Book Review: Falling Together – Marisa de los Santos

Title: Falling Together
Author: Marisa de los Santos
ISBN: 9780061670879
Pages: 368
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Pen Calloway has a daughter she loves, but a life she doesn’t recognize.  Six years ago, she left her best friends Cat and Will – or rather, they walked away from her.  Since then, her life has been incomplete without them, and with her ten year college reunion coming up, she can’t help but think of them more and more.  When Pen receives an unexpected message from Cat, one which implores her to come to the reunion, Pen feels compelled to follow Cat’s wishes, unsure of what she’ll find when she arrives.

Review:

Falling Together is a beautiful portrait of the ties that bind people together.  From the beginning, it is clear that Pen is bereft without her friends, even though it has been years since they had any sort of communication.  In some ways, she defined herself through Cat and Will; without them, she still hasn’t quite figured out who she is or what she is doing.  Pen is an endearing lost soul; while her daughter gives her purpose, Pen hasn’t been able to form a lasting healthy relationship since leaving her friends.  In many ways she has been damaged by them, unable to heal until she finds some closure.  Her love for Cat and Will is sweet and pure, and it’s rewarding to see Pen come into her own over the course of the novel.

The best part of Falling Together is the characters.  They are so realistic and wonderfully flawed, they leap off the page.  Will is thoughtful and protective, but also has a shocking temper that leaves Pen reeling.  Cat is the force that binds the little group together, but she’s also a bit destructive.  It’s never said in so many words, but behind her thoughts and actions, I saw someone who was not only self-destructive, but inflicted damage on those around her.  The final blow is when Cat abruptly cuts ties with her friends, leaving Pen and Will to pick up the pieces.

Falling Together is beautifully written, but I’ll admit, Santos’ prose doesn’t have the poetic quality it did in Belong to Me or Love Walked In.  I found myself a little disappointed because I did love those books so much, but I quickly came to appreciate this novel for its own unique qualities. 

Above all, Falling Together is a novel about relationships.  de los Santos picks apart most of the relationships in this book and shows great insight into the different components that make up a relationship.  She demonstrates how a person needs different things from the people in his or her life, and how relationships blossom, but also how they can wither and die.  It’s written with a lot of wisdom and grace, and makes for a really interesting read.

While Falling Together’s plot was a bit predictable at times, it’s the characters and their relationships that really make up this novel.  While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the author’s previous books, in the end, it was a satisfying read.  I look forward to seeing what Marisa de los Santos does next.

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Comments

  1. I’m glad to read that you really enjoyed this one. I have a copy for review.

  2. I’m glad to read that you really enjoyed this one. I have a copy for review.

  3. After reading (and loving) de los Santos’ other works, I was super excited to see she had a new book coming out! Glad to hear the characters made this a memorable read.

  4. After reading (and loving) de los Santos’ other works, I was super excited to see she had a new book coming out! Glad to hear the characters made this a memorable read.

  5. I’ve always enjoyed Marisa’s writing and will definitely add her newest creation to my list!

    Have a great week, Swapna!

  6. I’ve always enjoyed Marisa’s writing and will definitely add her newest creation to my list!

    Have a great week, Swapna!

  7. I have never read anything by this author, but do have a copy of Belong to Me here. Based your reaction to this book, and Sandy’s, I think it might be best for me to start with one of her other books first, as it sounds as if this one lacked just a touch of the magic that her other books are so infused with. I thought you did a remarkable job being fair yet honest about your reactions to this book, and I still would consider reading it at some point.

  8. I have never read anything by this author, but do have a copy of Belong to Me here. Based your reaction to this book, and Sandy’s, I think it might be best for me to start with one of her other books first, as it sounds as if this one lacked just a touch of the magic that her other books are so infused with. I thought you did a remarkable job being fair yet honest about your reactions to this book, and I still would consider reading it at some point.

  9. Her first two books completely stole my heart, so this one had really big shoes to fill. It moved a little slow for me, and it did not have that special something that the first two had. But nobody does characters quite like Marisa, and you do find yourself becoming fond of them. I am hoping she is thinking sequel. There is plenty of room for one.

  10. Her first two books completely stole my heart, so this one had really big shoes to fill. It moved a little slow for me, and it did not have that special something that the first two had. But nobody does characters quite like Marisa, and you do find yourself becoming fond of them. I am hoping she is thinking sequel. There is plenty of room for one.

  11. I’m so excited to read this! I loved Belong to Me and Love Walked In. For some reason I had the impression that this book had some of the same characters in it, sort of tangentially. Was that not right?

  12. I’m so excited to read this! I loved Belong to Me and Love Walked In. For some reason I had the impression that this book had some of the same characters in it, sort of tangentially. Was that not right?

  13. I have an ARC that I got at work, I sent it to my friend Judy, she said basically the same thing. I’m still going to read it, and as it will be my first by this author perhaps I won’t have that let down.
    Wonderful review.

  14. I have an ARC that I got at work, I sent it to my friend Judy, she said basically the same thing. I’m still going to read it, and as it will be my first by this author perhaps I won’t have that let down.
    Wonderful review.

  15. I felt the same way. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as her first two books. It certainly wasn’t bad but I guess I just love Cornelia Brown so much that I couldn’t warm up to Pen.

  16. I felt the same way. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as her first two books. It certainly wasn’t bad but I guess I just love Cornelia Brown so much that I couldn’t warm up to Pen.

  17. I haven’t yet read de los Santos, but I have her first two books waiting for me. I’ll start with them.

  18. I haven’t yet read de los Santos, but I have her first two books waiting for me. I’ll start with them.

  19. I really want to read this. Sometimes I feel like the only person who has never read de los Santos.

  20. I really want to read this. Sometimes I feel like the only person who has never read de los Santos.

  21. I really want to read this author at some point. I have heard lots of good things!

  22. I really want to read this author at some point. I have heard lots of good things!

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