Title: Falling by Jane Green
Genre: Contemporary,Romance, Women’s Fiction
Length: 379 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, Jemima J, and Summer Secrets presents a novel about the pleasure and meaning of finding a home—and family—where you least expect them…
When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn’t the life she wanted either.
On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son.
Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.
But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all.
In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman’s far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be…
Falling by Jane Green is a heartwarming, poignant romance between two unlikely people.
When British ex-pat Emma Montague gets the opportunity to relocate from New York to Westport, CT she excitedly begins planning the next phase of her life. Living in a quaint, but outdated cottage next to her landlord, Dominic Di Franco and his young son, Jesse, she enjoys the slower pace of life as she gets to know her neighbors. Although attracted to the handsome bartender and carpenter, Emma is not looking for a relationship so she is surprised when her easy friendship with Dominic slowly evolves into a comfortable romance. Just as they begin looking toward building a future together, Jesse objects to the change in the status quo, a person from Dominic’s past returns and parental introductions leave Emma questioning whether or not they can live happily ever after.
Although she had a successful career in banking, Emma has no qualms about leaving behind the pressure, competition and rather superficial life that went along with the high-powered, stressful job. While she only has an inkling of what comes next for her, she is enjoying some needed peace and solitude as she acclimates to living in Westport. A little uncomfortable around kids, Emma is nonetheless enchanted by Jesse and she truly enjoys spending time with the young boy. After her somewhat dismal dating experiences in New York, she is not looking for love when falls into an easygoing relationship with Dominic.
After realizing he was in danger of following in his volatile parents’ footsteps, Dominic made a conscious effort to keep his life drama free. While his relationship with Jesse’s mom Stacy was anything but peaceful, he was committed to trying to make things work for their son’s sake. After Stacy abandoned them, Dominic turned his attention to giving Jesse the best childhood possible and despite being a little overindulgent with his son, he is an outstanding father. Completely comfortable in his skin and unreservedly happy with his life, Dominic is pretty shocked when he begins to fall for Emma.
The romance between Dominic and Emma is relatively conflict free but there are a few bumps in the road when their relationship hits a few unexpected snags. The first big surprise is Jesse’s sudden antipathy towards Emma after he becomes aware of their relationship. The formerly sweet and co-operative little boy becomes stubborn and argumentative but Emma refuses to give up on winning him over. Things are a little tumultuous as he adjusts to her presence in his father’s life and although his hostility eventually diminishes, Emma’s once happy relationship with Jesse remains a little precarious.
The next minor obstacle the couple must contend with is Stacy’s sudden reappearance in Dominic’s life. Not ready for motherhood when Jesse was born, Stacy has finally gotten her life on track and she would like nothing better than to get to know the little boy she left behind. Emma totally misconstrues Dominic’s reaction when he sees Stacy again and she is uncertain what this means for their fledgling relationship. Wanting only the best for Jesse, Emma is surprisingly supportive of Dominic’s decision but she remains uncertain about their future together.
However, the biggest threat to their relationship occurs after Emma and Dominic meet one another’s parents. Emma’s social conscious mother is not at all happy with Dominic’s blue collar background and Emma is shocked by Dominic’s parents’ dysfunctional relationship. Plagued by insecurities about whether or not two people from such divergent backgrounds can live happily ever after, Emma is uncertain about staying with Dominic.
Falling by is a wonderful opposites attract romance that is quite riveting. The characters are multi-layered and although imperfect, they are easy immensely appealing. The relationship between Emma and Dominic is incredibly sweet and even though they fall in love quickly, their feelings for one another are believable. Mostly free from drama and angst, the conflict between them is resolved fairly quickly in a realistic manner. An absolutely stunning plot twist near the story’s end will leave readers reeling but Jane Green does bring the novel to a happy, albeit bittersweet, conclusion.