Fall On Me
Fall On Me won the 2012 ACT Writing and Publishing Award (fiction).
Lou Bard busies himself running a humble Launceston café, looking after his son Luke, and doing his best to bring a sense of normality to the old worker’s cottage they rent with a series of housemates. But when Luke, an intelligent, provocative teenager, decides to risk all by making his body the focus of an art installation, Lou is forced to revisit the dark secrets of his past, question what it means to be a good father, and discover that there’s more love in his life than he could ever have imagined.
Published by Blemish Books, 2011, ISBN 9780980755633
Launched in Canberra by Robyn Archer AO.
The beautiful little city of Launceston is the setting for this well-crafted tale. Featherstone manages to pack into this short
novel a lot of food for thought about art, love, and survival.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Fall On Me is a finely written, warm and tense unfolding of a close family drama, where the family in question – father, teenage son, and possible third person – create their closeness, indeed the very idea of the family itself, out of the elements that threaten to destroy them.
Who would have thought that you could glimpse many of the things
which matter most in life out of the windows of a Launceston coffee shop? Nigel Featherstone uses that aperture on life to lend substance, seriousness and a fair dose of poignancy to his novella Fall On Me. Featherstone tells an apparently simple story, in clear, quiet,
unaffected language, understating all his effects, quietly moving
on to establish each of his characters in turn, investing every
one with some sweet, surprising depths. Along the way, he
discerns and teases out something substantive to say about
love within a family, the character of innocence, the meaning
of pornography, silence as a loyal friend, and the contemporary
ills still visited on creative talents by wowsers, sneaks, know-alls, do-gooders and no-hopers. Lou Bard is a memorably subtle, nuanced
creation. His surname may be ironic: Lou’s thoughts and words
are distinctly, inimitably prosaic, but all the more credible for that. Featherstone ends up on a quite optimistic note, one which could be sung in an over-simplified form as all you need is love.
The Canberra Times
In Fall On Me Featherstone is writing with terrific ease and fluency. He has two outstanding characters: Lou and Launceston – both attractive, complex, troubled, and engrossing.
John Clanchy - author of Her Father’s Daughter and the
award-winning Vincenzo’s Garden
A good story, a strong sense of place, and avoids the clichés
of parent-child conflict.
Fall On Me centres on a family of two, father and son, who are faced
with a crucial artistic and moral choice when Luke, the son, makes
an art installation that could expose him, and his father, to public condemnation. They are easy characters to like and care about. Featherstone creates them with a fine sensitivity and a language
that enables him to achieve an affecting engagement between
the reader and those who people the world of the story.
Life-affirming and very tender. Lou and Luke are both amazing in their ability to rise above the underbelly surrounding them.
Denise Young - author of The Last Ride
A clever, poignant and engaging plot, and the pace is quietly and consistently held. Interest grows as the story and the relationship between the father and son unfold, polished and compelling. Carefully drawn and cannily observed characters, who develop in a plausible and appealing way. Judicious use is made of back-stories to define the characters; the reader never loses curiosity. This work is carefully and beautifully crafted, no showiness, no gratuitous sentiment, an example of skill and talent being put to outstanding use.
'Judges' report, 2012 ACT Writing and Publishing Awards (fiction)
Fall On Me can be purchased through all good bookshops or by contacting Blemish Books direct at www.blemishbooks.com.au