Cover Image: Dreams of Falling

Dreams of Falling

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Berkley Pub for gifting me a copy of this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I rate this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

This was my first Karen White book, and I am so impressed with the quality of her writing. It comes across so realistic. Typically I don't read a lot of Womens Fiction, or Contemporary because sometimes it tends to be overly dramatic, and smooshy. While reading this, I felt like this could be an average family, living down the street from me. I loved the alternating chapters/years/characters, they were done so well that you don't get confused, and it's easy to follow along. 

During the first half of the book, I couldn't help but being reminded of "Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood" and "Golden Girls" I'm not 100% sure why, but that was just the vibe I was getting. I loved CeeCee and Bitty, I loved the snarkiness between them, and they way their 50 years of friendship just shone through the pages. I also really loved Larkin, she was fierce, and strong, and she knew when she was needed and came home. I enjoyed watching her reclaim her life, her friends, and rekindling with her family. 

The story of CeeCee, Bitty, and Margaret about broke my heart. The drama that unfolds with these three women is gut wrenching. In the 1950's the way things were then, are so different from what hey are now. They didn't really think about what the heart wanted, it was just what you should and should not do, how other people will see you.The things these girls have to keep secret are so sad. What they lose, and what they have to give up is what makes this book so emotional and endearing.

You can tell that Karen White did a lot of research about the location "Dreams Of Falling" took place in. It was so vivid that I felt I was living in Georgetown, and living in Ceecee's house. I am just head over heels in love with this book, and I look forward to reading many more of Karen Whites books!
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Alternating in time from present day to the 1950s, this wonderful story takes place primarily in Georgetown, SC. Great characters in this charming tale.
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Karen White’s writing is absolutely exquisite.  Her characters are so carefully developed until they are jumping out of the pages and into the reader’s head.  The story was told from different perspectives and time periods, and that can sometimes be confusing - it wasn’t here.  It was flawless.  I loved the characters, the story, the writing, all of it.

Thanks to the publisher for the chance to read this incredible story!
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I love southern fiction and the new book by Karen White is southern fiction at its best. It's a book full of secrets that slowly come to light and its the story of a family, not just a family by blood but by the love they share with each other. 

Larkin returns home from NYC to Georgetown SC. She had left there 9 years earlier and never wanted to return but her mother was missing and she had to help find her. When they find her mother, gravely injured, the close friends that made up Larkin's family were there to help her. As the story shifts back in time, we learn about the three friends who vowed to be friends forever and how their lives changed over the years. As secrets are revealed, will the friendships remain intact?

This is a wonderful novel that takes place in the beautiful lowcountry of SC full of characters who are so well written that the reader will laugh and cry with them. This is a book that needs to go on everyone's summer lists - they won't be disappointed.

I read an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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Dreams of Falling is told via dual timelines moving from the 1950s to 2010. Karen White’s story is one of friendship and love that changed the lives of all involved – including future generations. The novel has a sultry setting replete with the humid, salty air of coastal Carolina, a town where everyone “knew you when…”, and secrets. Lots of secrets. It’s a time of transition for the three friends who are ready to burst forth on the world having just graduated from high school. They (and the future generations) will discover how strong they can be. They’ll find that in order to survive their mistakes they’ll “have to learn to live with their choices”. Falling isn’t necessarily bad if there’s someone there to catch you. And that someone might not be who you’d expect. I enjoyed this novel but there were times when I was confused about the generational relationships. That took me out of the story at times – but I’m not sure it would for other readers. So I’ll recommend it – especially to fans of southern fiction and Karen White.
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A beautiful story that deals with losing dreams to tragedy and love. Karen White is a master story teller and takes the broken family and reshaped it through love and forgiveness! With a few twists along the way to a very satisfying end!
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I loved this book!  I always enjoy books by this author and this story was no exception.  She always knows how to tug at the heart strings.
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I love Karen White's books and this one didn't disappoint! Dreams of Falling is full of long buried secrets that have festered for decades. This may be my favorite book by Karen White so far!
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I just adore Karen White. For me, reading her books is the ultimate comfort food. I always finish them wishing I could move to that sweet little southern town and befriend all the characters, and DREAMS OF FALLING was no different. 

