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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My book of the summer
A massive fan of Esther Freud, I wasn't disappointed by this one. Wish I'd shelled out for it in hardback yonks ago actually! A brilliant holiday read - all about coming of age / first love / a holiday romance - I was whisked away to Tuscany with Lara, as desperate as she was to know how her entanglement with the incestuous Willoughby clan would pan out. I also loved the...
Published on 4 July 2008 by A. Bowen

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars love falls esher freud
This was the first book I had read By Esther Freud and I am still not sure whether I liked it or not ! I was rather trawling through the first half of the book, although I enjoyed the descriptive Italian summer, food and places ! I disliked most of the characters Lara met up with during her stay at the villa with her father . The Willoughby clan were mostly horrible bores...
Published on 9 Jun 2010 by Ms. Mc Fawcett


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My book of the summer, 4 July 2008
By 
A. Bowen - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love Falls (Paperback)
A massive fan of Esther Freud, I wasn't disappointed by this one. Wish I'd shelled out for it in hardback yonks ago actually! A brilliant holiday read - all about coming of age / first love / a holiday romance - I was whisked away to Tuscany with Lara, as desperate as she was to know how her entanglement with the incestuous Willoughby clan would pan out. I also loved the subplot about the Palio di Siena, the fiery passions of which tip into violence, a subtle parallel to the inner world of the characters. In fact, not to go all psycho-babble, but what I really adore about Freud is her emotional intelligence - she is an incredibly astute observer of behavior, and here evokes the emotional landscape of an adolescent girl brilliantly.If you want female characters who ring true - rather than the one-dimensional men and shopping obsessed type - Freud's intelligent, resonant novels are for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Redeemed by the end, 6 Jan 2010
By 
A. Murray (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love Falls (Paperback)
I have to admit I spent the first half of my time reading Love Falls wondering why I was bothering. The Italian setting (and food) are attractive, but it seemed to be a novel about the sort of rather tiresome people I don't normally want to read about and some of whom are, even by the end not very well differentiated from each other.

However, the pace of the novel is skilled, subtle and stately and it at least kept me reading. Towards the very end we learn new details about some of the characters which both enlarge and redeem them as creations and I did admire the author's restraint in the slow, controlled build of the plot. What also saves it from being just a read about a group of Tuscanites with an overblown sense of entitlement is the insight we get into Lara's childhood and the anecdotes about her travels with her mother, encountering India and refugees from Tibet, most of which seem too particular and querky to be anything but real incidents.

Though this was not perhaps the book for me. However, it did encourage me to read more of Esther Freud because I admire her skill as a writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Italian Romance, 10 July 2011
By 
Kate Hopkins (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Love Falls (Paperback)
A beautifully written tale of an adolescent girl's first experience of Italy, and of passion. Lara Reilly travels to Italy with her German-Jewish father Lambert Gold (his real name is Wolfgang, but he changed his name on arrival in England) to stay with Lambert's oldest friend, Caroline. While there, Lara meets the glamorous and hugely rich Willoughby family, and falls for the son and heir, Kip (we never learn his full name - a mistake, I think). Over the course of the holiday, Lara becomes increasingly fascinated by her father, about whom she knows little, and his relationship with the Willoughbys. A series of incidents in the final weeks of the holiday both give Lara more knowledge, but also ensure that she returns to England a very different girl.

There was much to enjoy in this book. The descriptions of Italy and its food (!) were wonderful, as were the descriptions of Lara's increasing curiosity about her father and his life. The beautiful and stoical Caroline, determined to live life to the full even with a terminal illness, was a wonderful creation, and Lambert, with his secrets and his refusal to commit to anyone emotionally after his experiences in World War II, was also extremely memorable. I also loved the flashbacks to Lara's time with her mother in India as a child.

The main problem for me with the book was that the Willoughbys were such awful people on the whole. Why did Lara stay devoted to Kip, who was the spoilt brat to end spoilt brats (his comment on dropping an egg on the floor is that 'someone else will clear it up') and is clearly using her? Despite Kip's appalling behaviour throughout the novel, and the fact that one of the Willougby party rapes Lara at one point, she seems fixated on them right through the novel, and one wonders why.

