Falling by Julie Cohen – 4.5*s


Please note this book was first called The Day of Second Chances


Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.

Jo’s secret could smash apart the ‘normal’ family life she’s fought so hard to build.

Lydia’s could bring her love – or the loss of everything that matters to her.

Grandmother, mother and daughter – three women whose lives are falling apart. But one summer’s day, a single dramatic moment will force their secrets into the open.

Can they save each other from falling?

My Review

This book tells the story of 3 generations of women, Honor, a feisty 80 year old academic, who is mother in law to Jo. The relationship between Honor and Jo has never been a warm one but it deteriorated further on the death of Stephen, Jo’s husband and Honor’s son. The final cog in the wheel is Lydia, Jo’s troubled daughter and Honor’s granddaughter who is undergoing her exams. In addition to Lydia, Jo also has two younger toddlers by her second husband Richard who upped and left the family home with the Russian nanny.

On the face of it appears it might be a story about modern, broken and dysfunctional families. Don’t be fooled it is so much more. Each of the women have their own secrets which are revealed as the book develops. The catalyst for change that sets balls rolling is Honor. While family relationships might be strained, when Honor has a fall and needs to have home care, Jo steps up and temporarily takes Honor in. It is an act that on the face of it seems above and beyond, given Honor’s cold and haughty demeanour. Over time there is a gradual thaw, but we the readers are initially the only ones party as to why she is so dismissive. Her presence in the house allows her to forge a relationship with Lydia who has more than the usual teenage angst to struggle with and has a secret that seems at times to be too big to deal with. meanwhile Honor’s availability for “babysitting” duties allow her a little extra freedom to pursue her own life.

The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of Honor, Jo and Lydia. It evokes a whole range of emotions and ranges from comic (two toddlers and a granny on a disability scooter is a passage that will stay with me) to moving, through romantic (and sexy – Ohhh Marcus) to heartbreaking. All the characters are realistic and while not all initially likeable, they grow on you as they reveal their vulnerabilities. Jo however is a dream character, she is open, loving kind and compassionate and really draws everyone together.

I loved this book and it was the first book in a long time that i really didn’t want to put down. The need to see how things worked out was a real motive to keep reading. The dramatic moment mentioned in the blurb, really is dramatic and is a real “oh no” moment when it happens. As the title suggests it’s a time for everyone to try put the past behind them and move forward, but the question is it too late? You’ll need to discover that for yourself.

This is an easy book for me to recommend and I’d like to thank the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review. As this is the first book I’ve read by this author her other books have now been added to my reading list.

Available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com


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