Dreams of Falling

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

DREAMS OF FALLING is not the first book I’ve ever read by Karen White and it definitely won’t be the last. The twists and turns keep coming and I had to know how it was going to end! Every time I thought I knew where this story was going, a few pages later, Ms. White threw me for a loop and I knew I was wrong! I’m kicking myself for not reading this wonderful novel sooner. I knew I was going to love this story just by the description “best friends and family ties”. Don’t forget your tissues!!

DREAMS OF FALLING is a quick read and unputdownable! Larkin is summoned back home as her grandmother, CeeCee has just phoned to let her know her mother has disappeared. I found myself laughing one second and then being totally aggravated with the characters the next. Why couldn’t they just be honest about things Larkin knew not thing above it but deserved to know. If you are looking for a great story with lots of mystery to pull you out of your book slump, you can’t go wrong with DREAMS OF FALLING. I’m so excited to read more by Karen White, she is one of my auto buy authors and I have quite a few of her older books to finally get to.

The twists and turns in DREAMS OF FALLING are going to keep you up late into the night trying to figure it out. One minute you believe you know what happened to Ivy when she disappeared and the next you are sitting there shaking your head, wondering what the heck just happened. Plus there is a fifty year old mystery of what really happened to Ivy’s mother, Margaret, that involves deep dark secrets you can’t even imagine. Once you start reading, trust me, you aren’t going to be able to stop! When everything is finally revealed, well, you won’t believe it!

DREAMS OF FALLING has Larkin confronting and dealing with her past even if she doesn’t want to. She also tries to come to terms with the relationship she has with her parents. I thoroughly enjoyed reading DREAMS OF FALLING. There is so much going on in this story, but Ms. White does a wonderful job of weaving all the pieces together. All of the characters will have you feeling sad, then happy, and then yelling on the same page. More than once I wanted to be in Georgetown, South Carolina with my new found friends! Once you finish devouring this story, you are going to want to tell everyone you know about this awesome story of southern fiction at its finest!
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Dreams of Falling by Karen White is a southern story about family secrets and moving on from our pasts. The story is told in multigenerational flashbacks between the past and the present. In the present we follow the story of Larkin and her return to her hometown after nine years of being away. We learn of why she left and why she has not wanted to return and why she is angry with her parents. In the past storyline we follow the story of Larkin’s grandmother, Margaret, and her best friends, Ceecee and Bitty. Larkin realizes that there is much about her family that she does not know and so she begins to ask questions and search for answers. Dreams of Falling is the story of what she discovers in her search. 

There were many things I really enjoyed about this book. Karen White has a beautiful, descriptive way of writing that I really enjoyed and was probably my favorite part of the book. She tackles some great themes and I enjoyed thinking about family and the past and whether it is helpful or harmful to dissect our pasts. There is much to discuss about family and love, jealousy and the sacrifices others make because of the mistake of one person. This would be a fun book to read with others as there is so much to discuss.

I struggled with the characters in this book. While I really liked the story the characters just fell flat for me. They felt fluffy and without the substance that I enjoy in characters. I probably enjoyed the characters in the past storyline the most because the book went by quickly during those segments. When the story followed Larkin I really struggled with staying engaged. 

If you love a good story with lots to discuss and think about afterwards and characters with a lot of substance is not important to you Dreams of Falling would be a great read.
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Fabulous as usual! Karen White could write anything and I would read it, I’ve been a fan since her first book. I couldn’t put this book down. I felt invested in the characters and their story. That can be a problem because I think of them as friends and I want to hang out with them! This book may be her best yet but I look forward to the next one to the best yet!
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I had trouble getting into this book. I would start it then put it down around chapter 2 for like a week and have to start all over again.  The 3rd time was a charm.  I read it from beginning to end in about 2 sittings.  I found the characters to be pretty interesting and the story line was there.  I was upset that I was able to figure out the mystery/ big secret so early on in the book though.
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Review will be posted on 10/4/18
Larkin is from Georgetown, South Carolina, but has escaped the low country to live out her dreams in New York City.  Unfortunately, she receives an upsetting phone call that she needs to return home immediately.  Her mother, Ivy, has gone missing. Before Ivy went missing, she was trying to figure out what exactly happened to her mother, Margaret, who died when Ivy was very young. Before long, Larkin finds her mother, Ivy, unconscious at her family's old run down plantation home. What was she doing there? Maybe Margaret's two best friends can bring her up to speed on things, but Larkin finds that when she uncovers one secret, there are even more unanswered questions.  Dreams of Falling by Karen White is a great Southern beach read that is all about female friendships, secrets, and loss.

