Book Review: Falling Home by Karen White

Title: Falling Home
Author: Karen White
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Accent
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the publisher
First line: Cassie was dreaming again.

Fifteen years ago, after her sister Harriet eloped with Cassie’s boyfriend, Cassie Madison left her home town of Walton, Georgia, for New York City, and never looked back. She worked hard to reinvent herself with a high-powered career and successful fiance, and doesn’t miss home or family – until Harriet calls to tell Cassie that their father is dying. She heads back to Walton, bringing her big-city wardrobe and her years-long grudge with her. The pull of home and family is stronger than Cassie ever anticipated, and she is quickly pulled into the lives of her sister and her five children – and the town doctor, Sam Parker. She is determined to take care of business in Walton and then head back to NYC, but she finds it’s not as easy leaving home a second time.

I have read a lot of books lately with a similar plotline: woman returns to a home or place from her childhood to deal with the past. Evenfall and The Violets of March both cover the idea of going home, and both did it very well, so when I started reading Falling Home, I felt a bit ho-hum about reading a similar novel. Fortunately, Karen White’s ability to suck you into the lives of her characters helped me overcome my reservations very quickly.

In Walton, Georgia, White has created a town I wish I lived in. I hope that places like this still exist in our country, though I wonder if we’d all have to move south to find them! The people of Walton welcome Cassie home with open arms, while being truthful that they don’t like the changes they see in her: the hardness, the big city snobbishness, the determination to hold on to past hurts. Cassie is a tough character, a woman shaped by what she sees as the defining moment in her life: the moment she discovered that Harriet had eloped with Joe, the love of Cassie’s life. She has never questioned her relationship with Joe, or attempted to see what is obvious to everyone else in town – that Harriet and Joe were meant to be together. Her father’s death is not the only thing Cassie has to face if she ever wants to have a relationship with her sister again. At times, I got frustrated with Cassie and her stubbornness, wishing she would soften up, but all of her decisions seemed to flow naturally out of her character and her inability to forgive.

As I read further on, I figured I knew exactly where this story was going, both family-wise and romance-wise. And then White threw something at the characters that takes this book in a deeper direction, one that had me turning pages long after I should have been doing other things. I fell in love with these characters, and definitely shed more than a few tears. This book is filled with laughter, family, and love – and I wish that I could peek in on the characters a few years down the road, because after finishing the book, I find that I miss them.

I would love to pass my very used review copy of Falling Home on to one of my readers. If you’re in the US, and you don’t mind a book that got quite a bit water-logged in an accidental spill, but is still completely readable, and you don’t mind waiting until my mom is done reading it, leave me a comment – I’ll send my copy to the first person who asks.

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12 Responses to Book Review: Falling Home by Karen White

  1. Sarah says:

    I don’t mind a used copy! I’ll take it!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      It’s yours, Sarah! I’ll e-mail you for your mailing info. 🙂

  2. irene says:

    Happy Reading Sarah, I’m requesting it from the library. (I don’t mind a soggy book either,)

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Irene – hopefully the copy the library has isn’t soggy! LOL

  3. Heather @ Book Addiction
    Twitter: BookAddictHeath
    says:

    I think you liked this one a bit more than I did, but I can agree with you on loving the town and the people in it. I have read several other Karen White novels, and I thought this was her weakest (that I’ve read, at least) so I think I was disappointed by having higher expectations. Also, I thought it was just too long. I loved reading your thoughts on it!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Heather – the only other White I’ve read is On Folly Beach, which I also loved. This one was a bit long, but I enjoyed it anyway. 🙂 Which of hers would you recommend next?

      • Heather @ Book Addiction
        Twitter: BookAddictHeath
        says:

        I absolutely loved The House on Tradd Street and then The Girl on Legare Street, which comes after. Also The Lost Hours was really good! I would eventually like to read all her books but those plus the two you’ve read are the only ones I’ve read so far.

        • CarrieK
          Twitter: booksandmovies
          says:

          Heather – I’m going to have to find those titles! Thanks for the recommendations. 🙂

  4. stacybuckeye says:

    I have this one on my shelf and am lookign forward to it.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Stacy – hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

  5. Anna says:

    I love Karen White’s books, and I enjoyed this one. I didn’t expect it to be so dramatic toward the end, but it worked.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Anna – this is only my second experience with White’s work – but I will definitely be reading more. 🙂