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 email@example.com. I will be sending the list to Harper on Monday AM.
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.