Book Review: Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos

Falling Together by Marisa de los SantosThis is a book about friendship, relationships and love. What happens when three college friends meet up again after six years?

I’ve read one other book by Marisa de los Santos, Love Walked In, which I really enjoyed. Falling Together wasn’t quite as good, unfortunately.

Falling Together: What it is about

From the publishers: “It’s been six years since Pen Calloway watched Cat and Will, her best friends from college, walk out of her life. Through the birth of her daughter, the death of her father, and the vicissitudes of single motherhood, she has never stopped missing them. When, after years of silence, Cat—the bewitching, charismatic center of their group—urgently requests that the three meet at their college reunion, Pen can’t refuse.

But instead of a happy reconciliation, what awaits is a collision of past and present that sends Pen and Will on a journey around the world, with Pen’s five-year-old daughter and Cat’s hostile husband in tow. And as Pen and Will struggle to uncover the truth about Cat, they find more than they bargained for: startling truths about who they were before and who they are now.”

Falling Together: What I thought

I’m torn on this one. I liked it and I didn’t. I liked it how Pen and Will meet up again, the circumstances. And the rough character Jason, Cat’s husband, who isn’t prone to use polite words when approaching people with questions about his wife. You see, Cat is missing, and Jason needs Pen and Will to help him find Cat.

On the other hand, the story was rather unlikely: would someone really ask his wife’s college friends to help him find her? Would these friends drop everything to go searching for her? Taking Pen’s young daughter with them to a country far away that they don’t know much about? If you get past these doubts, then it makes a nice story.

Except that I didn’t like the way in which certain parts of the story were told. For instance, when Pen is telling Will about her meeting with her ex, Patrick, the story flicks back and forth. The problem was that these flashbacks are not told by Pen, but by a third-person narrator. So the reader is shifting his focus along: to earlier today with Patrick, back to the current moment with Will’s reaction to the story, back to Patrick, etc. It would have been a different matter if Patrick’s story was in quotes, told by Pen, so the reader’s focus was (only) with Will and Pen, looking back on the meeting with Patrick. I don’t like this kind of story telling and find it confusing.

And there were also occasions when I wasn’t sure whether what I was reading was the current time, or a memory from the past.

The writing was good, not quite as easy-going as you might expect for a story like this. There were a number of sub-stories that were interesting too. In the end, the story is about friendship and whether past friendship can still be the same years later.

Rating: 3.5 or maybe 4 (out of 5)

Number of pages: 376

First published: 2011 (this edition 2012, paperback edition by William Morrow (Harper Collins))

I got this book: for review from the publishers

Genre: contemporary fiction

 

Have you read this book?

Did you enjoy it?

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17 Responses to Book Review: Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos

  1. I read Love Walked In and absolutely loved the writing. Unfortunately I never found the time to review it and now don’t remember the details… I will definitley be reading this one at some point too, although I think I have another book by de los Santos on my shelf.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Joanne, she wrote another book (at least one) that I never got round to. If you loved *Love Walked In* then probably this new book is a good one for you.

  2. Mystica says:

    I have a feeling I have this book. Now let me go and rummage!!!

  3. Charlie says:

    The sort of POV change you describe can work in films, but yes, I can see it not working in a book, sort of disjointed. And the premise does sound a little strange, unless I suppose Cat told her husband about those friends all the time or thought they knew more about her than anyone else.

  4. It does sound interesting, but your review makes it seem less attractive and a bit confusing. And this book has a cover that I love one day, and don’t like the next.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Nadine, I did find the story confusing at times. I love that cover, but it suggest to me that the book is more of a chick-lit book than it actually is.

  5. The plot of this reminds me a little of Thrity Umrigar’s The World We Found, which also had college friends reunited after many years. I’ve never read anything by this author, but maybe I would start with Love Walked In.

  6. Lindsey says:

    I haven’t read anything by de los Santos, but I’ve heard good things about Love Walked In. The switches in narration and time period would be frustrating for me too.

  7. Isi says:

    I didn’t know this author. I think I’m going to try with The world we found, to see if I like it (it’s available here in Spain, and looks good).
    See you!

  8. Sounds like it would make a good movie.

  9. I think I might have trouble getting past the doubts that you voiced, however if it ever came my way I might just pick it up to read.

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