By: Karen White

Published: June 5, 2018

Publisher: Berkley

Historical Fiction/Southern Fiction

Three young women growing up in South Carolina in the 1950’s become the best of friends. Margaret has everything she will ever want or need and lives on a family plantation. Ceecee is a preacher’s daughter and had a strict upbringing. Bitty is the rebel of the three. After graduation, they lie to their parents and take off for a girl’s weekend in Myrtle Beach where everything about their future and their friendships changes forever. But, that’s only part of the story. White weaves her story of secrets, friendships, and loyalty by taking us back to the 1950’s and bringing the reader up to date in the present. Larkin, the granddaughter of Margaret, has been forced to return home from NYC. Her mother, Ivy, has had an accident. Larkin hasn’t been home for nine years and had no plans of returning. What made her run away is one of the many secrets for the reader to draw out of the pages.

I have read White’s books in the past and while I really loved this one, I have to admit that I kept getting confused with the characters and their connections. It nearly took me half of the book to be able to keep everyone straight. I think part of it is that Ceecee, Ivy, and Larkin are not related, but Ceecee raised both of them. So, keeping the family lines straight and how everyone was connected took a bit of concentration. Then when a new character is introduced you have to rethink everyone’s relationship again.

The book is told from three character’s perspectives, Ceecee (both present day and in 1951), Ivy (in her comatose state), and Larkin. Larkin has been kept in the dark most of her life but is that because she wasn’t told things or had never asked? The reader learns early on that there was a fire and while Margaret died in that fire, Ceecee and two-year-old Ivy were saved. The novel leads up to this day and reveals secrets kept between friends that maybe didn’t need to be kept a secret at all. It isn’t so much a mystery as the reader can kind of assume what the story is leading up to. But, White’s writing will keep the reader interested anyway. Her style is warm and comforting and you easily want to be surrounded by the lure of the marsh, the purple martins, the home-cooked casseroles, and Gabriel’s ice cream shop. The friendship created by the three women is stronger than most families and between the drama, a little romance, and the promises held between friends, you will want to keep reading.

The book easily flows between the present and the past and that to me was the best part of the story. Reliving the early days of Margaret, Ceecee, and Bitty’s friendship and the pivotal week at Myrtle Beach was a fun trip back in time. If you can get through the beginning and the task of keeping the characters straight, you will find yourself transported to a Southern plantation and the dreams of love and happiness between friends.

Favorite Quote:

A thick crackling sound came from inside her chest, 
like that of stepping on a frozen puddle
in the middle of winter and shattering its surface. 
She felt suspended in time, somehow, 
as if this all weren’t happening, 
or had already happened to someone else. 

Karen White – source

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty previous books. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.  For more on White, check out her website, HERE. You can also find her frequently posting updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

To purchase a copy of DREAMS OF FALLING, click the photo below:

Other books by Karen White that I’ve reviewed:

Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

The Forgotten Room

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 

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