Cover Image: Dreams of Falling

Dreams of Falling

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Member Reviews

A story spanning generations of a sleepy coastal Carolina town. Luxurious low country setting and southern family secrets abound in Karen White's new novel. However, the plot moved slowly at times, and the promised appearance of an iconic character from the author's Trade Street Series proved disappointing. I did like the way the Tree of Dreams took on a magnanimous character role, watching over and helping the wisher figure out what they really desired.
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I had a hard time getting into this book.  I didn't feel a connection to the characters.  Since I did not finish the book, I do not intend to publish a review.  Thank you for the opportunity to read it.
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Ceecee, Bitty and Margaret are young best friends headed to the beach after Graduation. When they meet the brothers, their vacation turns into the best two weeks young people falling in love could have.  Plans are made, but the choices made, form a future with some twisted decisions.
  Two generations later, Larkin, Margaret's granddaughter is called home because her mother is missing. When Larkin had left home years ago, she was angry. As she uncovers the secrets of the three best friends she discovers the truths of choices made and how they affected all of those she loves.
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I waffled between finding this book as "ok" then trending towards "liking"... with a final decision being this is an "ok, likable at times" read. One reason for this back and forth behavior was the soap opera-esque nature of this book. It really started to become boringly predictable and absurd. There was one distinct moment that I can recall thinking "Please, don't go down that Days of Our Lives Road.... and you are taking that route" Yet, honestly, the soap opera tone didn't seal my rating. I'll explain more below. 

What's It About:  27 year old Larkin escaped her life in Georgetown, South Carolina for a life she made for herself in New York. It's been nine years since she saw her close friends and family as she escaped and remade herself. When she gets the call her mother is missing. She returns home.  Larkin discovers her mother on the floor of her family's old decrepit rice plantation home. With her mother lapsing into a coma; Larkin stays nearby anxiously waiting on her recovery.  While waiting, she renews ties with her honorary mothers- Ceecee and Bitty who raised her lovingly.  She also mends fences with two of her childhood friends that she hurt deeply on her leaving. When an old crush who rebuffed her in high school admires this "new" Larkin; she has a decision to make on where this "new" Larkin wants to head in her life.  Larkin finds herself discovering buried family secrets, love, family, and also where her home is. 

My Thoughts: 
   Ugh. I hate to write them. In all honesty, I felt these were some of Karen White's weakest characters. In my defense, I'm a big fan and own all her books. Her House on Tradd Street series is one of my favorites- though the last one missed the mark for me as well. The characters in this book seemed superficial, convenient, or just not believable. I think two though that were wonderful are Ceecee and Bitty. The friendship between Ceecee and Bitty and their story was a highlight for me.  However, Margaret, Larkin, and Ivy's stories just fell flat and needed cues for dramatic swelling music at times.  The multigenerational storytelling and back and forth between past/present is a selling point for this book. White does that quite well. 
  The main character- Larkin. I just couldn't get behind her. She was all over the place and her issues are never really fleshed out. Except for her weight. The reader is treated to numerous references to her weight. I noticed in the last Tradd Street novel, White made weight an issue for the main character too. 18 year old Larkin was overweight and overate per the book. 27 year old Larkin has shed said weight, now can just wear a sports bra out on a boat, looks "hot", and chooses frozen yogurt over ice cream... or just follows a healthy portion size now.  The reader gets this spelled out for them frequently; and not to worry, one of the love interests thought she looked great when she was overweight. It just became aggravating to me. Aggravating because we are experiencing a strong movement towards valuing women more for their appearance and this novel just gravitates more towards appearance than the substance of women.  I just think the strong weight focus was tacky, unnecessary, and repeated too often in the novel. I would have rather learned how Larkin worked through her anger management issues. She mentioned she had a problem with her anger, especially after throwing a cooler at her best friend's head. 
  To Sum: I really don't want to hate on this book. I like Karen White's novels. I just found this one lacking compared to previous books. She eloquently writes about low country inlets with massive trees perfect for storing ribbon wishes in their trunks, boat rides to capture the sunrise, languid strolls on twilight it streets with ice cream in hand. You just either wish you were there or can envision yourself there with the characters.  I truly think her images of the South are lovely and magical. I encourage you to read it for the images alone and the story is still entertaining. Just not my favorite. 

Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This story was a spell binding tale of family secrets, broken promises and the heartache that only best friends and family members can cause. I immediately connected with the main character, Larkin, and was rooting for her the whole book. Larkin has some clear issues and a lot of growth still to do throughout the book but that serves to pull you in even deeper. The story is told in several different POV’s, which I usually don’t like, but this time they were woven together so well that I didn’t find myself skimming at all. There was just something about this story that tugged at my heart. The fierce love between friends and the trials they will go through to protect each other showed the importance of true friendships. The characters all had their flaws but at the end of the day they loved each other and that was what truly mattered. This story was a beautiful example of all the matters in the world. From the writing, to the setting and the plotting, all elements of this novel worked perfectly. If you haven’t read any of Karen White’s book I highly recommend them and this one is a great place to start!
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A story about friendship between three girls in the 1950's that survives death and heartbreak, and the secrets they keep and how those secrets impact the following generations..  Switching between the 1950's and today to tell the story was brilliant, everyone gets to tell their own story.  A wonderful read.  Thank you Karen White.
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Dreams of Falling is a great book, it has everything you would want from a book. It's mysterious, intriguing,heartfelt and full of drama. I really loved how the plot weaved the past and present together. The friendships felt authentic and pure. I loved the girls connection, it was a great way to show that family isn't always who we are born to, its who we choose to love. Dream of falling was beautify written, full of excellent characters and has a storyline that pulls you immediately.
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 I so loved this book.  It is extremely well written, beautiful descriptive passages.  I may have to purchase this book to add to my library.  The author is seemless going back and forth between past and present.  Two stories for the price of one.  It shows the struggles all teenagers face, no matter the era.  

