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4.3 12
by Jojo Moyes

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Jojo Moyes, the heir apparent to Maeve Binchy and Rosamunde Pilcher, has a gift for skillfully capturing the passion and dreams of contemporary women. In this grippingly poignant novel, Moyes tells the story of two women whose lives are intertwined because of a beautiful house set on the cliffs high above the sea.

Merham is a well-ordered seaside town, the


Jojo Moyes, the heir apparent to Maeve Binchy and Rosamunde Pilcher, has a gift for skillfully capturing the passion and dreams of contemporary women. In this grippingly poignant novel, Moyes tells the story of two women whose lives are intertwined because of a beautiful house set on the cliffs high above the sea.

Merham is a well-ordered seaside town, the kind of village in which everyone knows her place -- and those who don't are promptly put in it. Lottie Swift, a Londoner by birth, loves Merham, while her best friend, Celia, chafes against its constraints. When a group of bohemians takes over Arcadia, a stark yet breathtaking art deco house on the seafront, the young women are drawn to the temptations offered there. And their actions set off a chain of events that will have longstanding consequences for all concerned.

Years later Daisy Parsons arrives to give the now-deserted house a makeover for its new owner. Daisy, who is fleeing a broken relationship, finds refuge at Arcadia, and something more -- a new beginning. And surprisingly, destiny seems once again to take a hand.

Vivid and absorbing, Windfallen will captivate readers who fell in love with Jojo Moyes's first novel, Sheltering Rain, and is sure to steal the hearts of a new generation of women everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Moyes, a young Brit, again proves herself a worthy successor to Maeve Binchy and Rosamund Pilcher with her second novel (after Sheltering Rain), a warmhearted drama. A magnificent art deco house called Arcadia, built on a seaside cliff in the stuffy English village of Merham, stands at the center of her tale. Lottie Swift was born in London's East End but evacuated during WWII to Merham as a child; she's eventually taken in permanently by the Holden family and brought up in their bustling household just down the road from Arcadia. When Lottie is in her late teens, an exotic clan of bohemians move into Arcadia, and Lottie takes to visiting, sometimes with Celia Holden, her best friend, but more often on her own. Then Celia goes away to school in London and comes back with a fianc -a man Lottie believes is her destiny. Her love is doomed, but Arcadia provides unexpected solace. Half a century later, interior designer Daisy Parsons comes to Arcadia, hired by a successful but prickly London developer who has bought the house with plans for making it into a fashionable tourist destination. Daisy's longtime lover and design partner has just departed after their baby is born, but she conquers self-pity and determines to honor the contract by herself. She's befriended by Lottie, now an acerbic matron who scorns her village contemporaries but is charmed by the baby and volunteers to act as nanny. Moyes deftly handles her involved plot, skillfully exploring the different family dynamics; her thoughtful tone and light touch make this a delightful read. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The sleepy English seaside town of Merham flaunts an architectural jewel, the art-deco Arcadia House. In the 1950s, it becomes home to a "bohemian" group, who attract Lottie, a displaced teenager staying with their very conventional neighbors. Lottie soon develops a passion for an unavailable young man; their forbidden love is captured by an artist in a mural on Arcadia's exterior. A generation later, the beauty of Arcadia (now abandoned) draws another young woman, who has been hired to restore and decorate the home as an upscale hotel. Daisy has her own share of male-induced heartaches and is befriended by the now-matronly and bitter Lottie, seller of the estate. Daisy's struggles include community opposition to the renovation, an antagonistic boss, and single parenthood. The old mural at Arcadia is eventually uncovered and with it, Lottie's secret. Both Lottie and Daisy come to terms with old love relationships and are finally able to trade the past for a more promising future. A delicious read by the author of Sheltering Rain; highly recommended.-Carol Bissett, New Braunfels P.L., TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Paula McLain
“…a tremendously gifted storyteller…”
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“In a style reminiscent of Maeve Binchy, Jojo Moyes explores the multigenerational impact of missteps and untold truths.”
Anne Rivers Siddons
“This is a remarkable first novel, rich and deep and full of wonderfully realized characters. Oh, these women!”
Rosamunde Pilcher
“I enjoyed [Sheltering Rain] very much.”
“Accomplished debut...in style and substance Moyes is a worthy addition to [Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy’s] ranks....Fluidly paced and cast with engaging characters.”
From the Publisher
"[Moyes's] thoughtful tone and light touch make this a delightful read." —Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt


By Jojo Moyes

William Morrow

ISBN: 0060012900

Chapter One

Freddie had been ill again. Grass this time, apparently. It sat in a foaming, emerald pool in the corner by the tallboy, some of the blades still intact.

