Cover Image: Dreams of Falling

Dreams of Falling

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Member Reviews

Karen White’s books are known for their beautiful, lyrical blend of familial bonds, deep secrets, and the charm of the South. Dreams of Falling is no different. 

No one knows where Ivy has gone and Larkin sees no choice but to come home to Georgetown, South Carolina. Nine years ago, she fled to New York and never looked back. Now the disappearance of her mother has brought everything to a head, forcing Larkin to face what she tried so hard to forget. 

After finding Ivy unconscious in the old, abandoned family home, Larkin starts searching for answers. Why does she not know more about her mother, her grandmother? Why has no one ever told her? Alternating between an unconscious Ivy, flashbacks to the 1950s, and the world Larkin is living in now, Dreams of Falling explores what we are willing to do, and hide, for our dearest of friends. 

I received an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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From the moment I started to read I knew I was in for a very enjoyable read so I snuggled down in my favorite chair and lost myself to this beautiful story. There are sniffly moments so you will need some Kleenex. The characters were well fleshed out and the plot had just enough twists and turns to keep you engrossed in the story. Definitely pre order this book because Karen White never ever disappoints and this book is definitely a winner. Happy reading!
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Very much enjoyed the twists and turns...will look for more by this author!
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An okay book, set in the South, about all things Southern.
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Loved this book, loved the "magical" feel to parts of it.

It is the story of 3 young women in the early 50's, each very different from the other. For their high school graduation they travel to Myrtle Beach & 2 of the girls meet "the men of their dreams".

The story is told in multiple voices & flips from the past to a more current time. Dreams are a huge part of the story & how they have played a major part in the lives of these 3 women & future generations.

It is a story of friendship, promises made & kept, secrets & love.

I very much enjoyed this story, it was a page turner & a little bit of a "who done it".

I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley & Berkley Publishing in exchange of an honest review- thank you to both!
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  From the publisher --- 
New York Times bestselling author Karen White crafts evocative relationships in this contemporary women's fiction novel, set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, about lifelong friends who share a devastating secret.
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.
Nothing quite gets a reader’s attention like SOUTHERN and SECRETS: and this book does not disappoint. This is a truly gothic novel: layers of secrets and deceit entice you to read on and on and way past your bedtime. The stories of these women are woven into one enjoyable tale- if nothing else, it will make you safe-guard your secrets even tighter!!!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Definitely the best I have read this year. A wonderful blend of romance, intrigue, sadness and drama. A must read.
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Heather Fineisen's review Apr 05, 2018  ·  edit
liked it

A charming but predictable story of three friends and the men they love. Told in flashbacks, the characters were well developed and easy to care about. The modern day romance of the granddaughter told in real time was more satisfying although also transparent. Overall, a good read with enough heart and character to offset the predictability.

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley
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I really enjoyed Dreams of Falling. It's the story of three women who were friends growing up in South Carolina and of one of the women's daughter and granddaughter. The narration switches among three of the women - Ceecee, Ivy, and Larkin - and two different time periods, the 1950's and 2010. I loved reading about the three friends in the '50's and their life after graduation. Larkin's life in the 2000's is also interesting. The style of writing is perfect for this novel of the South because their stories are doled out languidly like the movements of the waterways that surround their hometown in the Low Country. The plot has many twists and turns, some inevitable and some surprising. All of the long-kept secrets are revealed by the story's end in a satisfying conclusion. I would definitely recommend this book to all of the women I know.
I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book.
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Karen White’s books are always a perfect blend of family, friendship, mystery, and a little romance. In her latest book “Dreams of Falling” she offers us two generations of strong female friendships. After nine years away, Larkin returns to her childhood home in South Carolina when her mother Ivy takes a life-threatening fall, a fall that becomes the catalyst for exposing long held secrets. Larkin had fled her home insisting she would never return. 

When Ivy is found in the burned out ruins of her family’s ancestral home, unconscious and badly injured, Larkin becomes determined to find out why her mother was there. It is in this search that Larkin uncovers the secrets kept by three teenage friends who fifty years earlier had sworn to remain best friends forever, never imagining the heartache that would result from that vow.

I admired the strength of the friendships in this story – the older generation (Margaret, Ceecee, and Bitty) and the younger generation (Larkin, Mabry, and Bennett). Their love for and loyalty to each other is so strong that they keep secrets to protect those they love. 