I would rate this book higher if I could.  Thanks to NetGalley and Great Thoughts Reading Ninja for this beautiful ARC.
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A mother lies in a coma in a hospital while her daughter uncovers secrets and friendships that were tested beyond the limit.  As the daughter uncovers secrets and those hiding the secrets realize the truths are going to be uncovered,  rights and wrongs blend together leaving readers wondering how far they would go for a friend and how far they would go to safeguard a secret.
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Writing: 3  Characters: 3 Plot: 4
Another Southern family drama from Karen White with some of her trademark characters: stubborn Larkin who leaves her home and moves to New York without a word to her best friends and family and stays away for 9 years until a family emergency calls her back; absent and broken hearted Ivy - Larkin’s mother; Ceecee and Bitty - best friends from childhood - who raised both Ivy and in many ways, Larkin. An old, classic, house that burned down in a tragic fire in 1954 and still holds secrets as to what actually happened on that night.

Two parallel narratives - one follows three young girls in 1951 (Ceecee, Bitty, and their beautiful and entitled friend Margaret) while the other follows Ceecee and Larkin in the present day (2010).  Although the characters are interesting and the plot twists unexpectedly, it is not one of White’s best works.  It reads like it was written quickly and could use another round of editing. Reactions are predictable, dialog is a little stilted, and I confess that I am getting a little tired of her stubborn, female leads who need to learn to love.  While there was a lot more going on in the Tradd street series, this one reads like a traditional romance.  So - not my favorite, but still an enjoyable read.
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I've been a big Karen White fan for a while now and her latest offering, DREAMS OF FALLING, does not disappoint. Fans of southern women's fiction, this is your beach read for the summer! White does a great job of portraying multi-dimensional characters the reader grows to care about and Larkin and Ivy are no exception. I especially liked how Larkin was forced to confront some issues and secrets about her family that she'd rather go on avoiding or ignoring. The setting here is the beautiful lowcounty and the reader feels immersed from the start. Larkin's forced trip back home uncovers long buried secrets and she finds herself on a fascinating and emotional journey, one the reader is privileged to join.
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Karen White wrote a story that's filled with Southern Charm, mystery, and love.  This multi-generational story tucks at your heart as the story of three young women weaves it's way threw their lives.  Along the way you learn of their courage, love, selflessness and perseverance.
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Karen White writes what I love about "southern fiction"; family, love, lies, and secrets. While I struggled with the moving between time periods, Karen weaves a story in such a way that it keeps me reading no matter what. Fans of Patti Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Monroe will most likely enjoy this one as well.
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Larkin left South Carolina for New York nine years ago, then her mother disappears so she must go home. When her mother is found in the wreckage of the family's plantation, Larkin must try to find out why she was there. Secrets, lies and friendship make this wonderful novel well well reading. I loved it!
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I first discovered the "Tradd Street" series by Karen White, which I love, and have gone on to read her other titles. This was another enjoyable novel by her!!
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SO thrilled to receive a ARC for Karen White!!
I thought I read all of her books, but I just saw a title I missed, so I am going to be buying that one to catch up!
I have loved every book- she has the ability to take me away through her books.

I read chapter 1 and I was HOOKED!!

Tree of Dreams-
holding ribbons with dreams since the Revolutionary and Civil War periods.
They considered the tree divine; carrying them through wars.
Like our mothers' saying- "Be careful what you wish for!"

Larkin left home years ago, and now back- she needs to catch up on the lives that continued while she was gone.  Lives don't stay frozen if we are gone or not there.  
An incident/accident with her mother forces her to deal with the past and with issues.

Her life of puzzle pieces will need to come together 
for the future she has always wished for.
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I love a book where you care about the characters and laugh with them and cry with them and want to shake them when they make questionable choices and Dreams of Falling is one of those books. It is a story of friendship and family and long kept secrets..Larkin has left South Carolina and her family and friends behind to make a quiet, safe life in New York City but when her mother disappears she returns home. At home she has to confront things about herself and her family that she is afraid to see. As she struggles to make sense of the past she discovers that she needs to open her eyes in order to move into her future. Larkin and her family and friends are characters that I invested in and when the book ended I wanted to know what happens next.
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Karen White is one of my favorite authors, I see one of her books and I just know I will enjoy it. Dreams of Falling is her latest, due out in June so mark your Goodreads list. Karen’s books always take place in the south which I love. Please transport me from where I am to somewhere new! Its one of my favorite things about reading, visiting new places, if only in my imagination.

There’s always a sympathetic main character and of course some kind of crisis. I can’t wait to see what Karen writes next. But for now, here’s what you need to know about  Dreams of Falling:

It’s been nine years since Larkin fled Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing never to go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she knows she has no choice but to return to the place that 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 in the burned-out wreckage of her family’s ancestral rice plantation, badly injured and unconscious. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly 50 years. Secrets that lead back to the past, to the friendship between three girls on the brink of womanhood who swore that they would be friends forever, but who found that vow tested in heartbreaking ways.
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Years ago, Larkin left the south for the city after a break with her  two best friends and family  but  is called home when her mother goes missing.  As Larkinfaces old memories, the many secrets in her life, and the people she thought she left permanently behind , she wonders if she’s strong enough to face her true self and others. But she’s not the only one. This story is about three generations of women, their friendships, their lives and their own secrets. A great read.
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Love a lowcountry novel and Karen White writes some of the best. Family secrets,old plantation house, and the pull of lowcountry living.
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