Callum Ferguson has grown up in the shadow of the sins of his father. The worst moment of his life came not at the age of sixteen, when he threw his father out of the house, but later in life, when he realised he was just like him. With a predilection for alcohol and violence, he sees his destiny every time he looks in the mirror.
Sass Hathaway, hell-raiser and successful musician, thrived in the limelight – until one night she lost it all. Drowning in an ocean of uncertainty, nursing a crippling case of self-loathing, her brother offers her a chance to find herself again.
His idea of salvation is a dilapidated bar. His proposal; she help him and his wife renovate and run it. However, when she and Callum cross paths, they both discover that salvation comes in many forms.
You can’t escape your past, you can only come to terms with it so that you can move on – but accepting your past is only the beginning. Then you must decide whether you’re strong enough to follow your heart.
(This can be read as a stand-alone, but reading ‘Absolution’ is recommended in order to get the most out of this story).
Review by Amanda
Sliding Down the Sky focuses on one of my favourite Amanda Dick characters – it is the story of Callum Ferguson, who we all got to know and love in Absolution. Having said that, I feel that it is a good idea to read Absolution first (not only is it a PHENOMENAL read but we also get to know and fall in love with Callum for the first time).
This book follows the tragedy and heartache of a former rocker who moves to a small town with her brother and his family to try and escape the pain that is her life. Prone to panic attacks and a complete introvert, Sass is the character that we feel all the way down to our souls. Amanda Dick has written her so beautifully fractured that it is impossible not to feel every single one of Sass’ emotions. I loved this character – I think it is my favourite character that Amanda has written to date, she is perfect in her imperfections. You could almost feel that Sass wants to be a part of the real world again, but her demons weigh her down, and she finds it nearly impossible to believe that she is someone who deserves a happy ending.
Enter Callum Ferguson, swoon… Callum himself is no stranger to hurt and heartache. He has been disappointed by nearly everyone he loves. He has also taken on some of the traits of the one person he has sworn he will never become - his father. Swirling in a world of drunkenness and bar brawls, Callum knows that this is not the life he wants for himself. He is sinking and is not able to save himself from the wreckage that his life has become, until he meets the sister of the new bar owner in town.
He is immediately drawn to Sass and although she is shy and he struggles to worm her out of her shell, the two soon strike up an unlikely friendship. Callum is gentle and patient with her – he knows what she needs and he knows he is the person that can ultimately bring her back to the real world and living. The two go on a number of dates, and as Sass opens up to Callum, the two damaged souls begin to start healing. Callum drinks less and Sass begins to live life a little more.
However, the real world has a way of intruding and Callum’s temper soon gets the better of him. Will the fragile relationship the two have developed be strong enough to sustain the drama and damage? Will Sass be strong enough to leave the past behind her? Will these two finally get the happy ending they both deserve.
Amanda Dick is a magician of the broken and fractured souls. I wonder after each book how she will ever top the previous one, they are just so beautifully broken and well written. However, with Sliding down the Sky she has most certainly out done herself. I fell in love with the character of Sass from the moment I opened the book. Unable to pinpoint exactly what it was that had ultimately changed her life, you could most certainly feel the pain and heartache of her character leaping off the pages. I think at this point she is most definitely the most vulnerable and tragic character that Amanda has written. However, what I love the most about Amanda Dick’s writing is that she is able to make her characters rise out of the ashes like the Phoenix, and of course Sass is no different. You feel her character and her resolve grow throughout the book and I was most certainly routing for her to face her fears and her demons and let love in.
The character of Callum is one that I fell in love with during Absolution, and I am pleased to say that Amanda Dick did not let me down. Callum is the epitome of a man that has a brave exterior that hides a multitude of insecurities and issues. His way of coping with life and its stresses is to drink and brawl. We know that this comes as a result of the relationship, or lack thereof, with his father, and I really enjoyed that aspect of his character. Perhaps, it makes me maudlin and masochistic, but I enjoyed watching him struggle – and eventually defeat his demons. I loved that meeting a good woman who herself had many issues, was able to make him want to live and love life again. Callum is not a perfect man, not by a long shot, but he is a man that wants to do better and be better and when he finds his purpose, it changes his life and his plan.
Amanda Dick is a magician of words. She is also I have to say a magician of heartache, I swear everytime I pick up one of her books, I promise myself that I will not cry, but I never manage to make it through tear free.
Sliding Down the Sky is another masterpiece of beautiful words, fractured characters, pain, hope, suffering and love. I also have to say that it is my favourite Amanda Dick novel to date. A must read for any book work, it will make you laugh, cry and most importantly feel.
Another 5 star read from the incomparable Amanda Dick.
Meet Amanda Dick
Amanda Dick is a night-owl, coffee addict, movie buff and music lover. She loves to do DIY (if it's not bolted down, she'll probably paint it, re-cover it or otherwise decorate it) and has tried almost every craft known to man/womankind. She has two sewing machines and an over-locker she can't remember how to thread. She crochets (but can't follow a pattern), knits (badly) and refrains from both as a public service.
She believes in love at first sight, in women's intuition and in following your heart. She is rather partial to dark chocolate and believes in the power of a good vanilla latte.
What lights her fire is writing stories about real people in trying situations. Her passion is finding characters who are forced to test their boundaries. She is insanely curious about how we, as human beings, react when pushed to the edge. Most of all, she enjoys writing about human behaviour - love, loss, joy, grief, friendship and the complexity of relationships in general.
After living in Scotland for five years, she has now settled back home in New Zealand, where she lives with her husband and two children.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/amandadickauthor
Facebook Readers Group: www.facebook.com/groups/amandadickbooks