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If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

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Will’s mother suffers from agoraphobia and after she lost her father, her brother and her husband she took baby Will back to her home town to protect him and shut the door on the world. Will is now 12-years old and has never stepped outside. This is the tale of what happens to them both when he does. It is an extraordinary coming-of-age tale full of eccentric characters. Will copes surprisingly well, befriended by a native-American, an ‘undesirable’. Will has become obsessed with the first boy he met when he ventured out, a boy who has now disappeared and, helped by his new friend, he sets out to find the fellow. Adventures, narrow escapes and a failing mother to cope with make Will grow up very quickly. It is an extraordinary book about mental illness, teenage trauma and a mother/son relationship, highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Michael Christie you might also like to read books by Nathan Filer, Emma Donoghue and James Rice.


If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

This is a heartfelt and wondrous debut lauded by Philipp Meyer (New York Times bestselling author of The Son) as astonishing , introducing a supremely gifted and exciting new voice in fiction. Will has never been to the outside, at least not since he can remember. And he has certainly never got to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Their little world comprises only the rooms in their home, each named for various exotic locales and filled with Will's art projects. But soon the confines of his world close in on him. Despite his mother's protests, Will ventures outside clad in a protective helmet and braces himself for danger. He eventually meets and befriends Jonah, a quiet boy who introduces him to skateboarding. Will welcomes his new world with enthusiasm, his fears fading and his body hardening with each new bump, scrape and fall. But life quickly gets complicated. When a local boy goes missing, Will and Jonah want to uncover what happened. They embark on an extraordinary adventure that pulls Will far from the confines of his closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood and the dangers that everyday life offers. If I Fall, If I Die is a remarkable debut full of dazzling prose and unforgettable characters, as well as a poignant and heartfelt depiction of coming of age.

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'This exceptional debut novel is a warm, often funny dramatisation of the balance between anxious love and worthwhile risk' Sunday Times

'A master of his environment, Christie is also deft at inhabiting the mind of a child in his writing ... powerful and page-turning ... A first novel that is complex, symbolic and a little bit wondrous.' Sunday Business Post

About the Author

Michael Christie received an MFA from the University of British Columbia and is a former professional skateboarder. His story collection, The Beggar's Garden, was a finalist for a number of major Canadian prizes and the winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award. He lives with his family on Galiano Island, British Columbia. If I Fall, If I Die is his debut novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd December 2015


Michael Christie

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Windmill Books an imprint of Cornerstone


336 pages


Family Drama
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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