Cover Image: Dreams of Falling

Dreams of Falling

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Member Reviews

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Secrets kept for decades, soul deep love, friendships carved from granite and “family,” made Karen White’s DREAMS OF FALLING an edgy, emotional journey that could be both intriguing and off-putting in nearly equal measures.

A young woman must go back to the world she swore never to return to when her mother goes missing. Found badly injured in the ruins of the family rice plantation, Ivy now lay comatose while her friends and family gather around her, each lost in their own thoughts of how she ended up where she is. Some know the answers, some will do anything to keep long-held secrets and some, like Larkin are clueless and demand answers.

What Larkin will discover will expose decades of lies, betrayals and fierce loyalties, as she learns truths that were hidden from her for her entire life. Will these revelations finally free Larkin to be who she was meant to be and bring her home again?

See through the eyes of numerous characters, jumping from past events to the present, even the thoughts of the comatose Ivy will be heard.

What starts out promising to be a magnetic and intense read becomes a twisted soap opera that runs alternately as slow as molasses and fast as fire in the wind. Ms. White doesn’t ask us to like her characters, she has made them flawed, deceitful and sometimes purely self-serving. There are those who are victims, those who are villains for the right reasons and those who never see beyond themselves.

For me, this was a love it, hate it read that could get too bogged down in its own shocking twists that felt so jarring they seemed too ill-fitting and too over-the-top. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the read in its totality when it was over, but I just didn’t end up feeling things felt/went right, good or bad. 

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Berkley/Penguin Group

Publisher: Berkley (June 5, 2018)
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Genre: Women's Fiction | Mystery
Print Length: 416 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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Another great read from Karen White!! I have not read one of her books that I didn't like, but this one was one of my favorites.  A terrific story of friendship through all seasons and trials.  It's a must read for all!
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This was a beautiful story of family and friends that become family. I loved the strong female characters of the story and I loved the bond they shared with one another. There are many secrets that come to light, both from the past and present. As you read, make sure you have tissues handy! I received an advanced readers copy from NetGalley and Berkley. All opinions are my own.
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One of the best books I've read this year!

I've enjoyed Karen White's recent standalones, and this one was just as great - touching on themes such as secrets, family, friendship, love, and Southern charm. It took me a while to "settle" into the book and figure out who was who - but the more I read, the more I figured out who the characters were and who loved who. I loved learning about the fire and the secrets behind that and the pictures hidden in Ivy's murals. The ending was probably the best part. A book that will stay in my mind for quite some time. Karen White is definitely an author to keep on my radar.
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When Larkin gets a phone call saying her mother is missing, she leaves New York and goes to find her.  She's been fragile lately and she wants to be sure she'd OK.  It's been nine years since she left and she'd rather not go back but she has no choice...

Berkley and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 5th.

She was totally mortified by a boy she had a crush on and her father was having an affair.  She left for the big city where no one would know the past and she could create a new future.  She has.  She has a good job and earns good money.  That's enough for now.  But there are secrets at home...

She finds her mother in the old burned out house that is part of her heritage.  She fell through the floor and is badly injured and in a coma.  As they wait for her to recover or pass on, the aunts who helped raise her rally around.  But when she starts asking questions about the fire and the woman who died in it, no one will answer them.  She starts snooping around to see what she can find because the last email her mother wrote was to her about something important she found out and she wants to see what it was.

