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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

Falling Together is about best friends who separate after college then find their way back together

Three college friends. Friends and family. Friends who are your family. Insightful writing capturing deep emotions of loss, love, heartbreak and rejoicing.

Falling Together book cover over outside cafe photo

Falling Together, Marisa de los Santos

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2011, 373 pages

Starting in Philadelphia and ending in the Philippines, this story starts with Pen (short for Penelope) who makes friends with Cat and Will in college. Their bond is exclusive and unbreakable all through college – romances came and went, the friendship stayed strong. Pen relied on this friendship and when it ended, she is heartbroken.

Paris cafe photo by Terrie Purkey

Six years later and much water under the bridge, an email brings the friends back together on a search that takes them to the Philippines. The descriptions of that country and its people are so evocative, it made me want to visit!

"She could imagine sustaining certain emotions at that pitch for that long—love absolutely, grief probably, guilt maybe—but hatred was exhausting and gave so little back."

de los Santos displays a real skill in describing the emotions of loss (of a parent), love (of a child), loneliness, yearning, friendship, and love (romantic), that I was swept away in the prose. It’s almost poetic at times. To be honest, sometimes it is a bit long winded and overdone, but mostly I am in awe at the insight and clarity with which she is able to present all that range of emotion.

"For the first time, she understood that it was possible to form an opinion about a person, an opinion based on solid evidence and a vast quantity of justified self-righteous anger, to even have this opinion reinforced by trusted colleagues, and to be, at least partially, wrong. "

The book has a very tidy, Hollywood-happy-ending, which I expected, but loved. The book is not a complex plot or filled with a large cast of characters, but the three main ones are fully developed and likeable (even with their flaws). It is a very readable, thoroughly enjoyable book.

"He had been one of those compact people who fill up a room, a person who shimmered with charisma. It was there when he shook your hand, there in conversation, when he talked and even more when he listened, giving you his steady, absorbed attention, his eyes alive with intelligence."

Have you read this or one of the others by de los Santos? Tell me what you thought in the comments.

photo by Terrie Purkey, Paris street cafe

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