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Falling Together: A Novel

Falling Together: A Novel

Escrito por Marisa de los Santos

Narrado por Julia Gibson


Falling Together: A Novel

Escrito por Marisa de los Santos

Narrado por Julia Gibson

valoraciones:
3.5/5 (43 valoraciones)
Longitud:
14 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Oct 4, 2011
ISBN:
9780062099709
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descripción

What if saying hello to an old friend meant saying good-bye to life as you know it?

It’s been six years since Pen Calloway watched her best friends walk out of her life. And through the birth of her daughter, the death of her father, and the vicissitudes of single motherhood, she has never stopped missing them.

Pen, Cat, and Will met on their first day of college and formed what seemed like a magical and lifelong bond, only to see their friendship break apart amid the realities of adulthood. When, after years of silence, Cat – the bewitching, charismatic center of their group – e-mails Pen and Will with an urgent request to meet at their college reunion, they can’t refuse. But instead of a 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.

With her trademark wit, vivid prose, and gift for creating authentic, captivating characters, Marisa de los Santos returns with an emotionally resonant novel about our deepest human connections. As Pen and Will struggle to uncover the truth about Cat, they find more than they bargained for: startling truths about who they were before and who they are now. They must confront the reasons their friendship fell apart and discover how – and if – it can ever fall back together.

A HarperAudio production.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Oct 4, 2011
ISBN:
9780062099709
Formato:
Audiolibro

También disponible como...

También disponible como libroLibro


Sobre el autor

Marisa de los Santos is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning poet with a PhD in literature and creative writing. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family.


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  • (4/5)
    Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

    Under a misapprehension that Falling Together would deal with the same characters as Marisa de los Santos' prior books (because I fail to read blurbs most of the time), I read the one I hadn't yet gotten to, Belong to Me, last week. Now, Falling Together actually has nothing to do with the prior two, but I'm glad for the mistake, because I love Marisa's writing and who can regret an error that results in more joyous reading? While Falling Together did not touch my heart the same way Love Walked In and Belong to Me did, it is still a marvelous, beautiful, thoughtful novel on the nature of love, friendship and family.

    So far all of Marisa's novels have had friendship, the sort of long-lasting kind that is more important than family even, the friends that become your family and part of your heart forever, at the core. While romance certainly enters into her plot lines, I would argue that it's not even close to being the most important thing thematically. Before love, friendship.

    In Falling Together, the friends in question met and promptly became inseparable in college. They had that sort of instantaneous kinship, obvious kindred spirits. Stories of powerful, enduring friendship perhaps affect me more emotionally than all of those romances that make me swoon, because I can identify with those feelings. I've come across people like that, who were so obviously intended to be a part of my life, whether or not I believe in fate or god or preordination. Some people just seem to belong with you. Plus, friendship as a theme generally takes a back seat to romance, so it's always a refreshing read.

    Cat, Will and Pen were like this. Trios are rough to maintain, because usually two of the three generally get along slightly better than the third. These three make it work...for a while anyway. After college, they live together in an apartment in Philly, but, eventually, Cat tires of their exclusive circle. She wants to marry and start a new life, and feels unable to do that with Will and Pen still in it. They are too protective of her, too judgmental of her suitors (the 'rump slap' bit was my favorite part!). Left alone, without the hub of their social group, Pen and Will eventually separate, all three agreeing not to communicate in any way anymore, preferring to keep their memories of one another pristine.

    The catalyst for the journey of the novel comes with a mysterioug email from Cat, the first contact in six years, telling Pen she needs her and will hopefully see her at their college reunion. Unable to pass up the chance to see one of the people missing from her soul for all this time, Cat goes, and discovers that nothing was quite what she thought. Her journey leads to surprising places. There's romance that I found quite touching, and parts that broke my heart. There is even a charming child. I give Marisa de los Santos full credit for having written three books with children as main characters, and having made me like all of them. This one wasn't even a teen, but she still was pretty adorable.

