‘The rain was still falling, but the dark had parted…’
F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Luke falls. He has epilepsy.
And, as it turns out, he has much bigger issues too.
Esther falls. In love.
It’s wonderful – but there’s a shadow that she can’t identify and she can’t make go away just by loving Luke.
Luke’s experience has taught him to despise himself; Esther’s self-belief is fragile. And love is not as easy as it looks. Will they be still falling at the end of term?
A story about the struggle it can be to love someone who doesn’t love themselves – and why it’s worth it.
From the winner of Children’s Books Ireland Honour for Fiction, the CBI Children’s Choice Award and CBI Book of the Year Award for her previous novels Taking Flight and Grounded.
PRAISE FOR STILL FALLING
‘Heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure … Emotionally charged and utterly believable, this is a novel that will remain with the reader long after the last page is read. Insightful, engaging and ultimately uplifting. Wilkinson has crafted an instant classic.’ – Inis Magazine, Children’s Books Ireland
‘I have to say, I think Still Falling might be Wilkinson’s best book to date. It felt so honest, the characterisation of both Esther and Luke was authentic, and she deals with the issues of love, sexuality, and class extremely well. It’s well paced and enjoyable but packs an emotional wallop. I would highly recommend it.’ – Louise O’Neill, author
‘The strength of this remarkable book derives from the credibility of its characters. It is a daunting task to depict in fiction a character who has a serious medical problem but nevertheless commands the reader’s absolute attention, but a task Wilkinson succeeds in fulfilling… Girls like Esther rarely get the boy in teen fiction. Boys like Luke are usually victims in teen fiction. These two stereotypes are smashed to pieces in this book.’ – Books for Keeps, March 2015
‘Moving, strong and compassionate, Wilkinson gives us a story that is important and challenges the reader. With echoes of The Great Gatsby, it is a story of seemingly reluctant and impossible love, of overcoming the ghosts of ones’ past and developing a self-belief and confidence that allows the course of life to unfold … The way Wilkinson handles her depiction of epilepsy…she has it exactly right. The way she shows what happens with a seizure, the dangers of simply ‘falling’ and the effects this condition has on a persons’ view of themselves; along with the misconceptions and concerns of those whose lives are intertwined with someone with epilepsy is spot on … This is no simple tale of love and beating the odds … It is told with genuine and richly layered voices with all the passion, confusion and fallibilty that happens, not just within the confines of young love, but with us all at any given stage in life. There are no easy answers here. It is gritty, heart-felt and all too real. Marvellous….simply marvellous. Highly recommended for 14 +.’ – Mary Esther Judy, Children’s Buyer at Dubray Books
‘With this novel, her third for young adults, Sheena Wilkinson has triumphed again. The story is interesting and well planned, but it is the characters that make this book so successful. Both Luke and Esther are growing into their adult selves and they are very real, three-dimensional people. What you see on the surface is only a small part of who they are and it was a real privilege to get to know them.’ – Armadillo Magazine
‘A great read – I finished it in only two sittings, over the course of twelve hours – with strong characters, and carries real emotional weight.’ – Malachy Doyle, Children’s Author
‘As always the issues Sheena Wilkinson addresses are handled in a realistic yet sensitive way … This is a compelling story and one which will stay with me for a long time.’ – Jenny Duffy, Children’s Book Reviewer
‘This well-crafted narrative follows the highs and lows of first love through the first-person accounts of two well-drawn and complex protagonists, Luke and Esther… A gifted storyteller, Wilkinson excels in illuminating how damaging prejudice can be not only to an individual’s personal growth but also to a community as a whole. Though the story is set in Belfast, the issues raised occur globally and are particularly pertinent to this age group … Still Falling is a memorable love story of its time but will resonate with perpetuity. Another outstanding novel from Sheena Wilkinson.’ Sine Quinn, Books Ireland
‘It is a realistic, unsparing, psychologically astute story of problematic teenage love across a class divide. Its appeal will mainly be to teenage girls who will find it a very satisfying read.’ – Peter Hollindale, School Library Association
‘I did not expect to enjoy this novel half as much as I did. It has exceeded all of my expectations and definitely made it’s way onto my all time favourites list. The Irish setting was great to read and Sheena’s writing style, use of diverse themes and amazing characters all entertained me until the very end. I can not recommend this book enough. Please go read it, you won’t regret it.’ – Shannon, Adventures of a Teenage Bookworm
Sheena Wilkinson has won many awards for her fiction including five Children\'s Books Ireland Awards, most recently the Honour Award for Fiction for 2017\'s Star By Star, which was also shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. Described in The Irish Times as \'one of our foremost writers for young people\', Sheena received a Major Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2013. She teaches creative writing in settings ranging from universities to prisons and runs a young writers\' group in Belfast. Sheena lives in County Down where, when she\'s not writing or reading, she\'s either singing or walking in the forest -- sometimes at the same time.