Dreams of Falling by Karen White

Review copy courtesy of Berkley and NetGalley


On the banks of the North Santee River stands a moss-draped oak that was once entrusted with the dreams of three young girls. Into the tree’s trunk, they placed their greatest hopes, written on ribbons, for safekeeping–including the most important one: Friends forever, come what may.

But life can waylay the best of intentions….

Nine years ago, a humiliated Larkin Lanier fled Georgetown, South Carolina, knowing she could never go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she realizes she has no choice but to return to the place she both loves and dreads–and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home.

Ivy, Larkin’s mother, is discovered badly injured and unconscious in the burned-out wreckage of her ancestral plantation home. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly fifty years–whispers of love, sacrifice, and betrayal–that lead back to three girls on the brink of womanhood who found their friendship tested in the most heartbreaking ways. (publisher)

My take:  Dreams of Falling is told via dual timelines moving from the 1950s to 2010. Karen White’s story is one of friendship and love that changed the lives of all involved – including future generations. The novel has a sultry setting replete with the humid, salty air of coastal Carolina, a town where everyone “knew you when…”, and secrets. Lots of secrets. It’s a time of transition for the three friends who are ready to burst forth on the world having just graduated from high school. They (and the future generations) will discover how strong they can be. They’ll find that in order to survive their mistakes they’ll “have to learn to live with their choices”. Falling isn’t necessarily bad if there’s someone there to catch you. And that someone might not be who you’d expect. I enjoyed this novel but there were times when I was confused about the generational relationships. That took me out of the story at times – but I’m not sure it would for other readers. So I’ll recommend it – especially to fans of southern fiction and Karen White.


11 thoughts on “Dreams of Falling by Karen White

  1. Yes Elizabeth from Silver Reviews said the same about the confusion so when I get to read this book I intend to sit there with pencil and paper because my brain won’t cope. However I’m in line at the library so not sure when that will be!


  2. That generational confusion is one of my biggest pet peeves if they are going to plot a book out like that. The cover is very provocative, first glance makes me think it is a body!


  3. A very enjoyable read.

    What a terrific review, Mary.

    I too, as you know, was confused about the generations, but it all worked out since the book was another great read by Karen White.

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. I love this author, and I’ve been waiting for this one…and finally downloaded it on Tuesday. I always have my notebook handy to write down characters and their relationships to one another. Very few books allow me to just read, without taking notes. But I am used to it now.

    Thanks for sharing…can’t wait to start reading it.


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