    This book took me a while to get through, though, because up until Pen goes to the reunion, I was rather bored. Pen does a lot of sitting around and feeling pathetic, which I can sympathize with but it still didn't interest me. There are also a lot of extended flashbacks, which messed with the tempo as well. I feel like this might have been stronger if it started in college and then jumped to the future where they're not together, rather than flashing back. The pacing was just off.

    I also, personally, feel like the story might have benefited from first person narration, rather than third person limited. Pen would undoubtedly have a really powerful voice, and I'm sure I would have liked her, but I felt somewhat removed from her as it was, though perhaps that too is because of the pacing.

    Marisa de los Santos has become one of my favorite authors. While this one might not shine quite so brightly, it's still powerful and beautiful, and one I expect I shall revisit sometime in the future.
  • (4/5)
    Falling Together is a touching story about friendship, family, love, and the bonds that keep people together across physical distance and even after death. Above all, it is a story about love. Love wins, love lasts, as one character puts it "Love is an imperative." It also features wonderful, humorous dialogue that helps to paint the picture of people who have known each other forever, know all the others' stories and the in-jokes, and can follow each other's train of thought no matter what. It is one of the best books by an author previously unfamiliar to me that I have read in a long time.I received this book as a free ARC from the publisher.
  • (3/5)
    This book contains some beautiful passages like "...sometimes there is nothing to do but surrender yourself to wonder." Even so I never bought into the story itself: a trio of close friends meeting up at their 10th college reunion then two of them undertaking a search across the world for the third with a four year old child and a distraught husband in tow. Despite the poetry of Marisa's language, I didn't connect with the main characters. I liked her previous novels much better than this one.
  • (5/5)
    Loved, loved, loved it!
  • (2/5)
    It had been six years since their friendship fell apart and each went their own way. So it was surprising when Cat's email arrived requesting Pen and Will to attend their college reunion. She said she would see them there, that she needed them and she was sorry. Reunited at the reunion, Pen and Will wait for Cat's arrival, which doesn't happen. They spend their time re-living their conversations, picking up some where they left off, going over the reasons for the break up and finally deciding to search for Cat. The book was mainly conversations, some important and some trivial. But very little else. And truth be told, I didn't care. The conversations were uninteresting. I took the book on a long drive for Thanksgiving, but preferred to listen to a book on my MP3 player. I started to read another book which captured my attention. I haven't returned to this book--I don't know if I ever will.
  • (5/5)
    I have a new "Among My Favorites" authors, and it is Marisa de los Santos! Falling Together is a multi-layered story of love, loss and friendship that had me hooked from the first chapter, and the ending was anything but a foregone conclusion...guess one could say that about the middle of it too!!Three college freshmen meet the first week of school and wind up forging deep friendships that seem destined to last forever. But shortly after graduation they separate, with adamant declarations that they will not reconnect. Complete separation is infinitely better than shifting to occasional and shallow contact from separate parts of the country, at least according to Cat Ocampo. Six years later two of the three, Pen Calloway and Will Wadsworth, received a terse email from Cat, the third member of their circle of friendship. "I need you," was all she had to say, but she added, "I'm sorry for everything." Pen and Will return separately to the reunion, longing to renew their friendships, but not knowing how the others would respond. Pen is now a single mother of a 5 year old, living with her older brother, and working peripherally in the book industry but there is not much question about whether she will go to the reunion. Will is single and making a living as a children's author, and like Pen, is assaulted with memories of the friendship and the final parting. He knows he will go as well.It is a most unusual reunion, and in almost no time at all Pen is on her way around the world, along with her child and her friends, to solve a mystery and find a friend who sorely needs them. Along the way, the author fills in the back story of her exquisitely drawn characters. Flawed but charming people, even the obnoxious ones are redeemable in the author's capable hands. I highly recommend a good story, a sweet romance, and a tribute to the power of family and the importance of forgiveness, all wrapped up in one un-put-downable book! Check it out!
  • (4/5)
    Pen and Will and Cat were inseperable in college, then they weren't friends at all. This is a story of friendship, of family, of love.
  • (4/5)
    Loved the dialogue and relationship between the three main characters.
  • (3/5)
    Three formerly inseparable friends at the heart of a novel? Great. Travels to the Philippines? Cool. This book? Boring.

