The View on the Way Down

  • by Rebecca Wait
  • Narrated by Mandy Weston, Carl Prekopp
  • 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This audiobook will open your eyes and break your heart.
It is the story of Emma’s two brothers: the one who died five years ago, Kit, and Jamie, who left home on the day of the funeral and has not returned since. It is the story of their parents, who have been keeping the truth from Emma and from each other. The past is not discussed or acknowledged, until a chance encounter brings devastating secrets to the surface and once again the family must face a crisis which may ultimately save them.
The View on the Way Down captures the insidious, sometimes violent, force of depression and its ability to tip lives into chaos. Gripping, moving, and ultimately hopeful, The View on the Way Down will have you rooting for the family’s redemption.
Rebecca Wait graduated from Oxford University in 2010 with a first class degree in English, having been mentored by the poet and novelist Craig Raine at New College. She’s been writing since she was a child and has won numerous prizes for short stories and plays. Rebecca wrote The View on the Way Down in the evenings whilst working as a teaching assistant the year after graduating. In March 2013, Rebecca thrashed the competition to triumph as a Literary Death Match champion.


What the Critics Say

"The View on the Way Down is a novel that deserves to win awards as well as a huge readership. It’s a wise, honest, wonderful read that marks Rebecca Wait not just as a writer to watch out for, but one to appreciate now." (Daniel Clay, author of Broken)
"The View on the Way Down is deeply moving – yet unsentimental – and profound, and has a family secret at the heart of it that will remain with you for a long time after you finish reading. It is a novel that needed to be written and which will touch many people . . . a fine achievement." (Mark Gartside, author of What Will Survive)
"The View on the Way Down is written with great sympathy and an aching tenderness. Rebecca Wait’s evocative storytelling is alive to the tragedies and miracles of everyday life, illuminating the grey area between protecting and deceiving the ones we love." (Laura Harrington, author of Alice Bliss)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Beautiful Debut Novel - I LOVED THIS BOOK

This is a book that packs a lot of emotional punch in less than 8 hours - truly poignant and yet avoids being maudlin or manipulative. I am in awe of the ability of this young author to so clearly convey the feeling of deep depression from the POV of the sufferer while at the same time so skillfully demonstrating the devastating impact this affliction has on anyone who loves someone in the throes of depression. But that's not all - this very insightful view of depression and its painful rippling affects is presented in a beautifully written book that is NOT depressing. It is definitely moving, sometimes quite sad, but there is humor and ultimately a kind of genuine hopefulness that runs through the novel that makes it a book that's good and good for you.

When we meet Emma and her family, it is 5 years after the death of Emma's oldest brother Kit. 14-year-old Emma and her mother and father live under one roof, but barely function as a family; middle brother Jamie is completely estranged from the family. The plot line becomes not so much what happens from there, but how these characters deal with what has already happened and whether they can find a way to move forward together.

The novel is primarily relayed in 3rd person and rotates POV among the primary characters with one epistolary section - Jamie's letters to his father. As the point of view shifts, Wait unobtrusively builds empathy for each character in turn and you realize as you meet each of these people that what looked like unattractive character flaws in each person (overeating, shyness, isolationism, anger, panic, denial, OCD, etc.) when viewed from the outside were, in fact, coping mechanisms of the walking wounded. None of these emotional crutches truly worked toward healing, but they did allow each person to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And when the coping mechanisms begin to fail, the family faces a second crisis which ultimately brings them to the climax of the novel. These characters are brilliant. I not only recognized this people, I've been these people.

Fortunately this lovely book was afforded some lovely narrators; this is a good audio production.

Highly Recommended!
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- Tango "Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres."

A Powerful First Novel

The View on the Way Down is about the different ways grief and loss affect the lives of the family left behind. The publishers summary makes it clear that one of teenage Emma's brothers has died and part 1 is told from her point of view. Bullied at school, disillusioned with God and becoming ever more miserable at home, she turns to food for comfort. Emma's parents response to the tragedy is to retreat into their own misery barely acknowledging each other or Emma. They are all estranged from the surviving brother.
Put this way, the story sounds simplistic. But don't be fooled by the simple almost gentle way the story unfolds. This book is powerful. It is well researched beautifully written and expertly narrated. I highly recommend this truly amazing story from first time author 25 year old Rebecca Wait. She apparently wrote The View on the Way Down in the evening while working as a teachers assistant. I eagerly await her next novel.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-11-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios