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Falling Paperback – 28 Jul 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (28 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1784160636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784160630
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 296,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A beautifully poignant and uplifting novel, exquisitely written and wonderfully wise." (Rowan Coleman)

"Tears you apart and puts you together again" (Katie Fforde)

"Gripping, intriguing, unique and gut-wrenchingly poignant . . . brilliantly original" (Heat)

"Beautifully crafted and utterly compelling . . . reflects perfectly the ecstatic highs and thundering lows of love, friendship and family." (Lucy Robinson)

"This moving novel will make you laugh and cry in equal measures and you won't be able to put it down" (Sunday Express)

Book Description

When secrets tear you apart, can your family still save you? A moving and surprising story about love, family and friendship.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Sophie TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Sept. 2016
Format: Paperback
I’m feeling incredibly bereft now I’ve finished reading this book. Picking up a Julie Cohen book is always a real treat and Falling was no exception. The writing is honest, sensitive and emotionally drawn. The three strands of the story are intricately and beautifully linked. The entire course of the novel is highly compelling, willing just one more chapter until the pages wear thin. Falling is another Julie Cohen stunner.

The book focuses on three generations of a family; Jo, single mother to three children; Lydia, Jo’s teenage daughter; and Honor, Lydia’s grandmother. Each woman is conflicted. Each one of them has a secret that they’re trying to cling on to. Each one of them is engaging and intriguing and I felt for them all throughout the story. It was made so easy to become invested in the lives of Jo, Honor and Lydia and their multi-layered characters were relevant and believable – genuine women who had flaws and made mistakes and kept secrets but truly deserving of real happiness and fulfilment.

Jo is mum to Lydia, Oscar and Iris. The chapter we meet Jo in, as she’s battling a bus journey with her two youngest, really well defined her role in life and the stage she was at. It was the perfect introduction to Jo and I cared for her character instantly and despite being closer to Lydia’s age, it was Jo I connected with the most throughout this book. She’s a lovely person and was so kind to everyone, even those who probably didn’t deserve it. This had me rooting for her even more.

Honor is far blunter and off-hand than Jo, with not much left in the way of family or friends, and not much effort put in on her part to change that. Even though Honor was a far more guarded character, she made me laugh throughout.
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Format: Paperback
4.5 / 5

I started this expecting one thing – probably a humdrum family story of women’s issues – and ended it feeling emotional and thoroughly moved. I read Dear Thing last year and liked the novel concept, though of a genre I don’t read very often.

Falling appeared to be similar – three women in one family, each with problems. But I realized within a few chapters, particularly about one character, how much I empathized with them.

Honor has a fall at home, and due to her age and injury, cannot return to her own home without support. Dutifully offering her own family dwelling is daughter-in-law Jo, once married to Honor’s son Stephen, dead ten years. We are not told why, not until much later in the story. Their teenage daughter Lydia is our third protagonist and narrator, herself suffering silently the pains of first love – for her best friend Avril.

I think that women of different ages may identify more strongly with one of these women, the one possibly closest to them in age, but I felt sympathy for each of them, and surprisingly more for Honor as the story progressed and I understood her better.

Jo had me instantly though – a widow who has remarried, now a single mother again with a teenager and two toddlers, also taking in her invalided mother-in-law (who pointedly dislikes her), and trying to cope with an ex-husband and his au-pair lover, as well as feelings for the younger, handsome neighbour next door. There are some truly cringe-worthy scenes that every parent of young children will wince in sympathy at, and some very good writing of family life and just how exhausting and never-ending it all is. Little Oscar and Iris don’t get much of a ‘speaking part’ but are nicely written by Cohen, who clearly has experience of young children.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book introduces us to three generations of women all with their own deep rooted insecurities, each carrying a closely held secret and each bearing the weight of loneliness in one form or another.
Over the course of the book we see them try to find coping strategies as well as begin to understand themselves and one another whilst addressing the ghosts of the past as well as facing the even scarier prospect of the future - a great book!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have my daughter to thank for discovering Julie Cohen when she picked up Dear Thing at the airport last year and the whole family ended up reading and loving it. It's now one of my favourite books and I didn't think the author could top it but Falling has pretty much done it! My heart is still recovering from the gasp out loud moment near the end and I feel emotionally wrung out!

This story is told by 3 generations of woman from the same family, all with something to hide. Honor, a standoffish 80 year old has had a fall and has to go and live with her daughter in law, Jo, while she recovers. Jo was married to Stephen, Honors son, who died 10 years ago, leaving Jo to bring up Lydia their daughter. Jo is now going through a divorce from her second husband and Lydia is now 16 and sitting her exams. But things are about to chance in all their lives.

I loved all three of these characters and was gripped by watching them face the challenges in their lives since Stephen died. I wasn't sure about Honor to start with, she seemed very cold and distant with the only family she had but you soon come to realise why. I actually read this book again recently (it was called Day of Second Chances when I first came across it) as I've had some personal experience of the things that Honor is going through. And I got even more from it second time around especially as it gave me a different understanding of why Honor acts the way she does. Jo was lovely, the sort of friend everyone wants in a crisis (all that cake!!) and her relationship with her children was so beautifully written that it showed all the warmth and vulnerability of her character. I was very emotional when the book finished as I felt I was saying goodbye to some dear friends and I wasn't quite ready to let them go.

A very highly recommended 5* from me.
I received a copy of this book via netgalley in return for an unbiased review.
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