    I would recommend this book if you have some time you need to waste, because it is just entertaining enough to get you through something like a plane ride, but no more. It has 3 spots that could have been the end, but the author dragged it on for a little more unnecessary drama. Throughout most of the book, discussion was about how much everyone missed this one character, but when we finally met her, she was completely one-dimensional and a huge disappointment. There were some good parts, but overall I wasn't moved.
  • (5/5)

    Wonderful.  I am such a fan of this author.  Lots for a book club to discuss - but maybe not, in a way.  That is to say, while reading I kept wondering is that the right choice to make?" and "would I do that?" and "do I still like that character?" but by the end I realized that the author really knows people, especially her characters, and everything they do (even when they frustrate or disappoint me) is exactly right for them.

    There are a couple of interesting things I can't say w/out spoilers, but I have to hide them because this is, in a way, a mystery, and I do want you to read the book.  So, no peeking yet!  I almost want to visit the Philippines now, and will definitely make Philippine-style empanadas very soon.  The descriptions of jeepneys, Chocolate Hills, snorkeling, etc. also sound intriguing. I thought, all along, that Cat somehow arranged the drama to provoke Will and Pen to get together.  I was disappointed to learn that she really is so self-centered, and so chicken-shit, that she didn't care enough to talk to anybody before she tried to disappear.  The love they all still have for her is a kind of love I, personally, cannot understand.  It seems to me that, since Sam is right and they did baby her, that they do not really know her.  After all, they did only know college girl her, not grown-up her - so what they love is a memory of a part of her.  Elsewhere Pen unquestionably claims that ppl don't fall out of love, but rather realize they didn't love in the first place.

    There are some interesting theories about love in this book.  Other ppl besides the MCs are dealing with romantic love, also there's friendship, and parental love, and love for a parent that is or is not conditional on the parent being sane/ non-abusive / present....  I'm not sure *I* feel simpatico with all them, but I sure do appreciate the author & characters giving me different perspectives to mull over:

    "`What will I do if she leaves me?'
    The answer was so clear, so obvious that [she] had to fight to keep the impatience out of her voice.
    `You'll love someone else.`"

    Also, there's beautiful writing,  including just some great lines:

    "[He] shut his eyes, overcome by nostalgia for the days when a phone receiver was substantial enough to effectively bang across your forehead."

    A mother doesn't like to swear, so she and her children say "gives a nit" and "shut the cluck up."

    And literary references.  Unlike some pretentious, *L*iterary authors, who just drop in allusions w/out context or clue, as if they believe a reader who doesn't catch it isn't worthy, de los Santos gives us enough help we can remember our schooling, or look it up.  Speaking of someone who knew her career path from the time she was tiny:  "When has Tully *not* been in law school?... It's like Mephistopheles and hell.  Wherever Tully is is law school."

    I do recommend this, and I could see myself rereading it - it's that rich.

