Find Me Falling

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Member Reviews

You know those books that people either love or hate? There’s no in-between? Yeah, this one belongs in that category, I believe and I am still not sure which side I chose. This book is written so beautifully, I just wish I could understand why then it was so hard to get into.

This is the story of Bonnie, a concert pianist and Dominic, a street cleaner set on West Island (affectionately called Waste Island). Both of them are damaged in their own way emotionally. Bonnie is filled with loss and Dominic is with his illness. They are both outsiders in their own way and them getting together only heals a little bit of their hurts but nothing good lasts forever.

The book happens like a dream you are having while awake. There’s no proper direction to the plot and there’s so much happening that doesn’t feel real. It has magic, not the usual kind, it’s more of a feeling of magic than the actual thing and it really took some time for me to get that. The confusing narrative along with the descriptions overwrought with adjectives and metaphors didn’t work for me in the end.

The basic plot was pretty wonderful but the execution left something to be desired for me. I am still not sure how to rate this one because on one hand, the language used it wonderful but the effect of that language and the plot overall doesn’t work together? So, I gave it a safe three stars because I have a feeling this one might be the victim of ‘It’s not you, it’s me’.
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‘This is Ariosto’s lunar land, where everything lost on earth comes to rest just because it can’t go any further.’

Set on a bleakly depressing island just off England’s coast, connected by a causeway that often floods, this is the tale of Bonnie and Austin, and their son Finbar, and of Dominic, the local street sweeper. Bonnie endured a difficult, traumatic childbirth with her son and ever since has been unable to continue with her career as concert pianist. They come to the island, having bought the enigmatic and isolated cliff-top house called Concordia, to recover as a family and to help Bonnie rediscover her music. Dominic, we learn, used to be an architectural draughtsman but has developed epilepsy and is prone to fits and blackouts and struggles to provide for his wife (a nurse) and large family. It’s all pretty cheery then, so far….

Without giving too many spoilers, the book starts to develop into a very dark tale of obsession, neurological trauma, family crises and violence. Still cheery, then.

It read to me something of a mash-up of ‘The Piano’ meets ‘Psycho’ meets ‘Lady Chatterley’ meets ‘Fatal Attraction’, and whilst I thought the book was decently written it all screamed ‘first novel’ to me. The author just throws *everything* into the plot: everything is so dark, the two main protagonists are so emotionally damaged, the descriptions are so intense that it all just needed to be pared back. Sometimes less is more, and while I feel Marshall could develop into an excellent writer, more often than not her sentences just don’t seem to know how to stop. The epilepsy motif is fascinating, and the book at times hovers in an ethereal half-world where we are not sure if this is real or imagined, and the scene setting – if a little bit laboured (haunted house on top of a hill, island, storms, and so on) – lends to the overall atmosphere of the piece. As the obsession gets darker, it inevitably leads to a violent and tragic outcome.

First novels, and smaller publishers like Fairlight Books, are to be encouraged. They are the life blood of the publishing industry, and I applaud the efforts behind this novel. For me, it just needed a good editor to make some bold decisions, and for the author to hold something back, to allow the reader to use their imagination more. The story is involving, definitely, but the characters are a little too stereotyped to be little  more than figures placed against a backdrop. Marshall can write very well, and some of her descriptions are beautifully unsettling, so I will definitely be watching her career develop with interest. An intriguing, challenging read this, but slightly let down by other factors, I feel. 

(With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of the book.)
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Atmospheric and lyrical writing style, makes for a dream-like state novel that fuses reality and fantasy not only as far as the plot is concerned but also in regards to the structure itself.
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Unique story, beautifully written. But sometimes, I didn't really enjoy this book. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC.
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The writing is beautiful. It is lyrical, enchanting and dreamy. Unfortunately, that is also its downfall as it makes it difficult to distinguish between fantasy and reality in the story.  I think I was about a third of the way through when I had a moment of clarity and realised, 'oh that wasn't a dream sequence' and was horrified to realise the beautiful words were a smokescreen to an extremely destructive and toxic relationship... after that, you're just waiting for the inevitable fall.
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This book captured me from the beginning to the end. It is filled with interesting but different characters. 
The authors unique writing style can be hard to understand at times and has the ability to lose you occasionally.
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I utterly loathed this book. It's cynical and perpetuates offensive models of disability and mental illness. It's characters and their actions are devoid of humanity. The author's attempt at writing a Gothic work is superficial and ultimately boring. 

A woman musician gives birth prematurely; after the birth she is somehow disabled and cannot read or write or play or do much of anything, but of course her disability is somehow Gothic and magic and nothing helps except for perhaps retreating from society and trying to become a human ghost, which would be fine if the author actually addressed depression and other disabilities but she doesn't, so that is a major problem with the book.. The musician and her husband and child move to a grand house overlooking the sea, where she and her spouse cannot communicate with each other, do not seem to care at all for each other or for their child, and do not seem to understand how to be human beings in any sense of that word. The woman wanders the area. Her husband is angry at her because she can't fix herself. She meeds an enigmatic and manipulative street-sweeper. Her husband presses her for a second child. She has an affair with the street-sweeper. There are ghosts in the house. Everyone is emotionally abusive to everyone else. Some people will love this book. I feel bad for their partners and kids.
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Thanks to Fairlight Books for the ARC! 

The author has a very particular writing style. English isn't my first language, so it was hard for me. Little by little, I got tired and lost all the joy. It's not a bad book, but I guess I'm not ready for it. Maybe I'll give it another try in the future. 

But I must say, the whole concept was very interesting. And the cover is absolutely beautiful.
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What did I just read?! A whirlpool of disappointment, passion, betrayal and mental illness...beautifully written, but terribly confusing at time.
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I know a lot of people loved this book. But the writing style didn’t work for me. But I muddled through and in the end quite enjoyed this haunting tale.
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A very intriguing read that draws you in immediately. The house and the sea are alive and nothing else can quite compare to them. I would recommend this title to others
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Lyrically written haunting atmospheric a book that draws you in draws you to the myth of the sea.envelops you and takes you out of your world into your imagination. #netgalley #findmefalling#Fairlightbooks.
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