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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was superb
This book was superb - I could not put it down. EJH has conveyed so well the angst and absolute distress that so often accompanies the intense joy and anticipation of relationships. The agony of the disappointment felt by Daisy at Jason's treachery and at the end of the book were almost unbearable and so true to life for anyone who has ever been there. I finished the...
Published on 12 Aug 2000

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Falling
I have read most of EJH books, and was looking forward to this one. Especially as I had read about the timing of this book in her personal life. I do find her variable, but usually a good clear read. Beautifully crafted, and covering all the detail to create the atmosphere she aims at. This one started well, and had more promise than the last one of hers I read. Part way...
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was superb, 12 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Falling (Paperback)
This book was superb - I could not put it down. EJH has conveyed so well the angst and absolute distress that so often accompanies the intense joy and anticipation of relationships. The agony of the disappointment felt by Daisy at Jason's treachery and at the end of the book were almost unbearable and so true to life for anyone who has ever been there. I finished the book in tears.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANATOMY OF A SEDUCTION, 16 Mar 2013
By 
KOMET (WASHINGTON, DC - U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Falling (Paperback)
"Falling" is not only a novel that delves into the anatomy of a seduction. It is also masterful in that it gives the reader access into both the inner and outer lives of the two people involved: Henry Kent and Daisy Langrish. Elizabeth Jane Howard fleshes them out with the skill that Vermeer, Goya, Manet, and John Singer Sargent showed to such fine effect on canvas.

Henry, the son of a gardener who never showed him love, learned to be resourceful early in life by trusting to his own wits. He developed a proficiency for discerning the emotional states of women --- preferably ones with wealth and status --- and exploiting them for his own benefit. He had this charm and savoir faire, which he was not abash to speak of, from time to time, with the reader. (The author has most chapters titled either "Henry" or "Daisy", so the reader always knows who is occupying center stage.)

Daisy, who grew up with an aunt ("Jess") who gave her unselfish and unconditional love, had 2 failed marriages, and had turned to playwriting (and scriptwriting) for solace and as a way of making a livelihood for her and her daughter. Eventually, Daisy's work became her life. She learned to be self-sufficient and to view trust as a weakness. So when Henry first approached her at her country cottage about doing some gardening work for her, she was wary. But from the bleakness of an English winter to the warmth of the following summer, he steadily (not minding a few missteps, which he quickly covered up) worked his way into Daisy's heart and affections.

What is remarkable about the development of Daisy's and Henry's relationship over time is how subtly and cleverly it unfolds. The reader can see both sides clearly and make up his/her mind about Henry and Daisy. Here's an example from what Daisy herself had to say after she has been all but won over to Henry:

"Am I in love? It is three weeks now since we went to bed; we have been lovers for twenty-one days and nights. He has continued to love me with the same wholehearted emotion and kindness and I have graduated from what I, somewhat defensively, described as some sort of old virgin to what he has described as a normal sensual woman for whom sex has become a joyous necessity. Indeed, I think I have become more sexual than he, but when I said this to him, he laughed and said it was because I had been starved for so long. `Not just of sex,' he had added, `but of everything that goes with it. My greatest pleasure is giving you pleasure.'

"I am afraid that I do not give him enough back, but I have noticed that he often makes me want him and then withholds his favours --- teases me --- and that he certainly enjoys that. Sometimes he starts that game in the afternoon and then we go upstairs, but more often he deliberately excites me hours before he will take me to bed. I have begun to enjoy this game. It is wonderful to want him and to have no shame, no self-conscious reservations at all. `You trust me now, don't you?' he said yesterday. And I do. Even when he hurt me a little at the beginning, he was so aware of it and so tender... Those are the moments when I do feel love for him." (pp. 300-301)

Henry, all through the novel, shows how calculating and cunning he can be, showing how attuned he can be to a woman's wants and needs once he knows that she has become susceptible to his shows of care, patience, and his apparently inexhaustible well of kindness and understanding:

"She was silent all the way back, and I was content to savour the salt of her tears from her mouth. I was light-headed with the exhilaration of that first kiss --- are not all first kisses unlike any others? --- and the ceertainty that I was on the brink of achieving all that I had schemed and dreamed about for so long.

