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Dreams of Falling by Karen White – Book Review

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Goodreads blurb: New York Times bestselling author Karen White crafts evocative relationships in this new contemporary women’s fiction novel about best friends who share a devastating secret, set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

It’s been nine years since Larkin fled Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing never to go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she knows she has no choice but to return to the place that she both loves and dreads–and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home. Ivy, Larkin’s mother, is discovered in the burned out wreckage of her family’s ancestral rice plantation, badly injured and unconscious. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly 50 years. Secrets that lead back to the past, to the friendship between three girls on the brink of womanhood who swore that they would be friends forever, but who found that vow tested in heartbreaking ways.

“Friends forever, come what may”

Karen White has done it again with her stunning Southern charm storytelling. Her detailed and attentive descriptions are so accurate, you’ll feel like you’re sitting on a dock, reading a story about your friends and family. She uses strong female bonds, a touch of romance and a background of history to weave together a captivating story of secrets and family drama.

Between chapters, White turns back time to the 50’s and the sister-like friendship between 3 young women on the cusp of adulthood. Margaret, CeeCee and Bitty are 18 and have one big trip together before the responsibilities of growing up are thrust into their laps. Two weeks in Myrtle Beach bring life altering events that none of the girls were prepared for. There was such loyalty and sadness in this story that it brought tears to my eyes. I definitely enjoyed these parts of the book more so than the chapters in the present.

In the current time, only two of these young women are present. What has happened in the years between has changed not only their lives, but the lives of the generations that follow. Secrets planned to be taken to the grave have worked their way out into the open and have caused an upheaval in the lives of Margaret’s daughter and grand-daughter. Ivy, Margaret’s daughter, is unconscious in the hospital, but we still have a few insights from her throughout the book. Larkin, Ivy’s daughter, has returned to South Carolina after an embarrassing event caused her to run to New York and never look back. She has tried very hard to change into someone who makes very little impact on those around her, but returning to her roots threatens to force Larkin to mend her broken bridges.

Karen White has created quite a cast of characters and at first, it was a bit hard to keep up with who’s who, but I caught on after a couple of chapters. I have to say I definitely looked forward to the chapters taking place in the 50’s but I’m also a self-proclaimed historical fiction junkie. I think Larkin got on my nerves so that made the present-day chapters a little less enjoyable BUT just goes to show what a great writer White is, it’s not every day a character is created that can actually annoy me 😉 I can’t place one specific characteristic that annoyed me, I just didn’t connect with Larkin. The other characters I greatly enjoyed.

While there were some eye-roll cheesy “who saw that coming?” moments, there was also enough intrigue to keep me interested and reading the book. I did feel like parts could have been hacked out, it felt a little too long (much like The Night The Lights Went Out) but there WERE two stories being told here. Overall, I would rate Dreams Of Falling 3.5 stars but dang Goodreads and it’s lack of 1/2 star ratings, I rounded up because I enjoy Karen White overall. This book would make a PERFECT vacation read, it isn’t hard to follow and it’s just the right amount of suspence, mystery, romance and charm!

Dreams Of Falling is on shelves TODAY so run get your copy and throw it in your beach bag and thank me later 🙂

I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Happy Reading!

xo,

Taylor

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