First, the good- it was atmospheric, romantic, and contained an intriguing mystery element. Like all of White's novels, it was extremely character-driven. I loved all the connections and parallels between Ceecee, Ivy, and Larkin and their stories. Ceecee's story in particular struck a nerve in me for very personal reasons, and so I felt myself gravitating towards her the most. 

The bad- Larkin. I don't want to say that she was unlikable, because she had her good moments. But my goodness, HOW could she be so blind when it came to Jackson and Bennett? I understand a little bit of her reluctance to see Bennett as more than a friend was necessary in progressing the plot, but to be confused about her feelings until the very end of the book? To be completely oblivious to the fact that Bennett  was in love with her for so long was so ridiculous that it stretched the bounds of my imagination, and I couldn't help but roll my eyes from time to time. Now, as soon as Bennett found out about Larkin's history with Jackson, that's where it got super interesting and it was hard for me to put down on after that.

Another thing felt just a bit too much was all the flowery language. At one point, Bennett tells Larkin that it looks like she's wearing moonlight. Romantic? Yes. Realistic language for a modern day man's man? No. I'm all about romance, but it was too cloyingly sweet at times. But overall, I finished DREAMS OF FALLING wishing that I lived in Karen White's world. She is the Queen of southern women's fiction in my book. 

Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Weaving back and forth in time, Dreams of Falling by Karen White is a novel that is filled with drama, family secrets, enduring friendships and puzzling mysteries.

 In 1951, best friends Margaret Darlington, Sessalee “Ceecee” Purnell and Martha “Bitty” William’s two week vacation alters their lives forever. Ceecee is smitten with Boyd Madsen who is on the verge of launching his career as a doctor. Margaret is immediately charmed by Boyd’s much young brother, Reggie, who has big plans for his future, but also wants to serve his country during the Korean war. Bitty is hoping to meet the man of her dreams, but this forward thinking feminist who is ahead of her time finds her prospects severely lacking. Upon their return to Georgetown,  Ceecee discovers the bonds of friendship can be pushed to the limit and still survive.

 In 2010, Larkin Lanier must face her past when her mother Ivy goes missing.  Planning to return to New York as soon as Ivy is found, her plans go awry when Ivy is rescued but remains in a coma from her accident. Larkin tries to avoid her childhood friends, Mabry who is now married with a young son and her twin brother Bennett who has unexpected business with Larkin and her father. She is also delighted when her high school crush Jackson Porter finally wants to date her.  Larkin is also shocked to discover information about her grandmother and the home that has been in their family for generations. Will Larkin unravel the mystery surrounding her grandmother Margaret’s death? What other hidden truths will be unearthed as everyone anxiously awaits Ivy recovery?

 With a plethora of characters, it is initially a bit confusing trying to keep everyone straight and understand their roles in the unfolding storylines. Margaret is spoiled, self-centered and gives little thought to the consequences of her actions. A preacher’s daughter, Ceecee is straitlaced  and always takes convincing when it comes to Margaret’s schemes. She is also selfless and loyal to a fault. Bitty lives life on her own terms and she has an uncanny ability to see her friends’ flaws as well as their strengths. Larkin runs away and avoids her problems and despite extensive counseling and a better understanding of herself, she is quick to fall into old patterns when she returns to Georgetown. Mabry is a loyal friend who is outspoken and willing to let bygones be bygones. Bennett is one of the good guys, utterly charming and laidback but will he let the person who holds his heart get away again? Jackson is a smarmy womanizer but Larkin views him through the lens of her teenage crush so she is thrilled to be noticed by him. Readers will most likely find this part of the storyline incredibly frustrating especially considering the past events that precipitated Larkin’s longstanding estrangement with Mabry and Bennett.

