Book Review: Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos
November 6, 2012 17 Comments
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?