewing books for Amazon that I wish the three star rating was not considered a "critical review". The three star rating - for me - means a book that is neither here nor there, neither particularly good...or particularly bad. It's a book you enjoy reading at the time but will probably not remember having read a few months later. And so it is with "The Edge of the Fall" by British author Kate Williams. It is Williams' second novel in her "Storms of War" trilogy.I had read the first book in the trilogy, "The Storms of War", which was published a couple of years ago. It was the time of the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of World War I, and many books - fiction and non-fiction - were written to coincide with the anniversary. "Storms of War" was a pretty good example of the novels about British families in the early 1900's - both above and below stairs. The story of the deWitt family - both the English and German branches - it reflected our on-going interest in all matters Downton. The English deWitts - consisting of parents, 2 sons, and 2 daughters - lived in what was becoming a "pile", with servants who tended both pile and family. The German cousins were also part of the plot, though not as much as the English family. Then the Great War came and the deWitt family was - as many families were - profoundly affected. In the second book, those effects are still being felt in the early 1920's.One of the problems of a novel written as a series is how to bring the new reader up-to-speed on characters and plots from the first volume. Williams includes a list of the characters in the front of "The Edge of the Fall", which is helpful. I needed to look at it even though I had read the first book. She also does a good job of writing a bit of what happened in the first book without overwhelming the reader.Another reviewer of "The Edge of the Fall" mentions the unpleasant characters. They aren't "unpleasant" so much as of weak or bad character. In the first chapter a cousin falls off a cliff to her death, and the book is really about how her death rumbles through the family. There's a court scene that I swear Kate Williams wrote by channeling the movie "My Cousin Vinny". The rest of the book is about secrets. These secrets - big and small - make the plot what it is and the characters act the way they do. Kate Williams has cleverly ended this book leaving the reader - possibly, anyway - to want to read the third book of the trilogy. I guess I'll come back when number 3 is published...

  • Julie
    2018-12-12 00:51

    I received this book free from Goodreads in a giveaway.In the opening chapter which was describing Arthur and Louisa’s relationship I realised that Arthur did the dirty deed! But it took until almost the end of the book to have this confirmed. The story recounted the life of various members of the De Witt family who live in England but who are of German descent. They were a moneyed family but are now impoverished albeit still living in a great house and funding finishing school for Celia as well as providing funds for their surviving ‘good for nothing’ son – so not that poor really! It’s all perspective isn’t it?Celia the younger daughter and her cousin Louisa are the main characters in the book. Both of them spoiled in their differing ways but equally both have a lot to bear in that Louisa lost her parents and was sent to live with The De Witt family and Celia who lost a brother in the war the circumstances of which are revealed in this book and are devastating to her.Arthur Celia’s older brother is quite clearly a nasty piece of work, yet sadly he doesn’t get his comeuppance yet – as I have discovered this is the second part of a trilogy so there is more to come... Celia’s sister Emmeline is a married woman and her husband is trying to change the world so isn’t at home much to support Emmeline even though she has two children (twins) and struggles with the demands they make on her. Celia was at the traumatic birth of the twins and bonds well with the little girl. I couldn’t understand what brought Emmeline and her husband together other than the fact that he seemed to have been their tutor at some point but there didn’t seem to be any attraction between them.Celia tries to get away from what she sees as her miserable existence in England by visiting family in Germany. She remembers previous visits from her childhood and is deeply disappointed that things are no longer as she remembers. The reception she receives from the locals is not welcoming to say the least and the whole German contingent has to relocate to Baden Baden for a time. It is here that her childhood beau reappears and with dire consequences for Celia and the German family.There were some good moments in the book but Arthur’s Jekyll & Hyde character wasn’t appealing even in his ‘good’ moments. Celia’s parents were very weak and unsupportive and it was hard to feel sorry for them even though they had clearly been through a lot in the past themselves. ‘Taking to your bed’ must an upper class thing, as it doesn’t happen in my world.

  • Stephanie Thoresen
    2018-11-30 02:04

    I'll add to the chorus of other reviewers and say that Celia was quite frustrating in this book. I understand the grief and even confusion she must feel from the events of the war, and I get that she is certainly allowed to float about with no real focus for a while, but that can be summed up instead of taking up large portions of the book. I was desperate for something "real" to happen, for her to pursue something of consequence or even get caught up in some ill-conceived romance--I was desperate for her to stop ripping up or not responding to letters that people in her life took the time to write her, even if those people had perhaps not been quite perfect. I read on because I wanted something to happen with she and Tom, or she and Jonathan... and things do happen, many of them interesting, but for much of the book, it feels as though we are reading the filler of Celia's life. And then there is Arthur and Louisa. For me, these characters were distractions, plopped in to create a mystery and chapters of a courtroom drama that I feel just took up time. Had Arthur or Louisa been really present in the first book, I would have cared a great deal more about what happened to them, but to me, they were practically just props, thrown in to fill up pages. And we already know what will happen to Louisa in the prologue, so then having to invest reading chapters from her POV felt like a waste of time. I'll read the third book because I want to know what will happen with Celia, but I just hope it is more reflective of the first book and not The Edge of the Fall.

