Author: Jane Green
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Women's Fiction
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…
But with Falling, she returns to her romantic roots. A coming-of-age (still in her 30's) story of Emma Montague, who is looking to start over after breaking up with a fiancee and leaving the incredibly fast-paced-hamster-wheel corporate world. I can completely relate with wanting to step back and take a breath in this life where everything is so fast-paced that if you blink, you may miss something. Time for inner reflection and getting to know oneself away from work, and family, and even friends whose lives are at a completely different rhythm than your own is part of what this story is about.
It's extremely difficult to fully review this story without giving too much away, but in the end, this story is about LOVE. And love in its truest sense. Love in a romantic relationship, love from a friendship, and love in ways you couldn't even imagine. Jane Green once said in an interview that there is this researcher who could predict in the first 5 minutes of meeting a couple as to whether they were going to make it or not. She says that he found that it was all in the "kindness of attention" each partner gave each other. Not just the kindness where you bring them breakfast in bed (although nice!) but the kindness where if the other person asked you to do something for them or needed your attention, that you would stop everything you were doing, and would give it to them right way, gladly and willingly.
This is the same type of kindness in attention we see in Dominic, who we are introduced to right away. He is Emma's landlord, next-door-neighbor, and just an overall lovable guy. I loved everything about this man - from the way he interacted with his son to his and Emma's chemistry! I also very much enjoyed her friendship with Sophie, who was the foil to her singleness, as Sophie is married and has a child herself.
As the story develops, we also see the family dynamics of both Dominic and Emma and I can see where a lot of readers will be able to relate. What's that old saying...you can pick the ones you love but you can't pick your family? That saying is very apropos to the family dynamics of everyone in this narrative.
I absolutely adore Jane Green and I loved every bit of this novel, even the way that it ultimately unfolds albeit unexpected. I'm so glad that she decided to write this story. She's admitted that it is loosely based on her own love story with her own landlord, set in the same idyllic town. I'm so glad that she's brought us back to the way she first introduced us to her writing in Jemima J, which I also highly recommend. This is a perfect summer beach read and I recommend all to go out immediately and pick this one up! It's also perfect for book clubs because the many themes and events create great topics of discussion.
Jane Green is the author of seventeen novels, including sixteen New York Times Bestsellers, including her latest, Summer Secrets. Previous novels have included The Beach House, Second Chance, Jemima J, and Tempting Fate. She is published in over 25 languages, and has over ten million books in print worldwide. She joined the ABC News team to write their first enhanced digital book— about the history of Royal marriages, then joined ABC News as a live correspondent covering Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton. A former journalist in the UK, she has had her own radio show on BBC Radio London, and is a regular contributor on radio and TV, including as well as regularly appearing on television shows including Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart show, and The Today Show. Together with writing books and blogs, she contributes to various publications, both online and print, including anthologies and novellas, and features for The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and Self. She has taught at writers conferences, and does regular keynote speaking, and has a weekly column in The Lady magazine, England’s longest running weekly magazine. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Green filled two of her books, Saving Grace and Promises to Keep, with recipes culled from her own collection. She says she only cooks food that is “incredibly easy, but has to look as if you have slaved over a hot stove for hours.” This is because she has five children, and has realised that “when you have five children, nobody ever invites you anywhere.” She lives in Westport, Connecticut with her husband and their blended family. When she is not writing, cooking, gardening, filling her house with friends and herding chickens, she is usually thanking the Lord for caffeine-filled energy drinks. A cancer survivor – she has overcome Malignant Melanoma, she also lives with Chronic Lyme Disease, and believes gratitude and focusing on the good in life is the secret to happiness.