Falling Short

Written by Lex Coulton




Sometimes getting it wrong is the only way to get it right . . .

Frances Pilgrim’s father went missing when she was five, and ever since all sorts of things have been going astray: car keys, promotions, a series of underwhelming and unsuitable boyfriends . . . Now here she is, thirty-bloody-nine, teaching Shakespeare to rowdy sixth formers and still losing things.

But she has a much more pressing problem. Her mother, whose odd behaviour Frances has long put down to eccentricity, is slowly yielding to Alzheimer’s, leaving Frances with some disturbing questions about her father’s disappearance, and the family history she’s always believed in. Frances could really do with someone to talk to. Ideally Jackson: fellow teacher, dedicated hedonist, erstwhile best friend. Only they haven’t spoken since that night last summer when things got complicated . . .

As the new school year begins, and her mother’s behaviour becomes more and more erratic, Frances realises that she might just  have a chance to find something for once. But will it be what she’s looking for?




It Passed Me By  2 stars


I’m not sure where this one went wrong for me; it promised to be ‘fresh, funny and life-affirming’ but, sadly, I didn’t feel any of those things.

This isn’t, as the blurb led me to believe, all about Frances. Rather it is equally about Frances and Jackson and mostly focuses on their sexual history. I felt – and again, this is only my personal opinion – that there were lots of loose strands in this novel which didn’t knit together. The story stumbled from one character to another, more off-topic than on and I was left at the end no wiser than I was at the beginning. I’m not particularly fond of books without structure and it was with a sigh of relief that I closed my kindle. Whilst this wasn’t one for me, I’m certain there are plenty of other readers who will enjoy it.

My thanks to publishers John Murray Press for approving my request via Netgalley. This is my honest, original, and unbiased review.


Tags: fiction


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1669 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray
  • Publication Date: 14 June 2018
  • Purchase Links: Amazon UK
  •                               Amazon US




There is no author information available.




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