WHILE I’M FALLING by Laura Moriarty

First, a quick reminder that there are only a few spaces left for the EDIWTB book club for Stiltsville, by Susanna Daniel. (Read more about the book here.) If you'd like to sign up, send me an email ASAP to gweiswasser@gmail.com. I will be sending the list to Harper on Monday AM.

Moriarty And now back to regular programming. I just finished While I'm Falling, by Laura Moriarty. I was in the mood for something lighter than my usual depressing fare, and this fit the bill. While I'm Falling is about the breakup of the Von Holten family – sisters Veronica and Elise and their parents Dan and Natalie. When Dan and Natalie decide to divorce, Natalie loses her financial security, just at the same time that Veronica is facing her own crisis of confidence in college. The two spiral downward at the same time, culminating in the two women turning to each other in a time of mutual desperation and ultimately learning more about themselves and each other.

I liked Moriarty's precise and detailed writing, and her satisfying portrayal of the interior lives of her characters. She has a keen eye for detail, and the sitations she depicted were realistic and relatable. I am not usually a fan of endings, but this one was fine for me – her characters grew and found themselves in a better spot, without unnecessary flourishes or outlandish plot turns. I especially liked what Moriarty had to say about motherhood and identity, especially when one's children have grown.

I found a temporary narration change two-thirds of the way through the book a bit jarring, when the book went from first-person Veronica to the third person, focused on Natalie. I understand why Moriarty did it – she needed to get inside Natalie's head to thoughts and memories to which Veronica would not be privy. But it took some getting used to.

I also found Veronica a bit frustrating in the middle of the book, as she made repeated bad decisions that seemed unrealistic after a while – it was hard to see someone messing up that badly, on so many fronts, all at once. (Though I do see where the title of the book comes from…).

I switched back and forth between the audio and print of While I'm Falling. The narration on audio was servicable, but not particularly compelling. I liked the voice of Natalie better than that of Veronica, who seemed too indifferent. Overall, I preferred the print version.

While I'm Falling was an enjoyable read, especially as a break between some heavier fare. I'd be interested to read more from Moriarty.

 

7 Comments

  • November 14, 2010 - 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I liked this book a lot. Veronica did make some bad decisions, but who doesn’t at that age?

  • November 15, 2010 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    I have to say, I love that this book about a family falling apart is a change from your usual depressing fare! LOL! I’ve heard mixed reviews about this one, but I still want to give it a try.

  • November 15, 2010 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    Swapna – that’s so funny. I can’t seem to read anything uplifting!! I think it’s the writing style here that felt lighter than what I usually read, despite the subject matter!

  • November 15, 2010 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    I read an earlier novel by the same author called “The Rest of Her Life,” which interestingly is also about a mother-daughter relationship Although it wasn’t one of my most memorable reads, I had a lot of respect for it. The characters were original and very well-drawn, and Moriarty handled an extremely difficult subject matter effectively.

  • November 16, 2010 - 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I read Moriarty’s THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING and thought it was very good. I gave it to a few of my nieces for Christmas a few years ago. Thanks for the review- I’ll have to seek this one out.

  • November 20, 2010 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I am a fan of Laura Moriarty’s writing and stories. And from your review, this seems like a pretty good one. Thanks for your review! I can’t wait to read this one!

  • Pingback: Everyday I Write the Book » THE CHAPERONE by Laura Moriarty

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *