My enormous thanks to Sarah Harwood at Penguin Random House for a review copy of Falling by Julie Cohen in return for an honest review. Falling was published by Black Swan, an imprint of Transworld, on 28th July 2016 and is available for purchase in e-book and paperback from Amazon, WH Smith and Waterstones.
Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.
Jo’s secret could smash apart the ‘normal’ family life she’s fought so hard to build.
Lydia’s could bring her love – or the loss of everything that matters to her.
Grandmother, mother and daughter – three women whose lives are falling apart. But one summer’s day, a single dramatic moment will force their secrets into the open.
Can they save each other from falling?
My review of Falling
When Jo takes in her mother-in-law Honor to recuperate after a fall, their lives, along with that of Jo’s daughter, Lydia, will find new pathways.
Falling was not what I was expecting at all. I originally received a signed proof of Falling when it had a different title and hadn’t got round to reading it. I’d forgotten all about it so when it reached the top of the book pile I imagined a lightweight easy read in the chick-lit genre. Falling is an effortless read because of the lovely quality of the writing, bit it is not lightweight in its intensity and distinction.
Firstly, the title, Falling, is inspired as it encompasses the literal and metaphorical action about which the plot pivots. Characters fall in love, fall down stairs, fall from their pedestals, fall out with friends and fall more importantly and literally in ways that affect their whole lives and the lives of those around them.
Following three generations, Julie Cohen shows complete understanding of what it means to be female at any age. All three main characters, Honor, Jo and Lydia are complex and human so that the reader cannot fail to care about them, even when they behave in ways that are detrimental to their own happiness. I thought hard about which of the three characters appealed to me most but each is so distinct, so real and with such a complexity of personality I found it impossible to choose.
Alongside the character driven plot, Julie Cohen explores with sensitivity a range of themes that can touch any of us at any moment, from grief to love, sexuality to parenthood, age related disease to youthful anxiety. The themes are universal but at the same time are personal and intimate with regard to Honor, Jo and Lydia making it feel as if we’re reading about real people we know.
Falling is a wise and beautifully written exploration of love, loss and who we really are. I found it intimate, touching and moving. Falling is an emotional read that I won’t forget and I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
About Julie Cohen
Julie Cohen grew up in Maine and studied English at Brown University and Cambridge University. She then moved to England permanently, where she taught before becoming a writer. Her books have won or been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the HOLT Medallion, and more. Her book Dear Thing was a 2014 Richard and Judy Book Club pick and her book Where Love Lies won Best Romantic Read 2016. She writes full time and teaches creative writing. She lives with her husband, son and dog in Berkshire, where she is teased daily about her American accent. When she’s not writing, she’s on Twitter as @julie_cohen (and sometimes when she’s meant to be writing, too).