Falling out of Heaven
'I knew that the black dot of pain that lay in the centre of his eyes also lay in mine, and that it was a stain that no amount of washing or praying could shift. I think of my loneliness, how it coils around the centre of my being like a long thread of steel and realise that my father must have been the same, he stood on the outside of our family condemned as an ogre, just as I do now.'
Gabriel O'Rourke seemingly has everything: a loving wife, an adoring young son, a worthwhile job. He is rooted in a community, is part of a family, has a home. Yet, gradually, his world slowly pulls apart, until Gabriel finds himself homeless and destitute, living out of rubbish skips on the street. In a psychotic haze he is admitted into a secure unit, his body addled by alcohol, his mind broken. Here, by confronting the blighting reality of his own alcoholism, Gabriel is forced finally to unearth the muddled spectre of the past: the black betrayals by those around him, his traumatic relationship with his father, and the true darkness of some obsessions.
Learning to navigate a landscape pockmarked with trauma to undergo a journey of painstaking absolution and halting reconstruction, Gabriel understands that only by untangling the mistakes of the past can he hope to reclaim his future.