The three have moved on without even a backward glance - or have they?
Pen is now a single mother to 5 year old Augusta. Her relationship with her ex is complicated and she currently lives with her brother. She is also still grieving following the death of her father. Will has dealt with some complicated family issues of his own but he seems to have managed to get his life and relationships relatively in order and has a successful career. And Cat, well, as far as they know Cat is happily married.
Six years after they last saw each other, Pen and Will receive an email from Cat urging them to attend their college reunion because she needs them. Despite the conflicted emotions that they each feel at the thought of seeing each other again, there is never any real doubt that they will go. What should have been a simple reunion turns out to be anything but rather sends the friends on an journey that has them confronting the past, the present and the future and a physical journey that takes them halfway around the world with an unlikely ally.
Marisa de los Santos is one of a group of authors that I savour as they are kind of like chocolate to me. The writing is smooth and creamy and I just want to sit there and devour the whole book in one go if I could. Other authors I think of in this way include Susanna Kearsley, Deanna Raybourn and Robyn Carr - for starters anyway!. I loved both of this author's previous books (Belong to Me and Love Walked In) and once again I was mostly lost in the characters and the writing. Note the word mostly though. This book unfortunately suffered a little big from a saggy middle (something that never happens with chocolate) and I wasn't convinced about the need for the dramatic confrontation between two of the characters just before the end. It was all a little melodramatic.
Having said that, I loved the underlying themes in this book - about choosing to keep the people in your life even if you can't physically be together, about love and friendship, about moving on. Yes, they are relatively common themes in contemporary fiction, but there are plenty of common themes that I am happy to read about repeatedly when they are written well with strong characters.
One particular aspect I did like a lot was that the author was able to move the action to the Philippines. The descriptions were so vivid, I found myself wishing that I was on the beach, or sitting chatting with the fabulous Lolas. The food, the exotic landscape all came to life effortlessly off the page.
If you were to ask me where to start with Marisa de los Santos then I would recommend her first two books, but this book satisfied my internal craving for more of her writing. I will be looking forward to news of her next book. Maybe this time it won't take me quite so long to actually get around to reading it!
What would you do if an old friend needed you, but it meant turning your new life upside down? Pen, Will, and Cat met during the first week of their first year of college and struck up a remarkable friendship, one that sustained them and shaped them for years – until it ended abruptly, and they went their separate ways. Now, six years later, Pen is the single mother of a five-year-old girl, living with her older brother in Philadelphia and trying to make peace with the sudden death of her father. Even though she feels deserted by Will and Cat, she has never stopped wanting them back in her life, so when she receives an email from a desperate-sounding Cat asking her to meet her at their upcoming college reunion, Pen goes. What happens there sends past and present colliding and sends Pen and her friends on a journey across the world, a journey that will change everything.
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Thanks to the TLC Book Tours I am giving away one copy of the newly released paperback edition of Falling Together. To enter complete the form (link below).