Just as the older generation had their secrets, so too do the younger friends Larkin, Mabry, and Bennett - secrets kept in an effort to protect one of them. But it seems that all secrets are at some point revealed, leading to unknown consequences. This is the true beauty of Karen White’s writings – how do those who loved each other so strongly deal with consequences of those secrets. 

Ms. White reveals the flaws in each of her characters, making them more human. She artfully wove together the strands of the backstories, slowly revealing the puzzle pieces one at a time. As the story evolved I found myself asking/guessing what role each character played in the central event. When I reached the end of the story, I marveled at the beauty of the writing and how well, and naturally, it all came together.

This is a story that tugged at my heart as the friends were dealt so much tragedy that normally would have destroyed friendships. Yet these friends stayed true. 

I loved the characters, laughing with them, crying with them, asking “What were you thinking” a few times, and so hoping that a little sunshine would fall into their lives. I do highly recommend this book. 

I received an Advance Review Copy of this book.
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I am a big fan of Karen White, but this certainly was not my favorite book that she has written. It was entertaining, of course, but I found the flashbacks to be tedious. Yes, they were necessary to the plot, but I found myself skimming those parts, which is something I rarely do. There are twists and secrets aplenty; I think this book will appeal to many types of readers. Although it wasn't entirely my cup of tea, I appreciate the talent of Karen White, and will continue to read the books she releases in the future.
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Not my favorite Karen White novel.  I found Larkin not very likeable and I kept wanting to skip the flashbacks to the '50s.  I understand the desire to draw out the suspense, but there were TOO many secrets, and they concealed the main characters' motivations so much that I wasn't sure who to like or dislike.  And I would have to disagree with the main premise of the novel -- that you can't fault someone for loving too much.  Maybe you can't fault one's motivation, but you can certainly blame her for bad decisions made because of it.  Anyway, if you're new to Karen White, don't start with this one. :)

*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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Larkin needed to come home from New York because her mother was missing.

What she found was that over the years a lot of things were missing and quite a few things were kept secret.

Larkin found secrets about her mother and her family at every turn.

When she asked why she wasn’t told, the answer was ignored or she was told to wait until her mother, Ivy, wakes up and to ask her.

Larkin wondered how long she would have to wait for her mother to wake up.  She also wondered how long until she found out everything.

Ivy had been found near death at the old homestead, Carrowmore, underneath a rotting staircase.

Carrowmore had been a favorite childhood place of her mother and her friends where they put "wishes on ribbons" into the opening of a tree.

As the book continued, the plot thickened, and Larkin kept finding out more and more about what had been kept from her and how some close family members were not as they appeared.

DREAMS OF FALLING was a bit confusing at first in the character department.  It took me a while to figure out who belonged to who and what their connections were.  The connections became more tricky and quite intriguing as things were revealed.

We learn of the secrets kept and of the lives of the main characters by going back to 1951 and then returning to 2010.  I really enjoyed seeing the three friends in their youth.  Their current lives didn’t seem as exciting, but their youth and family history as with all of us had a major influence on their lives now and the paths they had chosen.

DREAMS OF FALLING started out not feeling like Karen White’s usual books because of the confusing character problem, but once the book got going, the familiar writing, the marvelous story line, the Southern charm, and warm characters made its appearance and made the story line completely wonderful and enjoyable as always.

DREAMS OF FALLING is another marvelous treat.  

Despite the confusion with the characters at the beginning, DREAMS OF FALLING is another Karen White masterpiece that pulls you in and keeps you loving each turn of the page.

I hope you enjoy it too. 5/5

I received an Advanced Reader of this book.  It was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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I admit to being surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and how well it held my attention.  
Karen White skillfully weaves the plot around 3 generations of women and their convoluted and complicated relationships   

The catalyst is the life-threatening accident which occurs to Ivy, the central figure and co-narrator of the novel.  We see events in the lives and loves of these generations which leads the youngest, Larkin, to return to her Southern hometown despite her estrangement from friends and family. 

Yes, it is a lovely romance as Larkin rediscovers her past, but it also speaks to the cultural mores of mid-20th century.  It also addresses the role of women and the expectations for the lives of women. 

