Contents of blog copyright Book Dragon's Lair 2009-2017
It's been an interesting year so far. I've lost both my Moms. My mother died in January after a long decline. Soon after, my Mother-in-Law went in for bypass surgery. While her heart healed, other issues zapped her strength and she died April 22.

I may have challenge update posts but I don't know when I'll be posting regularly or when I'll get to visit everyone who is working on the challenges I'm hosting.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Falling into the Sun

I have finished Falling into the Sun. Last time I posted, Kate had made an appointment with a psychologist. The psychologist asked that both parents and Josh be in attendance. Mitch, the husband/father, doesn't want to be bothered with taking time off of work. Later, an ER doctor asks why the two girls aren't in counseling. Good question.

Now, how to tell you just enough. This was a hard story to read but I still feel it is because mental illness runs in my family. Some of the things you may want to know about are... there are tales of abuse, incest and violence but also moments of great joy and insight. God is often referred to as Her. Many forms of spirituality are brought up but always respectfully. The neighbor who commits suicide remains a character throughout the book, most of the time he has his own chapter, he is always in italics.

There are three children, Josh is the oldest, he turns 12 during the story, then Reyna and Molly. Kate is a part-time university teacher and Mitch...I don't remember what Mitch does. Something that requires him to be there late and it becomes a resentment later.

I laughed when things went well and cried when Josh has a breakthrough. I cringed and put the book down when Josh has a fit. That's one reason it took so long to finish. I was truly afraid for Kate and the girls. Mitch would have fought back but he'd be the one in trouble since he's the adult. Josh has such sorrow after he's hurt Kate and then another time he says his sister is faking it, "it's not broken, just fractured". Never mind that it was a thumb, the hand was protecting the head, on the floor, when he kicked it.

Kate does have a support system but is embarrassed to tell her family. Her own father is an alcoholic and a mean one on top of that. Her mother dies when she was young but I don't remember how young or why/how she died. Her brother and sister live father away and have busy lives. She does have her pastor and Jean. There is a lot of love in the story to go along with the heartache.

Jean was her mother's best friend. Her Godmother. Jean stepped in to help with the kids because Kate's father worked 14-hour days. Jean was wonderful to read about. Calm, funny, spiritual, everyone needs a Jean in their life. There is so much to tell you about Jean and her relationship with Kate. One thing comes to mind but it's a spoiler, let's just say that afterwards, I put the book down and thought, "Yes, perfect. That's exactly right." And quickly read some more to find out what was next.

At one point the family is on their way to the beach when Josh has one of his flare-ups (after having one before they left) and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Once the happy mood of the trip is gone, Molly, such a sweet and happy child, asks, "Did Josh break the day?"

After they come home from the beach, Josh escapes into the piano. He's wonderfully talented but doesn't like to follow a strict teaching schedule, nor does he practice. (That's a clue if your interested) Josh goes into Kate's room and they have a heart to heart that leads to the following conversation....

"...words have power and they can hurt. We all have to be more careful how we speak to one another."

He leans his head on her shoulder. "I love you, Mom."

"I love you too, honey."

"Will you do me a favor?"

"What?"

"When you're disciplining me, will you remind me it's because you love me?"

A needle pricks Kate's heart. "Yes," she says softly. "And I'll remind myself too." (page 130)


How can you not love the guy? The problem is his mood swings. He's disrespectful, threatening, violent, has a filthy mouth and I feel is a genuine threat to the family. I kept waiting for the next ER trip, knowing it was just around the corner.

This is a beautifully written story about a women's search for perfection. Her drive to take all the blame, her need to have it be her fault so she can fix it. Kate searches her life for where she went wrong, almost missing where she went right. Finding patience, hope, love and understanding. We get to see the struggle between husband and wife, mother and child, mother and father. We follow along through different doctors, different medications, different diagnosis. The frustration and joy is all there.

An interesting thing is that Michael, the neighbor, also searches and we get to go along for the ride. I loved his chapters after the suicide.

Is there an ending? Well, let's just say I cried. (and still tear up when I think about it)

I am extremely please to have read the book and would rate it a four. I just don't know if I could read it again.

Available at Amazon.com - this links with my Associate account.
Also available at The Book Depository.com



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Title: Falling into the Sun
Author: Charrie Hazard
Publisher: Spoonbill Cove Press
Release Date: July 15, 2009
format: Trade paperback
pages: 363
source: Amy Currie, Senior Publicist at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists*

from the publisher
In Falling into the Sun, Kate Nardek's life is forever changed the day she stumbles upon a neighbor's gruesome suicide. Haunted afterward by his dark presence, she realizes it's time to seek psychological help for her teenage son's increasingly violent behavior before he meets the same fate. In her quest to conquer his demons, Kate must also confront her dream-stifling self-criticism, a legacy of her father's alcoholism, and trust in the joyful, creative, compassionate energy that infuses all things. An uplifting and poetically-written story combining elements of spirituality, philosophy, psychology and family dynamics, Falling into the Sun is a personal work based in part on the author's own experiences.


*Amy sent me the book, free of charge, with no expectations other than an honest review. No other compensation changed hands.

3 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review. I haven't heard of this book before.

Heather Zundel said...

Fantastic review. You did such an excellent job of describing it.

Alice Teh said...

Great job on the review! I haven't head of this book but it sure sounds like a good read.

Disclaimer

In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Book Dragon's Lair. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won in some kind of contest, or received in exchange for an honest review.