    "
  • (4/5)
    Lots of little plot holes and things that are not quite believable in this novel, but all in all a pleasant, quick read that includes travel, love, and mystery. The characters are often cliche and predictable, but the sweet story of young friendship maturing into love is what makes me glad to have read the book.
  • (4/5)
    I wanted a light book for last week's heat wave and this fit the bill, light but not too fluffy. I agree with other reviewers about Cat and about Pen, liked the latter and was annoyed by the former. I found the ending too predictable and unsatisfying.
  • (4/5)
    Marisa de los Santos' books always hit a nerve with me. She turns a love story into a woven poem with words and characters that come alive. Falling Together follows the story of Pen, a mother and friend trying to make sense of past friendships and her life at 32. de los Santos adds the smallest intriguing details that pull you in until the last pages, in which everything finally fits together.
  • (3/5)
    Falling Together is my first experience with Marisa de los Santos, and although I found the book enjoyable for the most part, I have to admit that reading this novel was not an overwhelmingly pleasant experience. I love books that deal with friendships, both lost and found, but for some reason this one did not hit the mark for me.Pen, Cat, and Will were best friends back in college, but their friendship ended suddenly, allowing them all to go their separate ways and figure out their lives on their own. They all make their own mistakes along the way, which is probably one of the reasons that Pen and Will are so willing to put their lives on hold to search for Cat. Maybe their lives would seem more logical if they could pick up their friendship with where it left off.As Will and Penn make the commitment to search for Cat together, they unknowingly are allowing each other to search their own souls. As they deal with secrets and hidden truths, Pen and Will finally accept something in each other that has been there throughout their entire lives. If only they could have given the emotional support they each needed in the six years they were apart.Although the summary indicates this novel was about searching for their friend Cat, the actual search seemed to take up very little of the book. A very small portion of the story was spent in the Philippines looking for her, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if the search was more extensive. And then when they did find her, I thought the reunion could have been a bit more eventful.So besides my reservations about this novel, I did find enjoyment from it. This novel seemed to be more of a search for Pen and Will, but searching for the people they used to be. The Philippines were described in a way that makes me want to hop on a plane tomorrow to walk on the beach enjoying a beautiful sunset. With themes of friendship, forgiveness, and love, you may enjoy this book too.
  • (3/5)
    Different style of writing than her first two books. I liked that the story had twists and kept you guessing. I would have liked a different ending, but to each his/her own! Still a good read!
  • (3/5)
    I had heard nothing but good things about Ms. de los Santos' books so when I saw this one through LT ER, I requested it.While the book was good it wasn't really what I expected. I kept waiting for something to really happen during the course of the book and until the last 20 pages nothing really did. That's not saying that the plot wasn't moving forward , it was but at a very slow pace. I still wonder what it was about Cat that made Pen and Will feel that they couldn't be friends without her. For me that was never really resolved.
  • (3/5)
    My synopsis will be brief as the back of the book sums it up very well. Basically this is a story about friendship and family and all the ups and downs that go along with those relationships.I gave this one 3 stars because there are other readers out there who will thoroughly enjoy this book and I couldn’t give it less just because it wasn’t my cup of tea. Plus, I really thought I would be one of those people during the first half. I lost patience with it when I discovered that the mystery that had grabbed my attention from the start was sitting on the back burner. With that out of the way I also found that I wasn’t relating to the characters or their relationships. The familial relationships were relatable and realistic but I didn’t embrace the friendship that was central to the plot. When it comes to the mystery, I had figured it out and it had lost its importance by the time it was revealed. It’s not all negative. There are a few laugh out loud moments and heartwarming moments that most people can relate to. I will recommend this book as I do know a lot of readers who will love it.
  • (1/5)