There is plenty to discuss, especially in a woman’s study group, while providing a lovely read.
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I have read and loved many Karen White novels but this is in my opinion her is best. 
I cried, I laughed and at times had chills from the filling like I was in the room with her characters.
I stayed up very late reading this one. I will recommend this book to everyone that loves a great novel about strong women and family values.
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I love this author and all of her books. But this time, I struggled to connect with the main character. In her youth, she is depicted as someone who is both overconfident in her abilities and skills (to the point where she doesn't know when she's bad at things) and also insecure and mostly friendless except for those who tell her what she needs to hear. As an adult, she's pulled away from that life and those tendencies, but I had trouble understanding who she was--her friends from childhood keep assuring her, no, she really was charming and fearless and wonderful, but it was hard to gauge whether any of that was true or not, given what we know of their role in the past--and therefore it was hard to understand the changes she experienced and the acceptance of herself that she comes to in the end. 

The setting, the writing, the past and present narratives interwoven were all spot-on brilliant. So, I suspect it might just be me that struggled to connect.
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***I received an ARC for an honest review***

While I theoretically understood where the author was going here I didn't always love the execution. 

Larkin is living (hiding) in New York when her mother has an accident that forces her return to her southern hometown. Larkin is hurt because she feels those closest to her lied to her in an effort to make her seem perfect. From what I could gather her issue is that those that loved her filled her with compliments and confidence - and when that was tested she ran. 

There is a large cast here - Larkin, her mom Ivy (in a coma), the women who raised Ivy (and sort of raised Larkin) Ceecee and Bitty, Larkin's dead grandma Margaret, Larkin's friend Mabry and Mabry's twin Bennett. Plus some high school crush named Jackson. 

Lies pile on lies - told between best friends Margaret, CeeCee and Bitty (when we travel back to the early 1950s to watch their journey to adulthood together), and between literally everyone and Larkin. And Larkin and Mabry. And Larkin and Jackson. And Larkin and Bennett. 

There was sweetness and some eye-roll moments. I couldn't connect with Larkin - we were just too different. But I liked a number of the supporting characters. I found the story compelling enough to keep reading even though I sighed a few times.

I liken this story to a shopping cart with a wiggly wheel. It got the job done, but it was awkward. 

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Family bonds and secrets are at the heart of Dreams of Falling.  Set in Georgetown, South Carolina, the story begins as Larkin returns home to help locate her missing mother, Ivy. As the search for Ivy progresses, Dreams of Falling moves back and forth in time slowly unveiling secrets that have been kept hidden for 50 years.  As always, Karen White writes a beautiful, cautionary tale full of love, loyalty, and loss.  I received this book to read and review; all opinions are my own.
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This book was a great tale of finding out more than you bargain for.  I loved the relationships between the characters as well as the way the "before" and "now" weaved  together.
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This is a story of family secrets, regrets, and forgiveness.

Larkin lives in New York and works as a copywriter. She receives an unexpected phone call letting her know her mother (Ivy) has gone missing. Going back to Georgetown, where she fled from nine years ago, is the last place she wants to go, but she loves her mother and doesn’t think twice about returning home to help find her.

This is a story about three generations of women and is told from the perspective of Ceecee, Ivy, and Larkin. The main story is told in present day (2010) with flashbacks throughout to 1951. In these flashbacks, Ceecee, Bitty, and Margaret have just graduated from high school. These three best friends are young, ready to spread their wings, and want to find love. I initially found this story a bit confusing. It was a bit tricky keeping track of all the female characters, plus the younger and older versions of a couple of them. I did eventually get everyone straight in my head, so all was not lost.

I found myself drawn to the 1951 storyline more than the present day storyline. I had trouble connecting with Larkin, I found her a bit too naïve and immature. Although I didn’t completely connect with Larkin, I was quite intrigued by what she was hiding and why she ran away from Georgetown so many years ago. It was nearly impossible for her secrets to remain hidden while being surrounded by her family and friends who all care so deeply for her.

All of these women have their regrets and secrets that they’d rather keep under lock and key. But secrets have a way of coming out. This book had many sweet moments, and lots of revelations. The love all of these women have for each other is beautiful. It shows how friendship can transcend for generations through the good and bad. They have all had their struggles and made mistakes, but they will always be there for one another.
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