>Falling Off Stairs

>See my review of Falling Off Air.

As Robin Ballantyne´s older sister Lorna suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), this illness is one of the themes of the book. It is not that relevant for the plot, still it made me think.

“Lorna´s room is the most peaceful place I know. That night she had chamber music playing softly and the lights were dimmed. She glanced over as I entered, but she said nothing. She was lying on her bed. By this point in the day she is usually exhausted, but even when she sleeps the quality of her rest is poor.

´You don´t feel like joining us?´ I asked gently. She smiled and shook her head of red curls, gesturing that I should leave her plate on the table by her bed.


´Busy day,´ she said softly. Her voice was a contralto, surprisingly vibrant coming from her weary body.


Often, we would eat together. Once the most sociable of people, Lorna´s instinct was still to seek out human contact even if it drained her of the last ounce of energy, which it always did. A year earlier, when the CFS was at its worst, I´d sometimes had to carry her to bed…”

Of course I was interested, but I can´t say I identified with Lorna. First, my health is so much better that I am able to work part time. Second, I have never felt depressed because of my illness. Crisis and problems in my family may get to me, but while it keeps annoying me that there are many things I cannot do any more, I have been able to look around me, thinking “what can I do then?” [Blog, read and write crime fiction, obviously]

Generally, the description of Lorna seems credible, but it is not my impression that CFS prevents anyone from walking up and down stairs (when they are up and about, I mean). The problem is that a few trips up and down may make you feel you have tried running a marathon without training first for several days.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
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