Larkin is a great character in Dreams of Falling. Even though she dreaded going home, I was looking forward to her putting together the missing puzzle pieces surrounding Ivy's disappearance as well as Margaret's untimely death. Also, I really like the idea of a character coming home to the small town she grew up in and having to face former friends, family members, etc.  I also wanted to know exactly what happened to Larkin's family's plantation home and slowly Larkin uncovers the truth.

Whether it be through Larkin's discoveries or the flashbacks to Margaret's all-important summer with her girlfriends, I enjoyed going on for the ride and uncovering secret after secret.  Also, I really enjoyed all the female friendships that spanned many years in Dreams of Falling.  

The coastal setting of Georgetown was also well done and made Dreams of Falling a perfect beach read. White describes the coastal birds, the sunsets, the marshes, the night-blooming flowers very memorably and brought Georgetown to life. Plus, the dilapidated plantation home was a nice touch, which made the story very atmospheric at times.

Karen White is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical authors of Southern fiction. While I didn't enjoy this one as much as The Night the Lights Went Out, I still was thoroughly entertained.  I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Have you read any of Karen White's novels? If so, which ones are your favorites?
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The is book was AMAZING!! I loved every minute of it.  The story goes back and forth between the 1950s and 2010. It is a story of friendship, love, and rediscovering oneself. Ceecee, Bitty, and Margaret are a trio of close friends that have been through it all, love, death, babies, vacations, hurricanes, and fires. Ceecee is the caretaker of all the women in the story. She has put her friends’ needs ahead of her own for decades, is a mother, and helped to raise her granddaughter Larkin.  Larkin comes back to Georgetown, South Carolina after her mother is gravely injured. The lowcountry of South Carolina’s coast is the perfect setting for discovering family secrets, searching for the truth, and learning just how much love friends that become family can share.  This is one of my favorite books of the year! *Thank you to Netgalley for my copy of this book. My opinions are all my own.*
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When Larkin left Georgetown, South Carolina, her plan was to go back there as little as possible. She has finally settled in to her life in New York City and the pull to the south grows less and less each day. Then Larkin gets a call that her mother is missing. She drops everything and goes back to Georgetown in her mind hoping she will only be gone a few days. When she returns home, things aren't as they once were. Will Larkin return to New York as soon as she can, or will her memories and secrets of the past keep her where she is supposed to be?

Thank yo to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book. 

I have read a few other books by Karen White and have enjoyed them. This one took a while for me to get into. When I first graduated high school, I wanted to get as far away from home as I could. I went 2000 miles away to Texas. I wasn't running away from my family as it seems Larkin is, but I wanted to be away from them to find myself. 

Larkin has a very unusual family. She has her parents, Ivy and Mack and she has her biological grandparents who died long before she came along and 2 psuedo-grandmothers that helped to raise her. CeeCee and Bitty. These women were her grandmother's best friend and had raised her mother as well. Between Larkin, Ivy, and CeeCee 60 years of history is explored in this book. Decisions that were made and how they affected the outcome of everyone's lives. 

If you enjoy a story about family secrets and finding yourself in your own backyard, then you will enjoy this book.
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Another book from Karen White that skillfully alternates between the past and present, weaving together the tale of one family. I have never lived in the South but Karen White transports me there everytime.
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Must-read women’s fiction: Books by Molly Harper, Karen White, Emily Giffin, Karma Brown and more
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By: Leigh Davis | July 26, 2018 12:00 am 
So little time — so many books! This month we have double coverage of women’s fiction recommendations with both June and July books. So let’s dive in!
Little Big Love by Katy Regan
What it’s about:
Ten-year-old Zac Hutchinson collects facts: Octopuses have three hearts, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth.But no one will tell him the one thing he wants to know most: who his father is and where he went. 
When Zac’s mother, Juliet, inadvertently admits that his dad is the only man she’s ever loved, Zac decides he is going to find him and deliver his mom the happily ever after she deserves.
But Liam Jones left for a reason, and as Zac searches for clues of his father, Juliet begins to rebuild what shattered on the day that was at once the happiest and most heartbreaking of her life. 
Told through the eyes of Zac, Juliet, and grandfather Mick, Little Big Love is a layered, heartfelt, utterly satisfying story about family, love, and the secrets that can define who we are.
The right stuff: Zac is adorable! Complex family relationship is compelling, and point of view creates an ideal story. A winner!
The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland
What it’s about:
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.
Into her hiding place – the bookstore where she works — come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.
Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?
The right stuff: Marketed as a bibliophile delight, and it is true! Loveday will capture your heart as you become engrossed in the story of her guarding her own heart — from disappointment and betrayal. Wonderful backdrop romance as her Prince Charming helps break down the walls.
The Lido by Libby Page
What it’s about:
Rosemary Peterson has lived in Brixton, London, all her life but everything is changing.
The library where she used to work has closed. The family grocery store has become a trendy bar. And now the lido, an outdoor pool where she’s swum daily since its opening, is threatened with closure by a local housing developer. It was at the lido that Rosemary escaped the devastation of World War II; here she fell in love with her husband, George; here she found community during her marriage and since George’s death.
Twentysomething Kate Matthews has moved to Brixton and feels desperately alone. A once promising writer, she now covers forgettable stories for her local paper. That is, until she’s assigned to write about the lido’s closing. Soon Kate’s portrait of the pool focuses on a singular woman: Rosemary. And as Rosemary slowly opens up to Kate, both women are nourished and transformed in ways they never thought possible.
The right stuff: This book has been compared to Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove because of its heartwarming theme of multigenerational relationships. It’s a marvelous flashback romance and features a developing one. There’s also a Goliath theme — a little guy against big business.
Ain’t She a Peach by Molly Harper
What it’s about:
An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.
Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.
Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family.
The right stuff: The funeral home and bait shop combo is pure quirkiness, and it works! Frankie’s eccentricity is too droll. Plenty of romance. Southern idiosyncrasies at their most amusing.
The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller
What it’s about:
Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what’s “the usual.” But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her free-spirited, younger sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town’s beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson. 
Kit, an aspiring—and broke—filmmaker thinks her problems are solved when she and Nora find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided—some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change—and they aren’t afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.
Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn’t quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and the clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had. Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer’s rep, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on—finding Peggy’s missing dog, Freckles.
The right stuff: Miller does a wonderful job of showcasing the complex relationships we have with our siblings and how to lose the judgment and accept differences. Great sense of community, too!
The Lost Queen of Crocker County by Elizabeth Leiknes
What it’s about:
Crocker County crowns a new Corn Queen every year, but Jane Willow’s the one you would remember. She can’t forget Iowa, either. Even though she fled to LA to become a film critic years ago, home was always there behind her.
But when a family tragedy happens, she’s forced to drive back to Crocker County. The rolling farmlands can’t much hide the things she left behind: the best friend she abandoned who now runs a meatloaf hotline, the childhood front porch that sits hauntingly empty, and that fiasco of a Corn Fest that spun her life in a different direction. 
