Community & Current Events

Must-read books of 2015: Between the Cracks She Fell

By: Jill Buchner

Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

Must-read books of 2015: Between the Cracks She Fell

By: Jill Buchner
There's a natural human urge when disaster strikes to curl up and hide in some dark corner to escape reality. Though most of us don't act on this—or at least we substitute a warm bed for the dark corner until time heals our wounds—the character in Lisa de Nikolits's new novel, Between the Cracks She Fell, gives into this impulse in the most intriguing way.

When Joss's boyfriend leaves and the company she works for goes belly up, she finds herself unable to pay her mortgage. Rather than returning to her family overseas, she hides away in a dingy room in an abandoned Muslim school. It's a move that seems natural to this fiercely passionate and outspoken woman who is at times flighty but utterly in touch with her emotions.

Unfortunately, even once she finds her dark corner of the world, she learns you can never truly escape reality, and so Joss faces new problems as she encounters people around her makeshift home. She finds herself strangely drawn to, yet also fearful of, a group of young thugs who vandalize the school. She befriends a prickly woman who is living in her car and who needs money to help her sick dog—by any means necessary. And she meets a kindred spirit who has been excommunicated by his family and now may be in danger from his partner at home. Even a journal she finds at the school causes her to worry that a former student's radical ideas might lead to violence.

All of the characters—individuals who've slipped between the cracks in one way or another—are hopelessly human and compelling in their own right, but the eccentric Joss is a true masterpiece at the centre of them all, optimistically struggling to rediscover her place in the world when all that she used to rely on has fallen away. She is uncontrived—and at times candid to the point of being comical.

Throughout her journey, she faces important questions about religion, trust and the difference between what is lawful and what is right and wrong. And as she navigates it all, the dangers around her grow, and de Nikolits's drama quickly turns into a suspenseful thriller.

This is Lisa de Nikolits's fifth novel. She has previously won IPPY (independent publisher) awards for her work, and when she isn't writing, she is a contributing art director at Canadian Living. This latest book from her is a true exploration of the human spirit. Anyone who has ever felt like they've slipped through the cracks or been lost in life can relate to this captivating story.

Between the Cracks She Fell, $22.95, amazon.ca.

Want more reading material for fall? Check out our review of Furioiusly Happy.
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Must-read books of 2015: Between the Cracks She Fell

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