    I was just notified that I won this book in a First Reads Giveaway. Update 10/17: I've received the book and will be reading it next. I will probably have a review up by the end of the week at latest. Update Oct. 28:As you can see it took me far longer than expected to get to this point, on page 265. The book isn't finished but I am. I'm done with trying to grapple with the long, convoluted nonsensical random rambling sentences. It took 11 days to read a measly two hundred and some pages, when I usually read a book a day. The simple act of trying to read, make sense of and follow this book is monstrous. I kept thinking, Why is this so much work?. Now there are books that are suppose to be challenging, that are suppose to be work and that are ultimately rewarding for such effort. That's not this book. There's nothing at the end of this rainbow to make reading this worth it. I hate pretty much everything about this book, except the package it came in. I mean the cover, the pages. The simple natural feeling and how well the book fit in my hand made me want to read a book packaged like this, but not this book.I don't care about what happens when they find Cat. I find Will and Pen's bumper-sticker conversation annoying enough, adding Cat back to make the original Trio may make me want to kill myself. Funnily enough, that's how another character described their conversations and the Original Trio are very aware of how annoying they are to other people. Yet we're suppose to like them, like their conversations and give a rat's ass about them reuniting? Fuck no. Are we suppose to want and long for this kind of relationship while feeling the sadness of their break up? I sure as hell didn't feel anything like that. Their relationship just comes off as toxic and unhealthy to me. I hate how Pen is stunted due to her dependence on people and her sheer determination to cling. I mean really? With her "cluck no"s, and her attitude of "you can't leave, you love me. If you leave that must mean you never loved me and I can't accept the fact that people change. Everything must stay the same" Pen seriously comes off like a 5 year old. Her child Augusta seems far more mature. Now, Will I liked. I just hated him with Pen and feel bad that he's falling in love with her for some incomprehensible reason. He lived and grew and became a better person when The Trio broke up. Cat did too. Cat realized how dependent, how stunted and stuck The Trio was to them individually. Pen failed to do so. While Jason came off as an immature frat boy jerk, I understood his hatred of The Trio. I have tried to make it through. I gave it almost two weeks. I can't do it. It's like the soap opera version of Will & Grace. It is the reason I have 7 books to read and review and have no desire to read. I think this book might have killed that compulsion to finish books now matter what. I'm fearful of the next book being like Falling Together. I'm going to take the day off from reading to readjust from this book and try delving into another book tomorrow. For example, starting on page fucking one, She [Pen] stood with her head tilted against the bookstore wall, her ears only half hearing a description of how to single-handedly lace oneself into a leather corset (“There's an implement involved,” she told Jaime later. “There always is,” he said.), her eyes only half seeing the otherwise love store's horrible ceiling, paste-gray and pocked as the moon, while the weary rest of her began to fold itself up and give into it's own weight like a bat at dawn.Yesterday, Pen's daughter, Augusta, had come home from school with a late spring cold, and Pen had recognized, her heart sinking, that they were in for a rocky ride. Augusta's sleep, disordered in the best of circumstances, could be tipped over the edge and into chaos by any little thing. To make matters worse, it was her first illness since Pen had purged their apartment of children's cold medicine following newly issued, scarily worded warnings that it might be harmful to kids under the age of six. When Jamie had come home at 2:00 A.M., he had found Augusta cocooned in a quilt on the sofa, wide awake, coughing nosily but decorously into the crook of her arm the way she had been taught to do at school, and a pale, wild-haired Pen staring into the medicine cabinet like a woman staring into the abyss. I should have run away right here. Pen is just stupid for not using cough medicine. With two-hundred-sixty-four more pages written like this, it finally broke me. I read that much in broken tiny clumps of pages because it was so annoying, pointless and hard to follow. This on page 243, sums up how I feel about both Jason, Will and Pen, Pen said to Will, “These seats are insane. I feel like a Poppin' Fresh roll, unpopped.”“I fell like a jack-in-the-box,”said Will,”in the box.”“Jesus freaking Christ, please tell me this isn't the way you guys always talk.”Jason, standing in the aisle next to Will: loud, looming, big as a barn, American flag T-shirt blazing. “Or I might have to change me mind about changing my seat, when the black dude in the sleep mask gets off at Vancouver.”As Will and Pen looked over at him, the black dude on the other side of Augusta lifted his sleep mask, took a long look at Jason and told them, “Lucky you.”Before that, Pen shows irony and lack of insight here on page 244 with Jason, “Did not,” he [Jason] said.Listen to you, thought Pen, you are straight out of the clucking sandbox. Of course, Pen did get the “clucking” thing from her mother and am guessing some of her other baggage comes from her as well. Moving forward 10 pages and a day or so later in the book, Pen and Will have a conversation regarding Jason, over Jason. When the pause in the conversation started to become unbearable, Will nudged Pen encouragingly. She ignored it. He nudged her again. She kicked him.“So. Uh. Jason,” said Will,” do you think she went to Cebu to be with Armando?”“Oh, Will,” Pen exclaimed, flinching. “ 'Be with him'? God. Could you not do better than that?”“Hey, it's not like you were asking.”“Well, clearly, I should have.”“And you would've phrased it how?” demanded Will. “'Visit him'? 'Spend time with him'? Come on, we all know a euphemism when we hear it.”“All I'm saying is-”began Pen, but Jason raised his hand.“Hello? I'm sitting right here,” he said.They both stared at him.Ten more pages and another day or so later in the book, I finally said Fuck this shit, it's not worth it.