Before Jane can escape her past a second time, disaster strikes, and she will have to find a way to right her mistakes and save herself from her regrets. An unflinchingly love letter to the Midwest that unfolds through a celebration of movies, this ferociously endearing novel brings home the saving grace of second chances. 
The right stuff: Pure delight for film buffs. Riveting story of small-town girl transformed into mocking, skeptical sophisticate until she returns home and finds the courage to forgive herself and “make it right.” Strong multifaceted heroine. Wonderful “Believe So” theme.
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
What it’s about:
Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. 
Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.
Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.
Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.
Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.
At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.
The right stuff: Giffin combines today’s relevant themes of boys will be boys, the impact of social media and the MeToo movement into a compelling read.
Dreams of Falling by Karen White
What it’s about:
On the banks of the North Santee River stands a moss-draped oak that was once entrusted with the dreams of three young girls. Into the tree’s trunk, they placed their greatest hopes, written on ribbons, for safekeeping—including the most important one: Friends forever, come what may.
But life can waylay the best of intentions….
Nine years ago, a humiliated Larkin Lanier fled Georgetown, South Carolina, knowing she could never go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she realizes she has no choice but to return to the place 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 badly injured and unconscious in the burned-out wreckage of her ancestral plantation home. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly fifty years—whispers of love, sacrifice, and betrayal—that lead back to three girls on the brink of womanhood who found their friendship tested in the most heartbreaking ways.
The right stuff: This one is everything you’ve come to expect from a Karen White book. Strong female friendships, a second chance at love and a great family mystery! (See an excerpt on HEA from Dreams of Falling.)
The Life Lucy Knew by Karma Brown 
What it’s about:
After hitting her head, Lucy Sparks awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she’s known and loved for years—the man she recently married—is not actually her husband. In fact, they haven’t even spoken since their breakup four years earlier. The happily-ever-after she remembers in vivid detail—right down to the dress she wore to their wedding—is only one example of what her doctors call a false memory: recollections Lucy’s mind made up to fill in the blanks from the coma.
Her psychologist explains the condition as honest lying, because while Lucy’s memories are false, they still feel incredibly real. Now she has no idea which memories she can trust—a devastating experience not only for Lucy, but also for her family, friends and especially her devoted boyfriend, Matt, whom Lucy remembers merely as a work colleague.
When the life Lucy believes she had slams against the reality she’s been living for the past four years, she must make a difficult choice about which life she wants to lead, and who she really is.
The right stuff: An imaginative (and horrifying) plot of memories that are not truly memories. Strong romance and a true happy ending!
Leigh Davis is a former contributor to Heroes and Heartbreakers. When she is not reading, she’s usually outside throwing balls to her insatiable dogs. She loves hearing and talking about great books. You can connect with her on Twitter and Goodreads.
MORE ON HEA: See more posts by Leigh
Elizabeth Leiknes, Emily Giffin, Karen White, Karma Brown, Kate Regan, Libby Page, Louise Miller, Molly Harper, Stephanie Butland, women's fiction, Recommended reads, Top stories
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I really enjoyed this book. I loved how it took place  in the south   The location felt like a character on its own. The back and forth between time periods was nice but not would have been fine with the whole story taking place in the past.
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There is nothing better than a story set in the south, having family, secrets and love make it so much better. Karen White takes me on such beautiful journeys. Thank you again for Larkin, CeeCee and Bittty and Margaret. Strong women. Filled with so many stories.  As a daughter returns home after her mother is injured she begins to learn the real story of her mother, and her grandmother.  Her grandmother's two best friends have basically raised her and she is a product of all their love and also all their secrets.  She slowly peels back the truth.  Loved this so much!
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I don't believe that I've ever read a bad book by Karen. I loved this one from the very beginning and couldn't put it down. As always, great character and story building. I love her southern fiction!
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Alternating between the story of three best friends, CeeCee, Bitty and Margaret, in the 1950’s and their lives in 2010, secrets are revealed and mysteries discovered as friends and family are brought together by tragic circumstances. Larkin left SC years ago vowing never to return, but an accident involving her mother sets into motion an unraveling of the past and a coming to terms with the present. Set in the lowlands of SC, the marshes and wildlife provide an alluring backdrop for a story of friendship, betrayal, love and forgiveness.