Her mother has left plenty of clues in her paintings, photos, and hidden written letters.  They are hard to find and her aunts aren't helping. They want to leave the secrets hidden.  But secrets have a way of coming out...
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ARC provided by NetGalley 

I loved how the storyline was woven from multiple perspectives and generations with a little mystery and romance. I love how it highlights friendship--and how it can hold up in good times and bad.
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Just like all of Karen White's books, I knew that I would love this one as well. The story has multiple characters but mainly centers around Ivy, Larkin, and CeeCee. Each one has their own story to tell; a story that is interwoven with friends, family and tragedy, over 3 generations. Infused with just the right touch of drama, mystery, romance, and good ole' Lowcountry locale, this novel weaves a beautifully blended tale of regret, sadness, love, forgiveness, and new beginnings. In the end, I was surprised by the climactic twist of the story. Karen White has done it again. Dreams of Falling is a beautiful summer read that grips your heart and won't let go.
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Only a skillful storyteller could use 3 points of view and separate the tale by 2 decades. Yet the story was brought together so you had only one view. Since I don't handle this arrangement very well, I had trouble reading it. It took me longer to read than usual. I felt it was predictable at times with a minor twist at the end.
Larkin has exiled herself to New York and she received a call that her Mother, Ivy was missing. At her arrival, she learns her Mother was found trap at Carrowmore and is in a coma at the local hospital. In 1950,  3 young friends Ceecee, Margaret and Bitty pledged to be friends forever. The travel to Myrtle Beach and two of them, Ceecee and Margaret meet brothers and fall in love with the brothers. The story is told from Larkin, Ceecee and Ivy points of view. It switches between 1950's and 2010.  
 Larkin didn't know when she turned 35 Carrowmore was held trust for her. What happened in the 1950's to test the girl's friendship and why was it keep a secret? I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Berkley for a review copy. The options expressed are my own.
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I have been a fan of Karen White’s for so long, and this book, Dreams of Falling, epitomizes everything I love about her novels. It is filled with perfectly imperfect characters, people who love fiercely, people who make mistakes, people consumed by the choices they’ve made, people who leave home when they are hurt, people who return home confused and overcome by memories, people who grow and change through all the challenges they’ve overcome. This book is filled with many secrets...secrets meant to protect loved ones; this book is filled with love and sacrifice and family and resilience and hurt and forgiveness and heartache. And the setting, an integral living breathing entity...this story couldn’t take place anywhere else with the salt air, the marshes, the humidity, and the small southern town where it takes place.
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Dreams of Falling by Karen White is a standalone novel .  This is my first book by White, and after completing this wonderful story, it will not be my last.  Dreams of Falling is novel about family, loyalty, bonds and friends  (past and present),  who share devastating secrets that will come to haunt them .

Larkin, our heroine, receives a call that her mother, Ivy is missing.  It has been 9 years since she left her home in Georgetown, South Carolina, and though she left on bad terms, she returns to help look for her mother.  Larkin is greeted by the two women who helped raise her, as substitute mothers, CeeCee and Bitty.  Together they try to find clues where her mother is, and eventually they narrow it down to the old decrepit mansion, Carrowmore, which still belongs to the Darlington’s, which CeeCee is executor. The three of them will find Ivy unconscious, having fallen through a caved in floor. The story will revolve around the POV’s of Larkin, Ivy, and CeeCee,  moving smoothly through the present and 50 years in the past.  This was so very well done.
 Larkin will find out in short time things her mother and the two ladies who brought her up kept secret, including that she is the heir of the land.  This is the just the tip of the iceberg, as Larkin will learn many more secrets, which go back 50 years into the past, where CeeCee, Bitty and Margaret (Larkin’s grandmother) were best friends, who were always loyal to each other, even when things took a drastic turn.

We will learn about the fire that destroyed Carrowmore, and caused the death of Margaret and the rescue of baby Ivy from the fire.  The mystery of what happened all those years before, and how it affects the lives of everyone was the main focus of this story.  Larkin will also have to face the friends (Mabry & Bennett) that she left behind when she decided to run away, and her father, whom she became distant with.  Truths will be revealed that will bring Larkin back to her friendships, as she realizes the mistakes and misunderstandings that made her run away. 

