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Rotten Row

In Free Fall, Sammy and his ‘Ma’ live on Rotten Row, ‘right in the heart of the Garden of England’; ‘a slum’ with a wooden gate at one end and the ‘rectangular but forbidden exit to the main road at the other’. In his early childhood, Rotten Row represents the whole world to Sammy, and he recalls his life there with some nostalgia, despite their lack of possessions and obvious poverty. The community of Rotten Row is punctuated with fights but there is a real sense of togetherness, shown by Sammy’s recollection of them as ‘a way of life’, an ‘entity’. When Sammy starts school, Rotten Row is no longer his whole world.