Luke is a young playwright—intense, magnetic, and eager for life. He escapes a disastrous upbringing in the northeast and, arriving in London, meets Paul Driscoll, an aspiring producer, and the beautiful, fiery Leigh Radley, the woman Paul loves.
The three set up a radical theater company, living and working together, forging a romantic connection in candlelit rehearsal rooms during power cuts and smoky late-night parties in Chelsea's run-down flats. The gritty rebellion of pub theater is fighting for its place against a West End dominated by racy revue shows and the giants of twentieth-century drama.
Nina Jacobs is a fragile actress, bullied by her mother and in thrall to a controlling producer. When Luke meets Nina, he recognizes a soul in danger—but how much must he risk to save her?
Everything he has fought for—loyalty, friendship, art—is drawn into the heat of their collision. Now everything Luke values, even the promise of the future, is in danger. Suddenly the fallout threatens to be immense.
“Jones is unflinching as she plots the course of fallout with no shelter, of wounded lives undone by desperation in love and art.”
“The strength of Fallout is the insistent thread of hope that runs through all the humiliation and bad behavior. The result is…a fuller, more emotionally satisfying story.”
“The novel is at its best when the characters quietly seek an audience for their pleasures, their pains, and the ‘more permanent wounds of their longer lives waiting, undiscovered.’”
“[A] wonderful read. Surprising depth of character, accidents of fate that feel like life, and emotional FALLOUT that heralds new maturity, make this a very satisfying novel.”
“An intoxicating, deeply romantic novel of theater, love, and friendship…With both microscopic precision and operatic emotions, Sadie Jones perfectly captures the exhilaration of the young and the talented as they find their footing in both art and love.”
“An intoxicating and immersive read... It is a fraught and compelling novel; one that replays itself uncomfortably in the mind long after it is finished.”
“Beautifully written... An intense and absorbing story.”
“An intelligent, pacy tale of pretty, talented people, striving for recognition but held back by their past…. Every summer needs a One Day-style read; this book is a contender for that crown.”
“On a par with the Barneses and McEwans of this parish… Jones’s gift - like all great writers - is to leave us wanting so desperately to believe that the story will continue without us once the scenery has been cleared away.”
“Jones highlights beautifully the energetic, naive, cheap red-wine fug of the Seventies start-up, and its decadent antithesis, the emptiness of fatally compromised success.”
“Engrossing…Jones’s talent emerges most in the absorbing plot, which convincingly shows how friends can be torn apart by lust and ambition.”
“Jones’s intricate, complex plot, sympathetically drawn characters, and authentic depictions of damaged genius make an unassailable claim for the power of a writer’s detailed observation in the face of formula fiction.”
“Fallout is both deliciously gobble-able and carefully constructed.”
“This absorbing and romantic novel about love, art and the importance of being true to yourself will draw you in and keep you there until the very last page.”
“[Fallout] cements her reputation as a writer in the style of William Boyd; able to take on a variety of styles and mould them to her own voice.”
“Sadie Jones has an unerring ability to delve into the depths of characters and reveal both their strengths and their weaknesses.”
“An enthralling tale of lust, ambition and friendship.”