  • Melissa
    2018-11-13 21:59

    Sad to say, The Edge of the Fall fails to live up to its predecessor The Storms of War. Here we follow the part-German deWitt family into 1920s England, as they deal with the aftermath of war... and a murder mystery.Unfortunately, said murder mystery is robbed of any intrigue, as the whole thing is revealed in the prologue. Williams manages to raise some hows and whys, but there's never any who about it, and the novel loses any pace it may have picked up by meandering into an unexciting courtroom drama towards the end.The portions of the novel which focus on our original heroine Celia are hardly much better, floating as they do between tragic romance and increasing heartbreak. Celia makes so few choices for herself - rather has them made for her by her increasingly unappealing family - that even when truly terrible things happened to her, I found myself wanting to give her a little shake.I'm not at all sure I want to follow the deWitts into the third and final installment of their trilogy - my only hope is that Williams manages to recapture some of the 'women in wartime' spirit that carried the first book through.[Review originally published on my blog at Line After Line].

  • Sarah
    2018-11-13 02:58

    The Edge of the Fall is the second in a trilogy about the de Witt family, following on from The Storms of War. This section of the story starts at the end of World War I, following Celia de Witt who is attempting to come to terms with the death of her favourite brother having moved back in to the family home, Stoneythorpe Hall, with her parents and her eldest brother, Arthur.Celia’s cousin, Louisa, moves in to Stoneythorpe Hall after the death of her mother. Despite Celia’s attempts to befriend Louisa, Louisa and Arthur form a friendship, which ultimately leads to the pair fleeing to London. As the story progresses and we see Louisa’s side of the story, we realise that Arthur has his own ulterior motives in forming this friendship. I found Celia a rather frustrating character who really does not help herself at times. I also wonder if the book would have been better if put in time order rather than jumping back and forth due to reading a large section of Celia’s story, followed by Louisa’s story then jumping back to Celia again. Overall I very much enjoyed this book. I would, however, recommend reading the trilogy in order rather than jumping in part way through with this book.

  • Bonnie
    2018-11-15 02:38

    Alison Weir's quote on the front jacket.... "Those who enjoy their history in fictionalized form need look no further". Definitely my preference in 'history books' you get a history lesson with a story line also! This book gives you info on the years after the Great War, 1919 - 1926. Otherwise known as the Roaring Twenties, a wild madcap era. Supposedly a very loose time, but still old-fashioned morals. The de Witt family are having a Very hard time adjusting to this time, their estate, Stoneythorpe was used as a hospital during the war, & consequencely very run down & no $$$ for the repairs. Celia de Witt, the youngest daughter, is ready to leave the countryside & head for the Big City, London. Arthur, her brother & Louisa, an orphaned cousin (who comes to stay with them) are the other two main characters. Celia had hoped that Louisa would become like a sister & confidante, therefore she is very jealous when Arthur swopes in & becomes Louisa's companion. Louisa has $$$ left to her by her parents, but cannot touch it until she is 21.... The author weaves all the story lines together, never leaving you wondering. This was a giveaway from Pegasus books, Thank you for the opportunity to read & review.

  • Elisabeth
    2018-12-07 03:48

    "The Edge of the Fall" is the second book in the trilogy following the lives of the De Witt family. The year is 1919 and the war is over,however, the De Witt family is struggling to cope. No longer as affluent as they were and still viewed with suspicion because of their German background, it will be a very long time (if ever) before fortunes change for them.Celia, having returned from France, is on the cusp of womanhood and wanting to make her mark in an ever changing world whilst still morning those dear to her that she lost in the war. Emmeline is still living her rather bohemian lifestyle with former tutor whilst wayward son Arthur returns from Paris (where he has been for the duration of the war) and meets his cousin Louisa and sets in motion an unimaginable chain of events which will have implications for everyone around them. I did not enjoy this sequel as much as I did the first book as this one was very slow moving, the only time that the book did grab my attention was towards the end when the story became less waffling.I will still read the third book in the trilogy just to complete the story.

  • Hannah
    2018-12-01 20:50

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway This is a relatively entertaining, fairly realistic novel concerning a wealthy British/German family in the aftermath of the First World War. This is the second in a trilogy spanning both wars and I haven't read the first, which admittedly may colour my opinion of some characters. This story is told through the eyes of Celia and Louisa, members of the same family with very different problems, my major problem was that neither of them were likeable! I thought they both told worthwhile stories but I enjoy reading about characters I like as people and both of these two annoyed me quite a lot. The novel is a seemingly realistic one, written by an active historian who has clearly researched the time period and is enjoyable but I can't bring myself to give it any more than 3* unfortunately.Perhaps I would have benefited from reading the first book as it would have given me more insight into the family history although I do think this can be successfully read as a standalone. Recommended for lovers of Historical Fiction, not beginners in the genre.

  • Sascha
    2018-12-02 22:54

    The second half was better, but I found in the beginning that the pacing felt completely off, and it read as an unnecessary sequel where the author was attached to her characters and wanted to continue writing about them but needed a plot to do so. The ending would have worked better without the prologue, as well. I originally rated this four, probably because I read the book so quickly I forgot how much I plodded along to begin with, but the beginning did bug me a bit so I knocked a star off.(view spoiler)[ I've been reminded by other reviews that there's going to be another sequel to make this a trilogy. I guess that explains the random "go to America to find your baby" scene (well, to concede, the question of his whereabouts is something Celia is haunted by for half the book, but that little scene is obviously, in hindsight, a bad inkling into the plot of the third book, maybe?). I hope not.(hide spoiler)]

  • Dayana
    2018-12-02 19:40

    First I want to say a big thank you as I have won this book from Goodreads giveaway. The action takes place in 20th century right after the Second World War. The first pages of the book were strange as there was no heading supporting the text. The chapters in the book are divided between 3 characters. I wish the other characters had a chapter so the reader can understand their struggles and reasons for their actions. The author perfectly described the struggle people had after the war to return to their normal life by trying to relive their old life. I don't know if the book is part of a series but I did not like the open ending of the book. I couldn't feel connected to the characters and found the relationship between the characters cold and uninterested to what is happening to close family and friends. The trial in the book was well presented and interesting to read. As overall the book was good and I learned many things about the society back then.

  • Mark Farley
    2018-12-09 19:46

    The second in the series of this early 20th Century family saga, what I believe to be a trilogy. Yes, it's set in a big house pre-Great War and certainly has a 'Downton' feel about it, but that is not just the half of it. The book is so much more than that. Great characters and plot, intensely studied and sympathetic, we find the characters post-war and discovering secrets from extended family members and the established ones dealing with the revelations from the last book. Again with the first book, the female characters in this story shine through though, by being both innocent and showing of strength and fortitude. There are twists and turns and a brilliance of narrative and dialogue. Heartily recommend.

  • Adrienne Fitzgerald
    2018-11-21 00:57

    An interesting story in desperate need of a good edit. So disappointing to read a book by a much touted historian that makes the fundamental error of putting the third Remembrance Day commemorations in London on November 13. Kate Williams writes rich history but her fiction is stolid, lacking in description and fundamentally flawed. All tell and very little show. This alongside the shoddy shifts in time and place that occur mid paragraph. I only finished it to see how the story ended. It is so disappointing to see the publishers reference Atonement in the reviews, bordering on blasphemy. They must shoulder the responsibility, especially given the alleged million pound contract....

  • Kathleen Gray
    2018-12-01 20:50

    I think my view of this well written novel suffered from the fact that I had not read the first book in what I now understand is a trilogy. I liked the alternating viewpoints and Celia is a fine character, but I also felt as though I was missing something. This isn't exactly Downton Abbey; the comparison is unfair even thought the time frame is the same. It made me wonder, btw, what we all would have written had we read Downton as a novel and not watched it on television! Recommend for those who are interested in the UK in the period between the Wars AND for those who are willing to read the first book first. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

  • Verity W
    2018-11-30 01:57

    *****Copy from NetGalley in return for an honest (if belated) review****Ooof. I really liked The Storms of War - which was a bit German-Cazalets-do-World-War-One, but by the mid-point of this book I disliked most of the characters and by the end, I didn't like any of them, particularly Celia who we spend most of the book with. The plot is tremendously melodramatic and I struggled to find sympathy for some of the protagonists as they went through some tragic events. I've given this two stars because I had a residual liking left from book one. There's some clumsy set-up at the end for another book - I don't think I'll bother.