Prolific author Karen White pulled me so deeply into the story, I spent two days really angry with one of the characters. Shocked by the selfish decisions that affected everyone around her I took a short break before finishing the novel.  Writing that powerful is what will make me seek out more of her work.
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Three and a half stars: A book that tests the bonds of friendships with painful secrets and mistakes. 

Larkin hasn’t looked back in the nine years since she fled Georgetown, South Carolina for New York. A phone call drags her back home. Her beautiful mother, Ivy, is missing. Once Larkin returns home, she finds her mother in the burned out shell of her ancestral home. Ivy suffered a fall, she barely clings to life. No one knows why Ivy would return to the plantation that burned when she was two, killing her mother. As Ivy lays unconscious in the hospital, Larkin digs for answers which leads her to secrets that have been buried for seventy years. What happens when friends who swore to be friends forever find the vow tested all kinds of ways. Will Larkin learn the truth?
What I Liked:
*Karen White knows how to write captivating stories. Dreams of Falling is a story that blends the past with the present as a daughter learns the truth about her history and confronts her own past. This is novel of friendship, family bonds, secrets and growth. 
*This novel presents two timelines, one in 1951 that features Larkin’s grandmother and two best friends, Ceecee and Bitty. In the past, the three girls are best friends embarking on life just after graduation. Two of them fall in love and a mistake reaps heartbreaking consequences that will haunt them years. Fast forward to 2010 where Larkin returns home to find her mother clinging to life. Larkin is trying to learn the secrets of the past to help her mother while she confronts her own demons. I thought the time lines blended well, but I must admit, I was more intrigued by the time line in the past.
*At the heart of the story is the mystery surrounding the death of Margaret, Ivy’s mother in 1954. Secrets were kept for years, and Larkin finally learns the truth which sets them all free. I enjoyed the mystery, and liked the way it all played out. 
*I adored Ceecee and Bitty. Two life long friends who weathered the years together dealing with love, hope and heartbreak. I loved the way they looked after one another. I loved following them in the past and the present. 
*There are three romances, two occur in 1951 as two of the friends fall in love, and then one in present day that involves an adorable friends to lovers romance. I especially enjoyed the romance in 2010. There is nothing better than a long unrequited crush that finally is realized. 
*Larkin is a character that takes awhile to warm up to. She is one who ran from her mistakes instead of fixing them. She finally finds the courage to examine her past, and she discovers she made plenty of mistakes because she jumped to conclusions. Even though I didn’t like that she chose to run, I was relieved that she learned to face the past and fix her poor decisions. 
*I loved the setting. Ms. White captures the heart and soul of life in the South. Her rich descriptions of the landscape and the food made me feel like I was right there. 
*The ending was bittersweet. The loose ends are done up, and there is a nice epilogue one year down the road that catches the reader up on the characters. 
And The Not So Much:
*I originally started this one on audiobook, and I struggled with the movement back and forth in time and the character point of view switches on audio. It was easier when I changed to the printed version to keep up with the time shifts and the view points. 
*I struggled with Ivy’s point of view. It didn’t provide me much information on her character or motives. I finished the book not really knowing who Ivy was. I wish that her view point had incorporated more of her memories and her life instead of flashes of what she was experiencing in the hospital. I felt disconnected from her. 
*As I mentioned, Larkin is a tough sell. I didn’t like her for a good portion of the book because she ran away from her mistakes and shut out both of her parents. Her behavior is rash and immature, and even when she first comes home, she still tries to run away. I also couldn’t stand that she wanted to reconnect with her high school crush after they way he treated her back then. It took a long time for her to wise up, and that was only with the help of two best friends and Ceecee and Bitty. 
*I found myself far more invested in the past story line than in the future, and in fact, I was irritated when the story returned to deal with more of Larkin’s stupidity. I wish that more of the past was featured. I also wish that more of Ceecee’s life after the fire was recounted.

Dreams of Falling is intriguing story that features long buried secrets that test the bonds of friendship over decades. This is a story about friends, family and the lies that tore them apart and brought them together again. It isn’t a perfect story, but I was captivated by the story line in the 1950s. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review. 
Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.
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3.5 stars
Dreams of Falling is a family drama and mystery combo by the queen of Southern fiction. I’ve read most of her books and am always brought into the South through her vivid and lush descriptions of people, time and place. I believe different readers will all have the same pictures in their heads of all the characters and scenery. 

There were many characters in this book and because it involved three generations, I often had to stop to recall who was who. I felt that Larkin was the least developed, while the women in the older generation were flawed, interesting and multi-faceted characters. I wanted to relate to Larkin more, but I couldn’t. It was the layered secrets that completely drove the plot. Those secrets kept me engaged as I tried to unravel the lies and learn the truth. 

Overall, it’s about new and old loves, intense friendships, mother/daughter relationships and knowing where your home is.
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Larkin Lanier has lived in New York City for almost a decade. She vowed never to return to her hometown of Georgetown, South Carolina, but when she learns that her mother, Ivy, is missing and it forces her to return home for the first time since high school. Since she has had little contact with her family and friends from her hometown, the trip home is a bit awkward. 

Ivy is found at the family’s abandoned plantation home where she is unconscious and injured.  She had fallen through the rotten floor boards and her arm was at an odd angle.  Larkin doesn't understand why her mother would be at the plantation home, and tries to determine what caused her mother to go there.  Larkin believes her mother is trying to tell her something - about the past, their ancestral home, and Larkin's grandmother, Ceecee.  In the process of getting answers, Larkin begins to uncover many secrets about her family, some that are decades old.

The chapters of this story alternate between Ivy, Larkin and Ceecee, with Ceecee’s chapters splitting time between 1951 and 2010.  I admired the strength of their friendship and the friendships of Larkin, Mabry, and Bennett.  There was so much pain between these women - heartbreak, loss and betrayal.  This book showed readers exactly what lengths people are willing to go to for love and how decisions made - regardless of their intentions - often have lasting consequences.  

