Thursday, November 13, 2014

Falling Under by Danielle Younge-Ullman

I read Falling Under by Danielle Younge-Ullman at the very beginning of the year.  It was one of these hidden treasures that the randomizer rescued from the depths of my bookshelves that I really ended up liking.  Unfortunately, this validates that "I should give this a chance" point of view that keeps lots of books on my shelves taking up space for way, way too long.  Anyhow, it's been a while, so I don't actually remember it that well, but let me take a stab at some thoughts anyway.

Love triangles. We love them, we hate them. Falling Under has one, and it's a doozy. Mara Foster is a troubled artist, making a career of producing stock paintings of geometric designs to decorate peoples' offices. She used to paint other things, but other things awaken her emotions, and she's decided that her emotions are better off stifled. Mara is riddled with fears and anxieties that plague her whenever she dares to leave the safe confines of her house. Her parents' acrimonious divorce left a profound mark on her that leaves her terrified to love, so when she meets Hugo and dares to imagine a normal life with a normal guy, it threatens to undo her. Soon, she's painting for real and all that real painting is bringing the demons of her past close to the surface. She flees instead to Erik, the bad boy with baggage, the one she has plenty in common with, including a desire to eschew love for sex that will chase those demons away for a night.

Younge-Ullman, according to the author bio, is also a playwright and it shows. Falling Under is filled with fast flowing, excellent dialogue. Mara's past is brought to light in the immediacy of second person narration and easily draws readers' sympathies. There's a plot twist that actually surprises and supporting characters that fill out Mara's story while being their own people. I even liked the love triangle. It was so believable and viable that even I couldn't choose a guy for Mara. As far as I know, this is the only novel Younge-Ullman has written, but I hope she writes another, because I'd definitely be interested in reading more from her.

Miraculously, he loves you back. Though you're not quite sure he would if he really knew you, if he
knew the things you've done and the family you have and the sad, dark, panicky places that come out and haunt you at night. He would never understand how being happy makes you sad. How the happier you are the more you know the sky is about to explode into tiny, sparkling shards of glass that will pick up speed as they fall to the earth and slice right through you leaving your skin with little holes in it, leaving your heart bleeding.

(No disclaimer required for this one, either.  I'm pretty sure I won it from another blogger.  I can't remember who, but thanks who ever you were, it was excellent reading!)

1 comment:

  1. I do like love triangles in books and movies but not in real life. I'm glad you enjoyed this!