 The dual storylines are fascinating although the story arc taking place in 1951 is more compelling.  Some of the events culminate with somewhat predictable outcomes but there are quite a few unexpected revelations. In the past, there is quite a bit of intrigue surrounding the fire that destroyed the Darlington home. In the present, everyone is desperate to figure out why Ivy went to the dilapidated estate the day she disappeared. Will Ivy awaken from her coma and satisfy everyone’s curiosity? Or will the many secrets coming to light provide the answers to everyone’s questions?

 Dreams of Falling is an intriguing novel of redemption for many of the characters. The pacing of the story is a little slow but it is easy to become invested in the final outcome of both story arcs. Karen White brings the various settings and time periods vibrantly to life through her descriptive prose. The novel comes to bittersweet but heartwarming conclusion that is guaranteed to delight readers.
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Since reading The Night the Lights Went Out, I knew Karen White was now a must-read author for me and I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of Dreams of Falling! Family secrets and drama in the South as well as wealthy people, dual timelines and the love of mothers and daughters makes Dreams of Falling the perfectly orchestrated Southern Fiction I love from KW! Add this one to your list for June for sure!
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IMG_3714My Review of “Dreams of Falling” by Karen White  Berkley June, 2018

I loved everything about “Dreams of Falling” by Karen White. Karen White has an amazing way of telling a story and describing her characters and landscape. I especially appreciate the colorful cast of characters and their relationships. “Dreams of Falling” is a novel about friendship, sisterhood, and family. The Genres for this story are Fiction and Women’s Fiction.  The timeline of the story is the author’s present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story. The story mostly takes place in the low country of South Carolina.

The author describes her characters as complex and complicated.  Larkin returns to South Carolina  after an absence of nine years, when her mother Ivy has a devastating fall.  Larkin has strong feelings about her return to South Carolina.  When she returns home she realizes that there are betrayals, dark secrets going back fifty years.

Fifty years earlier there were three close friends, who would write what their dreams and wishes would be and put them in an oak tree. One of those young girls is Larkin’s grandmother. They had promised each other “Friends forever come what may”, not realizing what the future would hold.

Larkin seems to be in touch with the meaning of dreams at times. The author discusses family, friendship, betrayals, loyalty, hope , love and forgiveness.  This is a wonderful, engaging novel that I would highly recommend to readers that like Historical Fiction. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.
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Life has an unexpected way of drawing ya back to places we love yet avoid. Returning home is both hard yet familiar. Dealing with a horric accident.
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Larkin leaves her childhood behind in Georgetown, South Carolina for New York City after graduating from high school, but can you ever really leave your hometown in the past? Nine years later, Larkin is forced to return when her mother, Ivy, goes missing. While discovering the reasons why her mother was at the ruins of their family home, secrets of the past are slowly revealed. 

This is the first book I’ve read from author, Karen White, but it won’t be the last! I recommend this book for fans of southern fiction, family drama, and discovering secrets of the past that may well be better off left in the past. I loved the idea of the Tree of Dreams!

“I had no idea…” “I stopped, not wanting to be reminded again of how absent I’d made myself from not only my old life, but from my family who’d continued on without me. It was the ultimate conceit, to believe that everything would stand still in my absence.”
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Karen white’s book are hit or miss and this particular title, I couldn’t get into. I tried a couple times, but never got far into it. However she is a very talented writer.
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Karen Whites novels remind me of perfectly made grits... just the right amount of simmering, butter & salt. All the ingredients are nothing without the attention to the details. This story was the perfect mix of setting, characters & story. As always, 5 shiny southern stars.
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When you have read the same author stories multiple times you tend to expect the same type of story that you’ve gotten in the past. That is not unusual and that’s what I was thinking when I open this book.

However, I could not have been more wrong.

This book started out in a traditional manner. I’m not sure where it was in the story that things started to change for me. However, it didn’t take long for me to become so connected and one with the story that I simply could not stop reading.

