Title: Falling Home
Author: Karen White
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Cassie Madison loves her life in New York City. She has a great job in advertising that she’s phenomenal at and has a fiancé that she loves. She rarely thinks about home and doesn’t miss it at all – at least, that’s what she tells herself. But when Cassie gets a call from her estranged sister and says that their father is very sick, Cassie must return home, to the place she’s tried so hard to forget, and confront the ghosts from her past that she left behind.
Falling Home has an interesting story behind it. It was one of the first books that Karen White wrote and it was published in a small quantity of rather unattractive mass market paperbacks. In a note at the beginning of the book, White explains that many readers have contacted her, searching for the book, and used copies were being sold at ridiculous prices. Therefore, she and her publisher made the decision to reissue the book.
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I heard that Falling Home was just a reissue; after all, how many times have we gotten all excited about a new work from a favorite author, only to discover it was just a repackaged old novel? But I should have known Karen White wouldn’t disappoint me. She revamped the novel, using the years of experience she’s gained, and added two new points of view. While the plot is the same, in essence, this is an entirely new book.
Cassie is a great character. She’s haunted by her past, and because she doesn’t know how to deal with it head on, she’s decided to run away from it and hope that she can stay away forever. Her father’s illness shakes up everything, and Cassie realizes she can’t keep running. The only problem is that, even once she gets back, she doesn’t know how to live in small-town Georgia anymore. She’s become a big city girl. The Cassie Madison everyone once knew is gone…or is she?
I really felt for Cassie as the book progressed. The situation she ran away from was certainly a difficult one; I didn’t blame her for not wanting to go back. I did agree that the past was the past, and Cassie needed to come to terms with what happened and let go of her anger, but at the same time I wanted to remind people that’s easier said than done. Cassie had a right to deal with her anger on her own time, in her own way. However, the problem was that she wasn’t facing it, she was shoving it aside and letting it simmer under the surface. It was gratifying to watch Cassie grow and see how much she had missed because she let her anger blind her.
I’ll admit, I knew exactly what was coming when I hit the halfway point in the novel. When White first wrote the story, it was probably new and exciting, but it’s been done before in women’s fiction. That’s not a complaint, really – it didn’t ruin the book for me, knowing where it was going to go. However, White usually manages to surprise me, and that wasn’t the case here.
Falling Home is an engaging and charming Southern women’s fiction novel with wonderful characters. I really loved Cassie and her sister Harriet; they both had their flaws, but underneath, they had such real love for one another. It was sweet book, one that any Karen White fan will enjoy. I would love to find a copy of the original Falling Home, just to see how White’s writing has changed. One thing is certain, though – Karen White is an author you do not want to miss!
Karen White reviews: