Tag Archives: while i’m falling

WHILE I’M FALLING by Laura Moriarty

First, a quick reminder that there are only a few spaces left for the EDIWTB book club for Stiltsville, by Susanna Daniel. (Read more about the book here.) If you'd like to sign up, send me an email ASAP to gweiswasser@gmail.com. I will be sending the list to Harper on Monday AM.

Moriarty And now back to regular programming. I just finished While I'm Falling, by Laura Moriarty. I was in the mood for something lighter than my usual depressing fare, and this fit the bill. While I'm Falling is about the breakup of the Von Holten family – sisters Veronica and Elise and their parents Dan and Natalie. When Dan and Natalie decide to divorce, Natalie loses her financial security, just at the same time that Veronica is facing her own crisis of confidence in college. The two spiral downward at the same time, culminating in the two women turning to each other in a time of mutual desperation and ultimately learning more about themselves and each other.

I liked Moriarty's precise and detailed writing, and her satisfying portrayal of the interior lives of her characters. She has a keen eye for detail, and the sitations she depicted were realistic and relatable. I am not usually a fan of endings, but this one was fine for me – her characters grew and found themselves in a better spot, without unnecessary flourishes or outlandish plot turns. I especially liked what Moriarty had to say about motherhood and identity, especially when one's children have grown.

I found a temporary narration change two-thirds of the way through the book a bit jarring, when the book went from first-person Veronica to the third person, focused on Natalie. I understand why Moriarty did it – she needed to get inside Natalie's head to thoughts and memories to which Veronica would not be privy. But it took some getting used to.

I also found Veronica a bit frustrating in the middle of the book, as she made repeated bad decisions that seemed unrealistic after a while – it was hard to see someone messing up that badly, on so many fronts, all at once. (Though I do see where the title of the book comes from…).

I switched back and forth between the audio and print of While I'm Falling. The narration on audio was servicable, but not particularly compelling. I liked the voice of Natalie better than that of Veronica, who seemed too indifferent. Overall, I preferred the print version.

While I'm Falling was an enjoyable read, especially as a break between some heavier fare. I'd be interested to read more from Moriarty.


WHILE I’M FALLING by Laura Moriarty

I read about While I'm Falling, by Laura Moriarty, in the August Indie Next List newsletter. The blurb: "While I'm Falling is a gripping story of what happens to good people blindsided by unforeseen circumstances of divorce and financial insecurity. Like the best writers of suspense, Laura Moriarty keeps the reader engaged with her vulnerable and heroic characters as she exquisitely mines the murky terrain of families and people in crisis and recovery." 

From Amazon:

Moriarty Moriarty exposes the underbelly of family strife in this coming-of-age
college drama set near Lawrence, Kans. One day, Veronica Von Holten is
happy, med-school bound, in love with her boyfriend and not far from
her supportive family. Then her father finds another man in the bed he
shares with his wife of 26 years. As a messy divorce ensues, Veronica
struggles to keep her own life in check while her mother's unravels,
and a car accident, a house-sitting gig gone bad and an illicit kiss
turn Veronica's personal life upside down. Things come to a head when
her mother shows up on Veronica's dorm doorstep with the elderly family
dog, Bowzer. Veronica is faced with the difficult task of navigating
personal strife on top of her family's struggle to define itself anew.
Moriarty delves into this realistic but
narrow world with an inviting honesty and creates a cast of vivid and
flawed characters that will hold readers rapt with a queasy sense of

I've read a bunch of positive reviews of this book, one that compared Moriarty to Jodi Picoult, and one that called the book boring. I can't decide if it's worth pursuing or not. Also, is it YA or literary fiction? (Does it matter?)

Would love to know if anyone has read this and can weigh in..