  • (4/5)
    There were a few things about this novel I found a touch troubling. I think our author could have brought them together in a different way. The premise seemed a bit unrealistic. The friendship was believable but the way it ended wasn’t. I will never understand why people do what they do. Friends will be your friends as long as you allow them to be, they accept you, support you, and will tease the holy heck out of you. They are supposed to, it’s their job. To end a friendship because you can’t handle the truth is dumb. Plain and simple. The fact these three ended a great friendship because one wanted to be married and the other two couldn’t handle the fact that other feelings existed between them is idiotic. To bring them together to search for Cat with Cat’s sometimes-likeable husband was, for lack of a better word, odd. Made no sense to me, especially how they came together at the college reunion. And that’s where we began, not the greatest start.To steal a line from the novel, I have no idea why Pen though Cat “hung the moon.” There was nothing redeeming in Cat that would make me travel halfway around the word to make sure she was okay. I found her to be mean, egotistical. She was a woman who would rip apart a friendship for her own selfish gain. And it wasn’t just the friendship that suffered, it was her marriage as well. There are things I absolutely agree with Julie about: Our disdain for Cat. What a “beyotch.” The lack of any real conflict in the novel between Pen and Will that wasn’t forced. The journey that was sometimes a bit tedious, tiresome. The only thing that made the search bearable for me was Pen. As I told Julie, I heart Pen. She was one of the most authentic characters I have read in a long time. She was funny, smart. Flawed? Absolutely. Truth be told, I didn’t like her initially. Through the first few chapters, I thought she was a slightly pathetic, sanctimonious, needy woman who was wallowing in the bad choices she made. As I kept reading, I saw a transformation in her. I saw that she was someone who held steadfast to an idea of family, she didn’t want to let anyone go. She was a keeper and guarded what she had ferociously. I loved the connection she had with her brother, mom and daughter. I loved how vulnerable she was when discussing her father. I found most of her actions natural, real. I thought that Pen and Will had great chemistry together. It wasn’t rip your bodice type chemistry, it was I’m in love with my best friend type. I thought they fit together beautifully. In the final chapters, there is some forced tension between them. It seemed thrown in to add conflict to the novel. It was completely unnecessary. There are two reasons I enjoyed this novel as much as I did. The first is Pen. The second is about how family and togetherness this novel embodies. I come from a large Portuguese family. I have a brother and sister, but almost as many aunts, uncles and cousins as there are stars on a clear night. I love being part of something that is so big and wondrous. I love having a place where I belong, where everyone is loud and crazy and funny. It’s an incredible thing. This novel reminded me of that.The main difference I found in this novel from Ms. de los Santos’ other novel is that where her first novels started strong and finished weak, this novel started weak and finished strong. I am a fan her work and recommend her novel Love Walked In as well.
  • (3/5)
    "Falling Together", a novel about three college friends who part ways after school and are brought together again years later under contrived circumstances was not my favorite book by Marisa de los Santos. Her lyric, fluid writing was there, but without enough of a realistic plot to bring it all together. What sort of person decides, at graduation, that the three close friends in their group should go their separate ways after graduation? Someone in another review described them as "melodramatic" and that's what I got out of it, too. "Contrived" was another word that came to mind. I'd expect that sort of decision making from a 13 or 14 year old. And all the "adventures" that brought them together again seemed contrived to me, as well. I'll definitely read de los Santos' next book because her writing is often exquisite, but I'll be hoping for more substance the next time.
  • (5/5)
    Falling Together did not disappoint me. So far, I will give Ms. de los Santos kudos for telling stories that are believable. It is possibel and most likey has happenbed ot many people the reunion of someone who has been out of their lives so long but once they have reentered the picture life becomes "sweeter." Readers forget real people have problems they have to work through. People have to growup and realize what is important to them. This is the case of Will, Pen and Cat the reason for the story. The story also shows peopel can change and those who were once despised can become friends. Life is that way, the unexpected can lead to shifts soem good and others not so much. Interestingly, I found the guys in this story the characters I like the best: Jamie and Will but now that I think about it, I felt that way with de los Santos' "Belong to Me and Loved Walked In." I am sure if you are into psychoanaysis this means something but it simply means to me these characters were more likeable to me. If you are a person who want the story to grab you fromt he first word without the nuances, this may not be the book for you. If you can't let yourself believe in love that transcends time, this is may not be the book for you. If you want a story with real life issues, give "Falling Together" a chance.