Dreams of Falling was a wonderful heartwarming and heart wrenching  emotional tale of friendships, love, betrayal, family bonds, tragedy, grief;  with an amazing cast of characters.  I loved Larkin, CeeCee, & Bitty, as well as Larkin’s friends Mabry and Bennett.  Bravo to Karen White for this wonderful story that is not to be missed.
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Once again Karen White does not fail to deliver in a story that draws the reader in to the characters and storyline. 

This is a story of secrets and more secrets, friends and family. 

I received an ARC from Netgalley. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
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Dreams of Falling is set in the low country of South Carolina. Nine years have passed since Larkin left her hometown and began a new life in New York. She is summoned home to help search for her missing mother. The story then unfolds in flashbacks to the 1950's when a trio of young Southern Belles including Larkin's grandmother Margaret experience adventure and romance during an unchaperoned  week at the beach. Flash forward as Larkin's mother is found and lingers in a coma, and the secrets of the past begin to unravel. Dreams of Falling is a light, enjoyable read, a perfect pick to read on the beach this summer with a tall cold glass of Sweet Tea. *I received an Advance Readers Copy from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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New York Times bestselling author Karen White's best-selling novel, THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT is out in paperback. At the same time, her new anxiously awaited novel, DREAMING OF FALLING (Berkley) has been published! Talk about a Karen White fan's dream come true!

Karen brings her usual warm characters to form a perfect blend of family, friendships and a little romance.

In the low country of South Carolina, 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.

DREAMS OF FALLING is about three women who make up two generations of darling women, and alternates back and forth between the past and current times. My ideal way of reading Karen White is either enjoying lovely homemade lemonade, or a really chilled gin & tonic.
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I reviewed this title for the June digital edition of RT Book Reviews magazine. Go to their site to view my complete review
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Karen White had been recommended to me as an excellent author; and, after reading this book, I have to agree.  Her writing and character development are excellent, and I felt like I knew the 4 main characters--Margaret, CeeCee, Ivy, and Bitty.  I will be reading more by this author.
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Dreams of Falling by the popular author Karen White goes back in forth in time.  There are many tragedies that occur in this story and how the characters deal with what comes along both past and present.

The story is interesting but reference to the cigarette smoke was very annoying and kept interrupting the story.

Thank you for the opportunity to review this book.
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Dreams of Falling by Karen White shares the story of three women, their friendships and the men who love them. Told with multiple perspectives both past and present, Dreams of Falling offered mystery, family secrets, love, and romance. Dreams of Falling is the perfect book to toss into your beach tote this summer.
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I love Karen White's books!! I've read almost every book she's written, but this one is different in several ways that reflect White's mastery as a writer. The most impressive is having a key character's voice be that of a comatose patient. In other books I've read with that type of character, the patient's voice is presented as though the patient is simply sleeping. That isn't the case here, but going into detail would create spoilers. Suffice it to say that several days after finishing the book, the images from the patient's perspective are some of my clearest memories of this book. Another aspect I found compelling was White's  totally realistic portrayal of the types of trauma an overweight teenager can experience through the thoughtlessness and/or cruelty of classmates. At the same time, White included the trademark elements that make me such a fan: good people, loving families, romance, and humor. As always, I want another of her books as soon as I finish the newest one!!!! Thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for providing access to this book before publication.
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Karen White always writes enjoyable stories of the lowcountry and how families lives intertwine through tradition. I always enjoy her books, and I love getting to learn about sea turtles as she tells of the "turtle team" on the Isle of Palms. Good read for the pool or beach. I couldn't put it down!
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Larkin returns to South Carolina after living in NYC for nine years when she learns her mom has been seriously injured in a fall at the ruins of the family’s ancestral plantation. There she learns more about the secrets her mother, grandmother and best friend have been keeping for more than 50 years.

As Larkin questions things she’s told: “we are all thrown into this world without a roadmap, and it’s up to us to muddle through. We are free to make a mess of it or to make a success out of our lives. Most of us choose something in between.” 

I always enjoy Karen White’s low country stories and this one did not disappoint. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
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