We are not even sure by the end of the novel that Kip hasn't made Lara pregnant by his refusal to use contraception when making love. Let's hope that Lara comes to her senses about Kip on her return to England - perhaps this could form the material for a sequel to 'Love Falls'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars teenage troubles in Tuscany, 2 Feb 2011
By 
Michael Gross - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love Falls (Paperback)
With Love Falls Esther Freud returns to the mind world of the teenage girl, which I suppose is what she does best. Of course I can't really tell, as I don't know it from the inside, but it looks convincing to the bystander. It is July 1981 (as readers are supposed to know due to the references to the wedding of Charles Windsor and Diana Spencer, but I had to look it up!), and our protagonist, Lara, 17 (born in spring 1964, so she's my generation, as is the author), embarks on a trip to Italy with her father, which means she's going to spend more time with him than she has in the past 17 years put together. That's probably already true by the end of the epic train journey that takes them to Siena.

She is thrown into the strange world of wealthy British expats in Tuscany, which in fact feels quite similar to the world described in the Bertolucci movie "Stealing Beauty", except that the rather likable heap of artists lounging round the pool in that movie is replaced with a not quite so sympathetic gang who are there to save their inherited wealth from the UK tax authorities.

Lara's summer in Tuscany includes a wide and interesting range of experiences and emotions, and trying to make sense of them she reflects back to memories of her previous foreign adventure, an overland trip to India with her mother (which of course reminds us of Hideous Kinky).

Parts of the novel are disturbing enough to ensure it doesn't end up on the "light summer reading" shelf, but still, the Tuscan sun does add to the reading pleasure, and teenage angst and confusion looks much more photogenic by the Love Falls (as in waterfalls) than in the dreary backyards of Peerless Flats, so I reckon for anybody who doesn't know Freud's work yet, Love Falls might be a good place to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars love falls esher freud, 9 Jun 2010
By 
Ms. Mc Fawcett "bookfreak" (sale cheshire england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love Falls (Paperback)
This was the first book I had read By Esther Freud and I am still not sure whether I liked it or not ! I was rather trawling through the first half of the book, although I enjoyed the descriptive Italian summer, food and places ! I disliked most of the characters Lara met up with during her stay at the villa with her father . The Willoughby clan were mostly horrible bores and I hated Roland especially ! Lara's father was something of an enigma and too was Caroline. The second half of the book was more enjoyable as something actually happened and I felt I wanted to read on to discover the conclusion. I will read more books by Ms Freud, Love Falls has left me intrigued and curious to try out more of her writing !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't quite get it..., 10 May 2010
This review is from: Love Falls (Hardcover)
This book has confused me. I didn't really like it, but it is still on my mind. It had many good points. This is the first book of Freud's that I have read and I did very much like her style of writing. It was very descriptive, without given you an impression of what every stone in the road looked like. Her depiction of Italy was vivid and tantalising enough to make me want to visit that country even more than I did before reading this. However, the plot and characters I found to be frustratingly shortcoming. A good idea, of a young girl discovering love, pain, betrayal, family, and life in general during one summer holiday. But I finished the book with the overall feeling that nothing really happened. Or rather, serious things happened one minute that got totally brushed off the next. And I too found the ending to be completely unsatisfying. However, I cannot say "do not waste your time reading this book" so instead I will say, read and form your own opinion, as I believe this is the kind of story that as many will love as will hate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't meet expectations, 4 Mar 2010
By 
L. Smith (Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love Falls (Paperback)
A touching story about a daughters relationship with her estranged father. However the rest of the story lacked substance for me, Came highly recommended in a magazine, but I didn't think it was quite as special as expected.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it now, 20 Jan 2010
By 
H. Leahy (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love Falls (Paperback)
Love the book. Well worth a read. Teenager on holiday with her erstwhile Dad finds love and weirdness with the family of their hosts friends. Twisted group dynamic between the family, leads to interesting and sometimes disturbing incidents. Read it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Falls by Esther Freud, 10 July 2009
By 
G. Gott (Stratford-upon-Avon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love Falls (Paperback)
Esther Freud's books are always a pleasure to read and this is no exception. Love Falls is set in Italy and is a story of a girl reaching adulthood but it is far more than that. The characters are all well observed and the way they react with each other and the way that they act individually is recognisable and enlightening. The book is also a study of families and the way different members of a family respond to each other. It presents a realistic, but not always comfortable, picture of the way people behave. This is all set against the backdrop of the beautiful Italian countryside, reading this I could imagine myself back in Italy.
Love Falls is easy to read because it is well written but is satisfying in what the writing gives the reader.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars liked it, 23 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Love Falls (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this book. I would recommend it. To be frank i would defintely buy another book by Esther Freud.
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Love Falls
Love Falls by Esther Freud (Paperback - 2 Jun 2008)
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