  • (2/5)
    I LOVED the first two of Marisa's books -but this one totally fell flat to me.It took AGES to get into the story, and there was so so so so much hype (way too much) leading up to the great reason for the break-up of these three friends, it was a total let down once the reason was revealed. The book was way way way too long, and for the first 9/10 I was bored silly, but the last 15 pages reminded me of the "old" Marisa and why I like her books so much.This was the story of three friends: Pen, Will and Cat who were inseperable during their college years, but six years ago decided to disband their friendship (this part made no sense to me at all). Current Day: Will and Pen receive an email from Cat which begs for their help and hopes to see them at the upcoming reunion. Mystery and detective story ensues........
  • (4/5)
    I read both of Marisa de los Santos previous books and LOVED them! I was very much looking forward to reading this one, although after I got into it I was not quite as charmed.... This story didn't seem to have as much substance as her others, and it took a LONG, long time to get to the point! I liked the characters very much. The triangle of exclusive friendship that was formed in college sounded so safe and satisfying, yet I didn't think the reason for their "friendship breakup" seemed very clear or relevant. Why would three people who cared so deeply about each other completely cease communication for six years????It took a long time for them to get down to the actual "search", and then once they found their beloved friend, she didn't even seem very happy to see them!!!Other than the story bringing Pen and Will together, finally, where they were meant to be all along, it seemed like a lot of dead ends. The characters themselves were likable and believable, the prose was lovely and I did enjoy reading it, but I just felt it could have been built on a stronger foundation. I do look forward however to other books as they are written. She is a gifted author!
  • (4/5)
    I think I felt reversed with Marisa books. Love Walked In and Belong to me were good, but I really enjoyed Falling Together the most. I felt like I was a part of the story and was sad when the book ended because I wanted more time with the characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes her writing. This was a fairly quick read that captured my attention with the mystery of finding Cat.
  • (3/5)
    Three close friends separate, for what seems like an odd reason (when it's finally revealed). Pen experiences a failed love affair, the birth of her daughter, and her father's death - all without the support of her best friends. Will becomes a children's author and Cat marries Jason, a buffoon she met in college. Six years after they last saw each other, Pen and Will receive an email from Cat, asking them to meet her at their class reunion. The event launches a journey for the characters as they come to terms with what happened in college and the six years since.The plot is so predictable that Pen becomes annoying in her refusal to see what's right in front of her. Cat's story is far-fetched and Will is likable enough but isn't given much to do in the story.Previous works by Marisa de los Santos contain more wit, better storylines, and less overly descriptive writing.
  • (4/5)
    Normally I steer away from "friendship stories", the kind where old friends in a) college b) growing up c) a book club find themselves in some situation that an author is inspired to write about. I find them confusing and contrived, and for the most part, very irritating, trying to keep the characters straight and who love/hates/yearns for/inspires who. But this story of college friends, starkly separated, but rejoining around a reunion had only three main characters, and two of them were very interesting to me, so I persisted.I'm glad I did. Though there were some choppy moments in the story, trying to place certain ancillary characters, or when my brain didn't switch gears from character to character fast enough, there were some delicious moments, both in the story line and in the actual writing. The interesting aspect for me was the way Marisa de los Santos weaves the backstory of Pen, Cat, and Will into their own intermediary stories (each filled with tremendous loss), and their present day worlds. I also liked that while a more secondary character is a real jerk at times, there are aspects of his personality that make him totally redeemable, likable, and understandable, even though he also can be a (why does douche bag come to mind) buffoon and blow-hard. We all know people like that. Totally despicable, lovable turds.Once again, I failed to note some of my favorite lines. Why do I look at a page number and think I'll remember it to come back and quote a passage. I think some of the things that charmed me involved Will's books, the relationships between parent and child (charming in Pen's case for both her own and with her daughter, terrifying in Will's), and the breaking