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Falling
Cover of Falling
Falling

The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, Jemima J, and Summer Secrets presents a novel about the pleasure and meaning of finding a home—and family—where you least expect them...

When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn't the life she wanted either.

On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son.

Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.

But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all.

In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman's far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be...


From the Hardcover edition.

The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, Jemima J, and Summer Secrets presents a novel about the pleasure and meaning of finding a home—and family—where you least expect them...

When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn't the life she wanted either.

On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son.

Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.

But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all.

In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman's far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be...


From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

    Copyright © 2016 Jane Green

    CHAPTER 1


    It's lovely," she lies, in her most gracious of voices, looking around at the tired wood paneling lining the walls of the living room, floor to ceiling. As she looks down, her gaze lands on well‑worn salmon‑pink shag carpeting and quickly conceals her horror.

    Emma wonders if this house might not even be beyond her capabil‑ ities to transform. Perhaps the landlord would let her paint it? Surely he would let her paint it—who wouldn't want to lighten up this room, so dark it feels more like a cave? She would paint it for free, and pull up that carpet. Maybe she would be lucky and find a hardwood floor underneath; even if it was merely concrete, surely it wouldn't cost any‑ thing to stick down some inexpensive sisal.

    This room could be transformed, she determined. Lipstick on a pig was her specialty.

    Her landlord, or potential landlord, smiles. "Hey, I know it's not everyone's taste today," he says. "Why do people want everything to be gray and modern?"

    Emma is surprised by his comment, surprised frankly by his interest in making small talk. "I hate that look," Emma offers. It happens that she does agree, quite passionately, in fact. "None of those decorated houses feel like real homes."

    "Exactly!" he says in delight. "This is a home."

    Struck by his words, by the obvious sincerity with which they are spoken, she turns to look at her potential landlord for the first time. She can't help but feel struck by the sight of him. He is not tall, only a couple


    J A N E G R E E N

    of inches taller than her, with skin tanned by the sun and an easy smile that seems to put her at ease. It isn't so much that she finds him attractive, but that there is something familiar about him, a recognition, a sense of having somehow met him before.

    Perhaps because she has remained silent, he goes on to add, "At least, it was a home. My grandparents lived here for forty years."

    Yes, thinks Emma, it looks like it. It smells like it, too. The air is fusty. Of course old people had lived here. That explains the wood paneling and the floral wallpaper in the family room; it also explains the salmon‑ pink carpet and avocado‑green bathroom suite with matching tile.

    "How would you feel about me putting . . ." Emma pauses, wonder‑ ing how to say this diplomatically. She doesn't want to jump in and tell him she'd like to tear everything out and start again. He probably doesn't want to change anything; his voice had softened when he men‑ tioned his grandparents. She has an odd reluctance to offend him, and she senses she'll need to take this slowly if she wants this house. ". . . a woman's touch on the house?"

    "A woman's touch!" The landlord smiles and nods approvingly. "That's exactly what I've been saying this house needs for years. A wom‑ an's touch."

    She follows him into the kitchen at the back of the house and her heart sinks slightly. It hasn't been touched since the fifties, rough wood cabinets bumpy with layers of white paint, although pretty black iron hardware. Formica countertops with large cracks, and linoleum floors. A stove that is so ancient as to be fashionable again, and, surprisingly, a large modern stainless‑steel fridge.

    Emma looks at the fridge and raises an eyebrow as she looks over at the landlord.

    Damn, she thinks. What was his name again? Donald? Derek? Something like that.

    "The old fridge gave up last...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 30, 2016
    Green’s latest chronicles is an unlikely romance between 30-somethings from two different worlds. At 37, Emma Montague has decided to ditch the rat race of the New York banking world and seek out a quieter, more solitary existence, which takes her to idyllic Westport, Conn. There, she settles into a rundown cottage, and her burgeoning love for interior design takes off in a flurry of paint, carpet, and decorative wall hangings. While she’s cultivating her new love for home decor, she finds another new love in her landlord, Dominic, a hunky bartender who’s raising his six-year-old son, Jesse, on his own. Naturally, complications arise: Jesse has a hard time adjusting to change, Emma’s upper-crust English parents don’t approve of Dominic’s salt-of-the-earth upbringing, and Jesse’s erstwhile mother reappears after six years to try her hand at mothering. But Emma and Dominic’s feelings are deep, and they manage to make it work—until tragedy strikes, and Emma’s at risk of losing everything she’s come to love. Green’s fiction is full of disgruntled city gals finding their bliss in the ’burbs, but although Emma could certainly be a more compelling heroine (most of the main events of the plot happen to her without requiring much action or decision on her part), her community is full of nuanced characters that elevate the story above its cookie-cutter beats and add extra impact to the tearjerker ending. It likely won’t linger in readers’ minds, but it’s a pleasant enough beach read.

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2016
    Sometimes true love defies all expectations. When Emma Montague left England behind, she embarked on a fast-paced and stressful financial career in Manhattan. Five years later, she's ready for another change in her life. After diligently saving, she has enough money set aside to pursue her dream of interior design off the beaten path in Westport, Connecticut. Though her rental house isn't ideal, she's able to see past the hideous salmon shag carpeting and dated linoleum and imagines transforming it into her ideal beach home. Her landlord, Dominic, is confident and flirtatious, yet Emma almost immediately shuts down any possibility of viewing him as a romantic interest, insisting to others and herself that their backgrounds are too different and they simply have nothing in common. But given that he and his young son live right next door, a relationship begins to blossom. For much of the tale, Emma tries to argue herself out of a future with Dominic, worrying both about significant concerns--his son, Jesse, doesn't appear eager to share his father's time and affection--and her continued anxiety that their differences make them incompatible. While there are hints of conflict throughout the novel, most of those issues peter out before reaching a peak. Bestselling author Green (Summer Secrets, 2015, etc.) relies heavily on stereotypes with this offering, and the characters seem forced into creation rather than developing more authentically. The use of present-tense narration further chokes a novel that focuses more on introspection than action. While the vast majority of the novel is told from Emma's third-person point of view, it occasionally character-hops in a manner that is jarring and inconsistent. Though Emma's life changes drastically, the reliance on cliches and all-too-familiar tropes makes it difficult to reach an emotional payoff.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    June 15, 2016

    Emma Montague, an English expat, has just moved from her high-powered, stressful banking job in Manhattan to the small suburb of Westport, CT. Craving a quiet life, she rents a fixer-upper house from a handsome man who also happens to live just next door. Despite Dominic being nothing like any of the other men Emma has dated, she is irresistibly drawn to him. They give in to their mutual attraction and start a fast-paced romance. Dominic is a single father to a sweet six-year-old boy, Jesse. The three of them learn how to get along, and Emma realizes that family isn't always the one you are born into, but the one that you make. When circumstances throw the trio a big shock, Emma must truly step up despite her own misgivings. VERDICT Readers of Emily Giffin's novels or those who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation from Green (Summer Secrets). Recommended for all fiction collections.--Kristen Stewart, Pearland Lib., Brazoria Cty. Lib. Syst., TX

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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