My sister-in-love recommended this author to me, and we read this particular book nearly concurrently. As I write this, I have just finished the book and she has just begun and it's driving me INSANE because I want to talk talk talk about it with her but she's not done yet and I don't want to give her any spoilers! Such an absolutely fantastic book. I'm fangirling pretty hard over this new-to-me author and have already recommended her to my mother-in-love.
Falling Together is about Pen, Cat, and Will. In college, they were a totally dynamic trio. They were all the same major and they went nearly everywhere together and they just clicked together so perfectly that it was almost off-putting to others. At one point the author describes, through another character, their mode of communication: they were were so in-sync with each other that shortened phrases, words, would ricochet between them. It was like listening to conversational bumper cars. When college ends and Cat gets engaged, the three break off their friendship 100%, cold turkey. Pen and Will agree that they wouldn't know how to be friends with just each other, without Cat, and for reasons explained in the book, they know that they can't expand their friendship to include Cat's husband. Fast forward six years. A lot has changed in each of their lives, but Cat has just emailed Pen and Will for the first time since college. She wants them all to meet up at their college reunion, and she desperately needs their help. From the book jacket: "But instead of happy reconciliation, what awaits is a collision of past and present that sends Pen and Will, with Pen's five-year-old daughter and Cat's hostile husband in tow, on a journey across the world." Literally! No spoilers, but they really do literally travel across the world. I love books that take me on a trip!
Falling Together has so much going for it. The author is a great writer; the sentences flow very naturally and easily, and convey so much emotion in so few words. I tore through this book in just a few days. I also totally identified with multiple characters, in different ways. Occasionally a character would make an observation or have an epiphany and I'd go "Oh! Me too! I hadn't ever thought of it that way..." All of the characters were very human, quite imperfect, but you will love them all the more for that. At one point Pen, Will, and Jason are asked whether or not Cat would want them to find her and they have to actually think about it. I don't blame them. They're not bad people, but are they good enough?
A slight tangent, but I wonder if this book resonated with me a little more than it might for others, because I was also part of a tight trio in college. My roommate, Ali, and I had a close friend, Sean, with whom we did nearly all of the freshman "things." We were all the same major, we all lived in the same dorm building, we went to our first frat party together, we studied together, we ate together. Sean and I were from the same hometown, and a couple of times he drove me to and from. However, when Sean and I changed majors and Ali became a resident advisor for a different building, we all fell apart. I wonder if it'd be easy to fall back together, like the characters in this book.
Back to the book, to the ending (no spoilers): I liked the ending. I think it's one of those endings that could make some readers really frustrated, or that some people may not like, but I agreed with it. There was one last rollercoaster ride in the last three chapters, but then we sailed smoothly out the other side. It is a decently tidy wrap-up, but not so tidy as to be unbelievable.
*I received my copy of Falling Together from my public library.