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Falling Home (Zebra Contemporary Romance) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 2002
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"...a rich novel about discovering roots and learning the true meaning of keeping the hearts of those you love." -- Deborah Smith, NYT Bestselling Author
"FALLING HOME is everything contemporary women's fiction should be...and more." -- Deb Stover, Award-winning author
"The southern wit of Fanny Flagg...and the poignancy of Kristin Hannah makes this one of the best reads of this or any year." -- Maudeen Wachsmith, The Best Reviews
From the Publisher
From the Back Cover:
You know that saying about how sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes you're the bug?
It's true. Take me, for example. I shook the Georgia dust from my feet fifteen years ago, vowing never to leave Manhattan. I traded sweet tea for Chardonnay, fried chicken for nouvelle cuisine, lazy days on my aunt's front porch for ad campaigns and board meetings, and the guy who broke my heart for my handsome boss, who soon became my fiance. Perfect, right?
Until my sister called. We haven't spoken since I left home--because she married the guy who broke my heart. What's more, she called to say my father is dying--but he refuses to finish until I show up. So I'm back in the hottest, dinkiest small town in Georgia, facing my sister and my old boyfriend over the heads of their--count them--five children. It couldn't get weirder, right? Unless you count Sam Parker--a long-forgotten classmate, now the town doctor--and how good he's beginning to look to me.
I'm falling apart, I think, wondering why resentment and wounded pride seem silly here in Walton, where forgiveness and acceptance go hand-in-hand with homecoming. And I'm beginning to suspect that I'm falling in love for real this time, with a man whose touch is so right, I feel like I'm...
Falling Home.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
was surprised to see a few readers think that the author was trying to make
fun of the big city or people who aren't from Walton, Georgia. Some people always miss the point. It's about finding the place to call home that's in one's own
heart--wherever that may be.
Cassie Madison is at a crossroads. She comes home after 15 long years in
Manhattan to small town Georgia. In some ways, this is a fish out of water
story--until Cassie learns what has been waiting in her own heart all those
I laughed and cried while reading this book. As a person born in New York
City and raised in New England, I don't think this book has made me want to
move south. But it did open my heart to all the things about my own memories
of home--which made the story that much more poignant.
Beautifully written and deeply moving, this is a book for my keeper shelf.
And that is why I'm giving this book 5 stars.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Cassie's New York fiance Andrew is presented as a loud-mouthed, snobbish, selfish, materialistic nincompoop -- representing the other America. Darn it, he won't even drive an American car. Of course, that Mercedes of his can't be trusted not to break down because of inferior German engineering. Cassie herself has to learn to abandon her smart suits and stiletto heels and vegetarian meals and sushi for chicken fried steaks, grits and other "real American food."
Cassie escaped from Georgia when her sister stole her boyfriend and for 15 years never returned. But now her father is dying so back home she comes, into the sweaty embrace of Dr Sam who has loved her since he was 16. Then a nerdy kid with glasses, he has gone to both Yale and Harvard Medical School but returned to minister to the honest townsfolk, wear cowboy boots and drive a truck.
Daddy dies pretty quickly and now Cassie has to make a decision about the lovely old family home he has left to her. Should she sell it, or better yet give it to ruthless developers, or should she stay put with her own folk and marry Dr Sam? Meantime, she has her five nieces and nephews to look after while her sister Harriet starts to feel a bit off-color. Poor old Harriet is always tired. Could it be that she's pregnant once more -- or maybe she has stage IV incurable breast cancer? Or maybe both?
This book has plenty of cheap, syrupy tragedies worthy of a Victorian melodrama and endless suspense while Cassie hums and haws about whether to stay or go, embrace Dr Sam or wrap the reedy New York arms of Andrew. around her Some choice! Should she opt for the cold, mean streets of New York where nobody knows your name and you have to work all the time or the sweet embrace of Georgia where the local vandals do know your name? Incidentally, we're told that in 15 years living in New York, Cassie never visited the Statue of Liberty. No doubt, she never went to the Metropolitan Opera or the Museum of Modern Art either. But no worries, there is a small fascimile of Lady Liberty in Walton -- and they have the Kudzu Parade so all is well.
There isn't an overt political agenda to this book but it is steeped in a cheap, sentimental conservatism that I quickly found cloying. If this is your cup of sweet southern tea, read on.
Cassie prepares to stay as long as her father needs her and then make a break back to NYC as fast as Andrew's fancy car will take her. When her father passes, he throws a wrench in her plans by leaving the house that has been in their family since the 1800s to Cassie. Throw in some meddling neighbors, a half-dozen neices and nephews she'd never met, the handsome town doctor, an unexpected illness, and some small town gossip and pranks and Cassie finds herself postponing her trip back to the city time and time again.
I'm very torn about this novel. While parts of it were great, there were a few things annoyed me throughout the story. While we are told that Cassie has done very well for herself, we are never told how she is keeping up with expenses while not working as days turn to weeks, which turn to months. I don't know why this bothered me so much, but it seems like something 99% of people would have to worry about in her situation. Up until about the last third of the book, Cassie is just plain unlikable. Yes, she's had a terrible wrong done to her, but she's snotty, selfish and at many times downright hateful (which they do address in the book) and then miraculously changes practially overnight. It seemed that the vast majority of the action took place in the first and last thirds of the book. The middle was just plain boring, and I almost gave up. It did manage to pull me back in for the ending, even more than I expected to be honest. I probably wouldn't recommend this to a friend, but I might try another Karen White book depending on the price. I wouldn't pay the $12 or $13 this one cost for another of her titles.
Many other reviewers have given the outline of the book so I'll spare that.
What I did like is the theme of forgiveness and how Cassie ultimately finds out what matters in life and how the people from a small town are portrayed as really caring about each other. Even one of the characters who is painted in a bad light in most of the book turns good at the end. There is a lot about family dynamics and the importance of family history and how some secrets can really destroy lives but they don't have to once they're out.
What I didn't like was how it's told from different points of view but all in third person. Most of it is from the view of Cassie, the main character. There are also some parts told from the view of Harriet and the niece Maddie but it's weird because they're all in third person yet Maddie's part calls the characters Aunt Cassie and Mama.
It is a very sad book. It is a romance but that is not the underlying main theme of the story. There is a happy ending.
Some of the characters I thought were one-dimensional such as Joe and Andrew and Aunt Lucinda even Sam who is almost too perfect and too noble.
All in all, though, I recommend and will look for the sequel.