Dreams of Falling was a very moving story, I found the storyline both charming and captivating at the same time. If you have never read anything written by Karen White, don't wait any longer - get this book.  You'll instantly become a fan! I became a fan with her book, The Sound of Glass (see my review of that book HERE), and I look forward to reading many more of her books!
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Once again the beautiful lyrical writing of Karen White captured my heart. This is a story rich with emotions of love, family bonds, fear, loss, jealousy grief and unrequited love. Larkin knows she must return home after many years in NYC since she ran away never looking back, when she learns her mother has disappeared. There have been many secrets kept from her, and her old southern plantation home has burnt to the ground, her mother was found badly injured and in a coma from that fire. No one knew why she had gone there. The characters of old girlfriends were confusing to figure out at first but chapters alternating between their youth and the present day became clearer. Larkin kept trying to find the self she thought she was, discovering betrayals, and heartbreaking memories she thought she could change. Mysterious messages hidden in an old tree, strange dreams, and secrets kept Larkin hoping her Mother would clear up once she woke up. Although a bit long, this book was so rich, a wonderful read and one I truly enjoyed. (
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Yes!!! Another winner by Karen White! I loved this Southern tale of family and secrets and no one does this better than Karen White. I loved the interesting characters, the beautiful settings and the storyline is second to none. I can't say enough great things about this wonderful read. It will sweep you up and you won't let go until the last page is turned.
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Dreams of Falling by Karen White is a 2018 Berkley publication. 

So far, my summer reading experience has been second to none. I’ve enjoyed some great romances, thrillers, mysteries, and even touched base with my favorite series, and beach reads. So, Karen White faced some pretty stiff competition by the time I got around to reading this book. But, hands down this is my favorite book of summer. 

Larkin is called home, from New York, to South Carolina, after a lengthy absence because her mother, Ivy, suffered a horrible, life threatening fall, under mysterious circumstances, which opens up a Pandora’s box of old family secrets. Meanwhile, Larkin must confront her painful past, and come to terms with the complicated relationship she has with Ivy and her father, and the horrible embarrassment she suffered back in high school. 

Along the way, she will embark on a journey of self-discovery as she begins to decipher a decades old mystery surrounding her late grandmother. 

Southern lit is a lot like indulging in good southern food. It always feels a little more succulent, a little more decadent, a lot more sinful, and much heavier and meatier. It’s also very comforting and always leaves me feeling peacefully gratified. Karen White’s southern dramas has the same effect on me as having consumed a huge southern style meal, a nice bottle of red wine, a rich dessert, and lovely cup of strong coffee to sip on, while I kick back and savor the feeling of satisfaction, absorbing and digesting all the various angles of the story, the characterizations, and the big emotions her stories often bring to the surface. 

This book is no exception- but, this time, Ms. White has taken it to a whole new level. I have often lamented the death of those fabulous family sagas, wishing that someday, someone would come along and refresh the genre to fit into our busy lives, where huge ‘doorstopper’ tomes don’t quite fit anymore. 

Karen White pulls that off with a novel that covers several generations but manages to wrap everything up in one book in just a little over four hundred pages. 

Only a veteran, seasoned author could pull off this type of prose, using a variety of narrative options, going back and forth in time. Again- White stitched together an intricate web that kept me transfixed from beginning to end. There was never even the tiniest blip. If I had to make a complaint, I have to say I wish I had gotten a clearer picture of Bitty, and I wish Ivy’s past had been a bit more fleshed out, with a deeper analysis regarding her flightiness. 

Other than that, this is a near perfect representation of southern lit. Long buried family secrets, a mystery, a small paranormal tint, eccentric characters, a wide range of voices and moods, lots of high drama and waves of emotions, strong familial ties and equally strong bonds of friendship, with a tender and sweet romance to cap it all off. 

Naturally, one doesn’t want to over indulge in large, heavy meals and rich desserts too often, because too much of a good thing can be bad. However, the opposite is true with good southern dramas. Over indulgence is good for you. It nourishes the mind, spirit and soul- so, in this case- you can never have too much of good thing.
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This book is a nice mix for those who enjoy family stories, historical fiction and even a little mystery.  It demonstrates how our decisions have long reaching and life changing consequences, sometimes affecting future generations. But also how deception born from love can have positive impacts on life. It's a great book with likable characters and an interesting plot that blooms into a story of love, friendship and loyalty. Karen White is a master storyteller and I have enjoyed and recommended many of her books. This one is a new addition, not to be missed.
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