From Where I Fell by Susan Johnson

Published: 2021 1. First lines. 2. Cover: Allen & Unwin 3. Worried young woman [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Pamela Robinson in Australia, mistakenly sends an email to Chris (Chrisanthi) Woods in New York State, believing she has used the address of her ex-husband Chris Woods in France. Pamela and Chrisanthi continue their correspondence, finding a friendship that each of them needs, as they tell each other their secret thoughts and feelings.

“Oh my God, how excruciating! I’m not in the habit of pouring my heart out to strangers.”

The structure worked well, so I agree with Arts Hub: ‘ A modern update to the epistolary format … Johnson carries it off successfully.’ Initially I was surprised by the ending, but after thinking about it, I believe it was realistic and not at all predictable. The Australian Book Review notes that “This novel relies on voice and character more than on storyline or plot”.


“Don’t you get sick of talking about yourself all the time?”

“I don’t want to be rude, but you do enough reflection for the whole of Australia. There is a fine line between reflection and self-indulgence.”

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