By: Jane Green
Narrator: Jane Green
Penguin Random House/ Penguin Audio
Genre: Fiction – Family Life
Release Date: July 19, 2016
12 Hours and 30 Minutes
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, Jemima J, and Summer Secrets presents a novel about the pleasure and meaning of finding a home—and family—where you least expect them…
When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn’t the life she wanted either.
On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son.
Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.
But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all.
In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman’s far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be…
– See more at: http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/539981/falling/
Well, I thought, a novel about Emma, a British Ex-Pat in Connecticut women on the front end of mid-life and the Dominic, the super nice man she meets and with whom she falls in love, would be a great romance. I have got to read the blurbs better — but they are so often vague that I don’t always trust them.
As Emma and Dom build their relationship obstacles in the form of his child who runs hot and cold, exes and parents with strange expectations on both sides of the pond. After a visit, it’s clear that even as adults, our parents are capable, even when ostensibly only wanting their children to be happy, of planting a seed of doubt.
With her doubts I thought Emma was a little whiny. She is rejecting the golden handcuffs of her bank job, doesn;t feel as if she belongs in the social groups she has found herself in bot the US and the UK. But, though they are the least likely couple, Emma and Dom do get along and obviously belong together.
She’s a tony Brit whose family is aristocratic. Her mother is a total snob. Emma is well-educated, and was a banking executive until she left to become a decorator. Dom is a bartender and a carpenter who needs to learn how to use a level. He has a son who is accustomed to being the sole focus of his father’s life and his parents are portrayed as stereotypically Italian-Americans who like to have loud, soul-crushing arguments. Their relationship is TOXIC!
But the story is suprising and difficult; it left me haunted, crying, and thinking, and happy to have my life. It was like Thwap!, and then another thwap! to my head. It nearly destroyed me. There’s great romance, until there is not.
This is well-written, with a good understanding of how America is class oriented by education, income and position where in this British family they still look at pedigree. I did find the point of view a little strange — not quite first person but not an omniscient reporter either. It feels modern.
I thought that business and legal aspects of the story are handled a little glibly.
Green does a great job with the narration and certainly has the inside scoop on what words should be emphasized since she wrote the book.
For the past several years, I have found myself pulling away from truly sad books and movies. There are precious few happy endings in the world and I like to read books with endings that don’t require tissues and leave me feeling raw and sad for days. I suppose it’s escapist; not wanting to face mortality as I get older.
But, if you can handle sad and cathartic books, then you may very well be the book for you.