Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Book Review: FALLING by Julie Cohen


Author: Julie Cohen
Publisher: Random House UK, Transworld Publishers
Read: September 2016

Synopsis (Goodreads):

NOTE: This book was originally titled 'The Day of Second Chances'

Can you imagine keeping a secret so devastating, you couldn’t even tell the people you love?
Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.

Jo’s secret could smash apart the ‘normal’ family life she’s fought so hard to build.

Lydia’s secret could bring her love - or the loss of everything that matters to her.

One summer’s day, grandmother, mother and daughter’s secrets will collide in a single dramatic moment.

Is it too late for second chances?

My thoughts:

Three generations of women from the same extended family connected by secrets in their lives:  strong, fiercely independent octogenarian Honor who has refused to let herself love again after her first doomed love affair in her youth. Single mother Jo, who has always put herself last and tries to see the best in everyone, often at her own expense – can she find the courage to listen to her heart and find love in the most unexpected place? And teenage Lydia, who is at the cusp of womanhood but must come to terms with her own sexuality before she can move forward. When these three very different women are thrown together by a freak accident, they must overcome their differences in order to understand each other, and ultimately, save each other.

Falling is a beautiful, feel-good story of three remarkable female characters, which touched my heart and captured me right from the start. With the generational differences Cohen describes so well, there was some part in each of the women I could relate to, which made me think about some of the choices we make in our lives due to our perception of reality. As each of the women is forced by circumstance to challenge this reality, their fate is altered forever. Cohen writes with insight and compassion, creating true-to-life characters one cannot but like, warts and all. Exploring generational themes such as teenage angst, motherhood and old age, one thing that always shines through is the need to love and be loved, which drives every human relationship. I once went to a women’s meditation circle, where we were asked to imagine generations of women from our ancestral line standing behind us, supporting us, cheering us on. If we fell, they would catch us, save us, hold us up. One scene in Falling brought this vivid image to life for me – you will know it when you read it.

All in all, Fallen is a beautifully written novel, which made me feel warm and fuzzy and made a nice change from the gruesome murder-mysteries which are my usual fare. Definitely a novel for the female readers, but one that every generation should find appealing for the themes it explores.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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