While I'm Falling

While I'm Falling

3.8 21
by Laura Moriarty
     
 

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In While I'm Falling, Laura Moriarty presents a compelling depiction of how one young woman's life changes when her family breaks up for good.

Ever since her parents announced that they're getting divorced, Veronica has been falling. Hard. She has fallen in love. A junior in college, she has fallen behind in her difficult coursework. She hates her job…  See more details below

Overview

In While I'm Falling, Laura Moriarty presents a compelling depiction of how one young woman's life changes when her family breaks up for good.

Ever since her parents announced that they're getting divorced, Veronica has been falling. Hard. She has fallen in love. A junior in college, she has fallen behind in her difficult coursework. She hates her job as counselor at the dorm, and she longs for the home that no longer exists. When an attempt to escape the pressure, combined with bad luck, lands her in a terrifying situation, a shaken Veronica calls her mother for help--only to find her former foundation too preoccupied to offer any assistance at all.

But Veronica only gets to feel hurt for so long. Her mother shows up at the dorm with a surprising request--and with the elderly family dog in tow. Boyfriend complications ensue, along with her father's sudden interest in dating. Veronica soon finds herself with a new set of problems, and new questions about love and independence.

Darkly humorous, beautifully written, and filled with crystalline observations about how families fall apart, While I'm Falling takes a deep look at the relationship between a daughter and a mother when one is trying to grow up and the other is trying to stay afloat.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Moriarty exposes the underbelly of family strife in this coming-of-age college drama set near Lawrence, Kans. One day, Veronica Von Holten is happy, med-school bound, in love with her boyfriend and not far from her supportive family. Then her father finds another man in the bed he shares with his wife of 26 years. As a messy divorce ensues, Veronica struggles to keep her own life in check while her mother’s unravels, and a car accident, a house-sitting gig gone bad and an illicit kiss turn Veronica’s personal life upside down. Things come to a head when her mother shows up on Veronica’s dorm doorstep with the elderly family dog, Bowzer. Veronica is faced with the difficult task of navigating personal strife on top of her family’s struggle to define itself anew. Moriarty (The Rest of Her Life) delves into this realistic but narrow world with an inviting honesty and creates a cast of vivid and flawed characters that will hold readers rapt with a queasy sense of unease. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Veronica Von Holten is about to learn just how badly life can spiral out of control. She's already stressed by the demands of being a premed major when a series of bad decisions and her parents' acrimonious divorce leave her dazed and confused. Within a few weeks, she finds herself sheltering her now homeless mother and aging dog Bowser in her dorm room, crashing a borrowed car in a snow storm, hosting a party that trashes an apartment, and then being stalked by the apartment's owner. Meanwhile, her mother is following a parallel trajectory when unexpected expenses leave her struggling to survive and maintain some dignity. After reluctantly joining forces, the two find unorthodox ways to sort out their lives and find joy again. VERDICT The third time proves a charm for the author of The Center of Everything and The Rest of Her Life. Veronica's story is told with a clarity and humor that make both her descent and her recovery believable. Recommended for readers who enjoy coming-of-age novels and intelligent chick lit.—Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., NC
Kirkus Reviews
Moriarty (The Rest of Her Life, 2007, etc.) slips inside the skin of a premed student disoriented by her parents' divorce and her own fumbling attempts to live up to others' expectations. Veronica Von Holten's father, a lawyer who raided his retirement when times grew lean, and her mother Natalie, a stay-at-home mom who had once been a teacher, separate after Dad catches a strange man asleep in his own bed. After the family house is sold in the divorce proceedings, Natalie takes the ancient and often incontinent family dog Bowzer away in her minivan with the rest of her possessions. Now strapped for money, she struggles to support herself in a world that no longer considers her skills valid or useful. Meanwhile, Veronica's life turns inside out. She's struggling with an organic-chemistry class that might as well be Mandarin for all the sense it makes to her; her rock-steady engineering-student boyfriend Tim wants her to move in with him; and she stinks at her job as a Resident Advisor in the dorm. Without a car and longing for some privacy, Veronica leaps at the chance to housesit for one of the more dubious campus characters: a guy named Jimmy, who has piercings, a shaved head, a mysterious, possibly illegal source of income and an oddly familiar girlfriend. Things don't go quite as Veronica hopes they will, and soon she's nursing a headache, heartache and bad attitude that she will later come to regret. Moriarty deftly explores the shifting ground between Veronica and each of her parents, but it is the familiar turf of mother-daughter relationships that primarily engages her. In her careful and knowing hands, Veronica, Natalie and the rest emerge as characters readers will care about.Turn off the phone, lock the door and order takeout before opening this sweet, straight-through read that leaves no loose ends dangling. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh/Willam Morris Agency
From the Publisher
"WHILE I'M FALLING deftly captures the moment a child realizes that growing up means being responsible for your parents' mistakes - and preventing yourself from making the same ones. Laura Moriarty keeps getting better and better."—Jodi Picoult, author of Handle with Care
Jodi Picoult
"WHILE I'M FALLING deftly captures the moment a child realizes that growing up means being responsible for your parents' mistakes - and preventing yourself from making the same ones. Laura Moriarty keeps getting better and better."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401394523
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
08/04/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
332
Sales rank:
242,121
File size:
391 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Laura Moriarty received her master's degree from the University of Kansas and was awarded the George Bennett Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy. She is the author of The Center of Everything and The Rest of Her Life. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Maine
Date of Birth:
December 24, 1979
Place of Birth:
Honolulu, Hawaii
Education:
B.S.W., University of Kansas, 1993; M.A. in English, University of Kansas, 2000

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While I'm Falling 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very good book!
Jamie Braun More than 1 year ago
Book follows a girl in her young 20's as her parents get divorced. I found it interesting and a good read, could not put it down, had to know what was happening next. Would recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with supense and wonder. It sure was hard to put down and yet was an easy read. As i read this book, i could picture a friend going through similar life. I would recommend this book to my college friends or any young girls who have similar problems like Veeonica.
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ILgirl07 More than 1 year ago
What happens when your mom moves in to your dorm room with you when she has nowhere else to go. That's what happens to Veronica in this teen-angst-heavy story. Good secondary characters and a good mother-daughter bonding story.
TheBookFairy More than 1 year ago
This book started out slow for me, but I stayed with it. I'm happy I did! The characters are so real they could live down the street. The author gives us a look at life as it is, not as we might want it to be. It was interesting to see the characters make the same mistakes in their lives that we might in ours. There are characters in this novel that you will love (I found that I had a soft spot for the main character's mom, and also the family dog, Bowser), and some you won't (the main character's father, and her sister), but the whole story comes together wonderfully!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book almost as much and her first book. Really showed the hardships of divorce on kids and spouses.
MarissaL More than 1 year ago
I was left unsatisfied, wanting greater emotion.
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Hello