After toiling through a novel set around a convoluted story that did nothing to hold my interest, and then recently attending my dear mother-in-law’s unexpected funeral on the other side of the country, this reviewer was definitely in the mood for a gentle romance in the vein of Nicholas Sparks. Not surprisingly, Falling: A Love Story by Jane Green, with its interesting back page synopsis, caught my eye.
An English woman in her late thirties, becoming bored with her cutthroat London job and upper-crust family life, sets sail to the fast-paced world of New York finance where she sets up house in Manhattan while wearing designer clothes with Manolo Blahnik d’Orsay shoes and mixing with the rich and famous. This sounds like the perfect career change for Emma, a savvy young professional, so it’s not surprising she relishes this new life after being tied down in a mundane relationship back in her home country throughout most of her twenties.
Yet even so, after spending eight years in this new hometown, the gloss and glamour have worn off and Emma finds she longs for the simple pleasures so she goes searching for a less hectic lifestyle than what’s on offer in The Big Apple. Deciding to try her hand at a new career in interior decorating and design, she settles in a sleepy little town on the coastline of Connecticut. She finds a tiny beach cottage in desperate need of some tender loving care and someone with taste to bring it back to its former glory.
Dominic, her new home’s easy-going landlord, is a single dad with a six-year-old son named Jesse. Dom loves the cottage just as it is because of the loving memories it brings of his grandparents after they left it to him following their deaths several years earlier. The unsuspecting man has no idea of the plans Emma has for transforming this tired-looking eyesore into a display model for her soon-to-be new business.
With a sort-of ex-girlfriend, an unexpected visit from his ex-wife and an adorable albeit wary young son in tow, Dominic certainly brings a lot of baggage along with him. Fortunately, the rapport between these two makes up for these shortcomings and they soon find themselves sharing cups of coffee, a dinner or two and loads of laughs while exploring this newfound territory of friendship rather than the hot dates that have been their recent social life activities before fate brought them together.
Jesse starts to warm to Emma just as easily as his dad, especially when she willingly shares her new kitten with him, and this good-looking single dad with the kind heart, and the woman who is turning his beloved cottage into a beautiful home with her clever touches, means these three begin to form an easy-going relationship.
Over the space of several months, their story progresses from a caring friendship into a tender love story with some unexpected happenstances keeping them company … until one night in a North American snowstorm…
If you prefer fast-paced adventure and thrills on every page, this probably isn’t the story for you, but if you just want to sit back for a lazy few days and revel in the joy of newfound love and the wonder – and pitfalls – that can often come with it, Falling is a nice place to while away the hours. And that reference to it being in a similar vein to Nicholas Sparks’ genre? Definitely close to the mark, though I’m not saying anything more. You’ll just have to get your own copy and find out for yourself…