awareness of falling together. I remember telling my brother I had fallen in love with my husband. "Don't 'fall' in love," her told me. "Rise in it" I did and continue to do so, but that's another story.Gave this book a 4 simply for all the moments it made me stop and think about my own experience in life, for the lovely phrases that captivated me, for the descriptions of Pen's family (past and present), for sea-glass, for the darling fairy-princessness of Augusta, and Jason's beautiful way of relating to kids. I received this book from the kind auspices of Harper Collins. They were offering a chance for one of three books by 3 different authors. I'd read all three authors, but one book was a series, and one was a deceased author, whose personal conduct broke my own code of decency (and I was also wondering in how a man two years dead wrote a book.) Anyhow, I left the decision up to them and they most graciously sent me this copy of the book to read and review. I am most grateful.
  • (4/5)
    Pen, Cat, and Will were best friends all through college and after college. Until one of them decided things needed to change. It's now six years since that happened and the friends haven't spoken since. When one of them needs the others help, it leads eventually to their re-connection. One of the main mysteries that remains even at the end of the book is how these three people who were so different made a friendship last for so long. A friendship whose end left an indelible mark on all them. The other mystery that remains whether Pen is a reliable narrator. In general, this is a sweet funny novel about 30-something friends and relationships. Upon closer inspection though, there are more complex issues to think about. I wish Pen were a little less dramatic and over wrought. But if she wasn't I'm not sure other characters would care about her so much, which is a major plot driver. I also think that her emotions provide a lot of the more complex issues the book raises, so maybe she has to be that emotional.All in all, I'm left thinking about and critiquing the book a lot more than your run-of-the-mill chick-lit novel. Certainly worth a read, even if leaves you thinking about love, our relationships, leaving others behind and taking everyone with you. I would also highly recommend for a book group.
  • (3/5)
    Cat, Pen and Will become instant friends after an incident happens during their freshman year and according to the book an instant family. Their connection to each other is rather difficult to understand as much as why they disappear from each other's lives for six years. This mystery is at the heart of the story and it is more about love than friendshipand the degrees of love; friendship, parents and children. Why does an individual stay within relationships when love is not there or why do we grief when a person leaves us?Pen, the romantic, states that "Love is an imperative" but love can either slip away or one can give themself over the the busines of loving a person who needs you. Cat's husband loved Cat with a true and open heart but that was not enough. Pen tells Cat's husband that no matter what happens, loving someone to the best of your ability is exactly the right thing to do. It's the only thing to do but it will not necessarily make the other person love you. This book awaken in me so many feelings that I was broke down in tears in the ending. This novel may not be for everyone but personally I related to the message of the book; people may leave but they are never truly gone. Don't give up on the book as it becomes more interesting and meaningful half way through the story.
  • (5/5)
    Will, Cat and Pen are the best of friends in college, secure in the fact that their threesome is perfect and complete. After graduation their lives begin to change and, largely due to Cat marrying a man Will and Pen don't like, the friendship ends. 10 years later Pen is struggling with single motherhood and the sudden death of her dad when she gets an urgent email from Cat requesting her presence at their 10 yr reunion. But when she and Will arrive they find Cat's belligerent and forlorn husband. What follows is a journey to find Cat and see if their friendship can be healed.As always, Marisa de los Santos comes through with beautiful, intense, real characters who you will care about desperately. The problems they wrestle with, Pen's aversion to change, Will's anger issues, and Cat's inability to find her place in the world all touch a chord and resonate. The adventure of the trip adds some spice to the story and the lush descriptions of the Philippines and the people they meet there made reading this book feel like taking a vacation. Falling Together is a heart-warming, feel-good story that will make you reexamine your closest relationships.
  • (3/5)
    Three friends, Will, Pen, and Cat meet in college. They become the best of friends during this time. They part ways when Cat marries a man Will and Pen both instensely dislike. It has been six years and all of a sudden Will and Pen get an e-mail from Cat. She wants them to meet her at their reunion. They decide to go to the reunion, but things aren't quite what them seem...I also loved reading Love Walked In. Falling Together just didn't do it for me like Love Walked In did. I really had to push myself to read the book. This just wasn't a book I was dying to get back to. I'm not exactly sure why...maybe the point of view changes or the characters, just didn't connect with them.