I’m not sure who I identified with most. There are multiple characters in this book – best friends whose friendship had broken years ago; best friends who still watch out and take care of each other 50 years later. Or maybe it was the parents who hid secrets that would change someone’s life.

Karen White is a master at telling and crafting an amazing story. Words truly escape me on how to describe the feelings I got with this book. I would read page after page with tears just coming down. My heart broken for what could’ve been, what should’ve been. Deep emotion, surprising twists, and even things that I knew were going happen and did, still got to me.

Intense, touching, sweet – this is the story about love on many different levels and true friendship that lasts the test of time.

If you have not read a story by Karen White, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Do yourself a favor and block out an entire day to read this book. I hope it touches you the way it touched me.
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On release date the Dew will have a review, excerpt and reader's guide posted.  On another note, I LOVE the cover - beautiful!
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4.5 Stars

Karen White is one of my auto-buy authors. I love the way she writes. I'm always pulled into her books from the first few words on the page. Her stories take a while to unfold, but I know the pay off is going to be worth the wait. It was for Dreams of Falling.

Dreams of Falling is a multi-generational tale about the relationship between mothers and daughters. It stars three women: a grandmother, a daughter, and a granddaughter. Larkin, the granddaughter and main narrator, is a woman who ran from her past. She lives in New York, but is summoned back to South Carolina when her mother is injured. Returning home opens up old wounds for Larkin, and she's forced to confront her them while her mother is fighting for her life. Ivy, the daughter, is an unexpected narrator. She's in limbo between life and death, reflecting upon the choices she made and the truths she uncovered before her accident. The final point of view is Ceecee. Ceecee is Ivy's step-mother who raised her for most of her life and helped raise Larkin. Ceecee was one of Ivy's mother's best friends. Her chapters switch between the present and the past, helping unravel the mystery of what happened on the night Ivy's mother died.

Dreams of Falling was spellbinding. There was this dream like feel to the story. Even when things were taking place in the characters' present, there was a sleepy quality to the writing. I loved it. The whole tone of the book went with the story being told. It was really cool.

I adored the Georgetown, South Carolina setting. The small town feel helped connect the past to the present and the characters to each other. The mystery brought a darkness to the story, but this amazing setting brought the light. I liked the contrast.

The characters in this book were frustrating -- but only because of the way they avoided asking the tough questions of themselves and each other. I understood Larkin's reasons for trying to become someone different, but I wish she would have been more open to the advice of the people who loved her. Ceecee was way too involved in everyone's lives. It took me a long time to understand why. There wasn't enough of Ivy, in my opinion. I really, really wanted to know more about her life growing up. I can't complain too much about these frustrations, though, because they're what made Dreams of Falling a captivating story.

I loved the mystery of what happened on the night Ivy's mother died. The way it unfolded and was revealed to the reader was great. There were some things I guessed, but many that I was surprised by. I loved finding out how one event that happened years ago shaped the lives of three generations of women.

Overall, I loved reading this book. It was exactly what I've come to expect from Karen White. If you enjoy multi-generational stories about family, friendship, and love, Dreams of Falling might just be the book for you. Heck, any book by Karen White would be for you.
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Delightfully southern story!  A saga of three generations of a southern family and their closest friends.  From the Coastal Southern setting with a large southern mansion (which burns down) to the family traditions and practices, I felt an essence of "Gone with the Wind"!  Beautifully written with great character development.  I felt I knew each of the characters and found myself pulling for them even though each showed human flaws as we all do.  I did get a bit dismayed by some of the characters hanging on to issues that they should of let go of but that could be a little of the southern thing and it did not interfere with the enjoyment of the story for me.  The story crosses a time span from the 1950's to 2010.  It revolves around three women, Margaret, CeeCee, and Bitty (feel the southern there) who grow up together and vowed to be friends forever.  There is romance, tragedy, and a mystery that leaves you guessing right up until the very end.  If you love southern stories then you will love this novel.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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