Friday, October 05, 2012

Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos (includes international giveaway)

When Pen met Cat and Will in her first week of college there was an instant connection. Little did she know that it would become of one of the most important relationships in her life! The three became practically inseparable (not a threesome because it wasn't a sexual relationship but rather a 'triumvarate'). Whilst they were very open with each other, their closeness also meant that it was hard to let other people in at times. After such intensity that lasted through their college years, the hole that was left behind when that friendship fell apart could only ever be papered over but the underlying wound was still really gaping.

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.

If there was one character that was less well developed in this book it was Cat. Part of that is understandable given her role in the story but I don't feel like I quite understood the whys of Cat - why did she behave the way she did? Why did people let her? Why.. well, there are plenty of other whys to be discovered in the book.

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!

Rating 4/5


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.

Tour Details

Tour Schedule
Marisa de los Santos on Facebook

Giveaway Details

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).

Giveaway closes on 14 October 2012.


  1. I loved the Philippines section, too - so beautifully written!

    1. It definitely made me want to go and visit!

  2. An author that you savor like chocolate?! Gotta love that!

    Thanks for being on the tour Marg!

    1. Indeed!

      Thanks for having me on the tour.

  3. I haven't heard of the author or the book until now but I really like the idea of friends being reunited, I think that's something most people can relate to.

    And I haven't read any of Sarah Strohmeyer's other books but I will have to track them down now!

    1. I would definitely recommend Belong to Me and Love Walked In, read in that order.

  4. I haven't read any of de los Santos' work yet - but I keep hearing good things!

    1. I hope you get a chance to read her at some stage.

  5. I've been wanting to read this, I really liked Belong To me and Love Walked In

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. This is a new author for me. Sounds like a book I would enjoy.

    1. I hope you get a chance to try her books.

  7. Following the TLC tour :) It took me almost a week to read this book because I was reading each page slowly and savoring all the beautiful imagery and elaborate descriptions it provided. I'm so glad you enjoyed Falling Together too!

    Ana @ BookSpark



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