"This was right. That night, she invited me into her bed." (p. 274)

Talk about a smooth operator!

To find out what happens between Henry and Daisy, I invite you now reading this review to take the plunge and see what ensues. So, hold on tight, because you're going to be in for quite a rocky ride.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking but compassionate, a compelling read., 12 Jun 2000
By 
Mrs S.A. Rowbury (Staines, Middlesex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Falling (Paperback)
This is a satisfying book, both a page-turning narrative and a more serious book, full of insight and acute observation. Above all it is full of the sensory detail, truth of emotion, and sheer eye for meaningful detail which make Elizabeth Jane Howard such an extraordinarily compelling storyteller. I found this book shocking and horrific as well as beautiful and elegiac. It is a novel shining with compassion and love of life and humanity. I would thoroughly recommend it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Falling, 3 Jun 2013
This review is from: Falling (Kindle Edition)
I have read most of EJH books, and was looking forward to this one. Especially as I had read about the timing of this book in her personal life. I do find her variable, but usually a good clear read. Beautifully crafted, and covering all the detail to create the atmosphere she aims at. This one started well, and had more promise than the last one of hers I read. Part way through, feeling positive, and wanting to check my thoughts against other reviewers, I read the reviews already on Amazon, and was surprised at some of the negative comments, which revealed themselves as justified.

I cannot believe the ending and "wrapping up" of the plot and it's conclusions. In fact, I had to read the denouement several times before I actually understood the fate of the other characters in Henry's life. It seemed so unclear, with so many names and explanations which appeared woolly, inconclusive, rushed and strangely written.

The rest of the book was measured, beautiful and well written. I just wonder what happened in the writers mind at the end.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't confuse the narrator with the author!!!, 18 Mar 2004
By 
M. Harrison - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falling (Paperback)
A stunning example of the use of an unreliable narrator - Elizabeth Jane Howard's mastery and control of her readers' perceptions is stunning. A joy to be so well, and finely, controlled by a writer at the absolute top of her form.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating, unputdownable read., 28 Aug 2011
By 
J. Foster (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Falling (Paperback)
From the first line of the narrative, I found myself completely absorbed in EJH's Falling. Everyone will be intrigued by the storyline which unfolds like a thriller but explores deep emotional issues throughout.

The focal point of this book is relationships. Not only between the two main characters but also between the main characters and people in the periphery of the situation.

I enjoyed this so much I have read it 5 times.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No better writer around, 8 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Falling (Paperback)
I absolutely love Elizabeth Jane Howard's books and this one was no exception! I think she is an excellent writer.Infact I would go as far as saying she is one of the best around and definitely my personal favourite. This book has everything,great descriptions,totally believable characters and a plot that just sucks you in! I couldn't put it down.My only complaint is that EJH does not write fast enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 19 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Falling (Kindle Edition)
This is typical Elizabeth Jane Howard stuff-interesting and complex characters (although not always likeable), nuanced dialogue and scene setting and well structured. I read this directly after working my way through the entire "Cazalets" books which I also enjoyed. This is more of a slow burner, but no less enjoyable for that. Reminds me of Elizabeth Bowen's best novels which I also love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling story and a superb intriguing plot, 30 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Falling (Audio Cassette)
A finely crafted book that would certainly leave many female readers in doubt about any man's credibility and trust. The book initially describes the search and then chemistry, and anticipation of a delicate ageless love and then passion which will surprise the reader with a feared though unexpected ending. While it shows how much love and passion can still be experienced in the middleage years, it also leaves you with a feeling that mature love doesn't mean you're at safe from deception and disillusions which can occur at any stage and with any man regardless of their social status and education. It is only a book, fiction, though by the time you close it you may wish there was a 3rd sex on the planet.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real must read, 21 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Falling (Paperback)
I loved this book, I had to read on and on to the end, although I was loathe to finish it! The characters are so well drawn, you so want it to come 'right' for them, and yet know it isn't going to. Anyone who has ever fallen in love when aged over 40 will love this book.
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Falling
Falling by Howard Elizabeth Jane (Paperback - 5 May 2000)
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