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Monday, August 25, 2014

Southern Novel Enjoyable Despite Cliché, Predictable Plot

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Cassie Madison never planned to stay in her backwards little hometown.  At twenty, she shook the Georgia clay off her shoes for good and headed for the bright lights of New York City.  Fifteen years later, she's pleased with the life she's managed to create for herself.  From her Upper East Side apartment to the successful ad agency she helps run to her polished fiancé—it would be obvious to anyone that Cassie's living the good life.  She's attained the existence she always wanted for herself, a glamorous life far, far away from the tiny hick town where she was reared.

A late-night phone call shatters Cassie's carefully-constructed life in the Big Apple.  It's from Harriet Warner, her estranged younger sister.  Cassie's barely spoken to Harriet since she stole the boy Cassie loved since she was twelve years old—and married him.  After almost two decades of silence between the sisters, Harriet's calling with tragic news: their father is dying.  Nothing else could force Cassie into returning to Walton.  Going "home" to say goodbye is hard enough, but Cassie can't stand the thought of seeing her sister enjoying the perfect family life that should have been her own.  Along with the pain, though, Cassie's stunned to realize that there are some things she still loves about little ole Walton, Georgia—things that might just convince her to stay.  

Torn between her old life and her new one, her family and her fiancé, her heart and her mind, Cassie must decide who she really is, what she really wants, and how to heal her aching heart, once and for all.

As much as I enjoy Karen White's novels, I have to say that Falling Home is not one of my favorites.  Although it's written with White's trademark warmth and sincerity, it becomes awfully cliché awfully quick.  Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy it—I did—I just would have liked some surprises here and there.  Overall, I found Falling Home engaging, but not all that original or impressive.  I liked it, didn't love it.        

(Readalikes:  Other books by Karen White, especially A Long Time Gone)

Grade:  


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Falling Home from the generous folks at Penguin via Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting.  Thank you!


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