Where We Fall has four different characters: Abby (the coach’s wife who is suffering from depression), Ryan (the coach who wants to do right by his family and his team), Juliana (their daughter who is in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks) and Lauren (Abby’s ex-BFF and Ryan’s ex who has spent her adult life traveling around the world taking photos of waterfalls). The novel starts when Abby has hit an extremely low point, Ryan is forced to face the situations with Abby and his team, Juliana is navigating a complicated romance and Lauren has returned home, and of course, these things overlap as the story unfolds.
It is difficult to talk about Where We Fall. On the one hand, I truly found myself invested in the outcome of the story for these characters: Abby, Ryan, Lauren and Juliana. It snuck up on me, how much I wound up caring about their lives and their problems. On the other hand, I felt uncomfortable with some parts of this story – the betrayals and lies, as well as the drama centered around Juliana’s boyfriend – since they did come across as a bit soap operatic overall. Still, in spite of my reservations about the plot, I couldn’t put this one down.
Where We Fall was really compelling, particularly the way the author unraveled the thick knot of lies and secrets that make up this story’s core. It was also extremely heavy on the feels. These characters are dealing with a range of highly intense emotional situations – a shitty home life, a broken heart, a friend’s betrayal, and a serious mental illness, to name a few – and it is no surprise that their feelings bleed all over the page and beyond it.
I was particularly interested in the author’s portrayal of mental illness. Abby is suffering a serious condition, and the author shows how it affects her everyday life and her relationships with those around her. The novel goes so far as to show the difficulty of being in Abby’s mind, and it was never easy to read. But we see how treatment (therapy and drugs at a dedicated treatment center) can be an ideal, helpful solution; we also see how it’s going to be a constant battle in life that, with the right tools, can be won.
I also appreciated the complex portrayal of the relationships between the characters. There are so many factors that affect your tie to someone else – your shared history, the secrets you’ve kept and the lies you’ve told, the dreams you’ve chased and the realities you’ve accepted, the circumstances of your life before you met. I feel like the author successfully tackled the nuances of complicated human relationships with her story, using the various characters, and that was something I really appreciated. Relationships also change with time, and that, too, was an integral part of how Where We Fall builds up to its resolution.
In spite of the fact that I could have done with a little less of the side drama (particularly with Juliana’s boyfriend), I did wind up liking Where We Fall. It was a compelling little drama, centered on four characters, and I thought it played out as realistically as it possibly could have considering all the circumstances. It isn’t the easiest novel to read, but it was pretty good and ended in a way that felt just right to me.
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing | Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Source: Paperback received from the publisher (Thanks!)
By all accounts, Abby Holden has it all. She’s the mother of a beautiful teenager and the wife of a beloved high school football coach. And all it took to achieve her charmed life was her greatest act of betrayal.
Coach Ryan can coax his team to victory, but he can’t seem to make his wife, Abby, happy. Her struggles with depression have marred their marriage and taken a toll on their daughter, Juliana. Although this isn’t the life he’s dreamed of, he’s determined to heal the rifts in his family.
Chasing waterfalls and documenting their beauty has led photographer Lauren Sheppard all around the world. Now it has brought her back home to the mountains of North Carolina—back to the scene of her devastating heartbreak.
For the first time in seventeen years, a trio of once-inseparable friends find themselves confronting past loves, hurts, and the rapid rush of a current that still pulls them together.…
Check out the rest of the tour stops!
Monday, April 18th: Just Commonly
Tuesday, April 19th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, April 20th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Thursday, April 21st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, April 25th: 5 Minutes for Books
Tuesday, April 26th: Dreams, Etc.
Wednesday, April 27th: Alexa Loves Books (Me!)
Thursday, April 28th: Worth Getting In Bed For
Thursday, April 28th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, May 2nd: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, May 3rd: Bibliotica
Wednesday, May 4th: Bookmark Lit
Thursday, May 5th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, May 6th: BookNAround
Monday, May 9th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Wednesday, May 11th: I’d Rather Be Reading at the Beach
Thursday, May 12th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, May 13th: Not in Jersey