"How many times do I have to tell you, you dolt," shrieked Celia, who had just trodden in it while wearing her summer sandals. "You are not a horse."

"Or a cow," added Sylvia helpfully from the kitchen table, where she was sticking pictures of domestic appliances laboriously into a scrapbook.

"Or any bloody animal. You should be eating bread, not grass. Cake. Normal things." Celia picked her shoe from her foot and held it by two fingers over the kitchen sink. "Ugh. You're disgusting. Why do you keep doing this? Mummy, tell him. He should at least clean it up."

"Do wipe it up, Frederick dear." Mrs. Holden, seated in the high-backed chair by the fire, was checking the newspaper for the timing of the next broadcast of Dixon of Dock Green. It had provided one of her few compensations since the resignation of Mr. Churchill. And that latest business with her husband. Although of course she mentioned only Mr. Churchill.

Both she and Mrs. Antrobus, she told Lottie, had watched all the episodes so far, and thought the program simply marvelous. Then again, she and Mrs. Antrobus were the only people on Woodbridge Avenue with televisions, and they took some delight in telling their neighbors quite how marvelous nearly all the programs were.

"Clean it up, Freddie. Ugh. Why do I have to have a brother who eats animal food?"

Freddie sat on the floor by the unlit fire, pushing a small blue truck backward and forward along the rug, lifting the corners as he did so. "It's not animal food," he muttered contentedly. "God said to eat it."

"Mummy, now he's taking the name of the Lord in vain."

"You shouldn't say 'God,'" said Sylvia, firmly, as she stuck a food mixer onto mauve sugar paper. "He'll strike you down."

"I'm sure God didn't actually say grass, Freddie dear," said Mrs. Holden distractedly. "Celie darling, could you pass me my glasses before you leave? I'm sure they're making the print smaller in these newspapers."

Lottie stood patiently by the door. It had been rather a wearing afternoon, and she was desperate to get out. Mrs. Holden had insisted that she and Celia help her prepare some meringues for the church sale, despite the fact that both girls loathed baking, and Celia had somehow managed to extricate herself after just ten minutes by pleading a headache. So Lottie had had to listen to Mrs. Holden's fretting about egg whites and sugar and pretend not to notice when she did that anxious fluttery thing with her hands and her eyes filled with tears, and now, finally, the horrid things were baked and safely in their tins, shrouded in greaseproof paper, and - surprise, surprise - Celia's headache had miraculously disappeared.

Celia placed her shoe back on her foot and motioned to Lottie that they should leave. She pulled her cardigan around her shoulders and straightened her hair briskly in the mirror.

"Now, girls, where are you going?"

"To the coffeehouse."

"To the park."

Celia and Lottie spoke at the same time and stared at each other in mute accusatory alarm.

"We're going to both," said Celia firmly. "Park first, then for a coffee."

"They're going off to kiss boys," said Sylvia, still bent over her sticking. She had pulled the end of one plait into her mouth, and the end, which emerged periodically, was silkily wet. "MMMMMMwaahhh. Mwah. Mwah. Eeyuk. Kissing."

"Well, don't drink too much of it. You know it makes you go all unnecessary. Lottie dear, make sure Celia doesn't drink too much of it. Two cups maximum. And be back by six-thirty."

"In Bible class God says the earth will provide," said Freddie, looking up.

"And look how sick you got when you ate that," said Celia. "I can't believe you're not making him clean it up, Mummy. He gets away with everything."

Mrs. Holden accepted her glasses and placed them slowly on her nose. She wore the look of someone who was just about managing to stay afloat in rough seas by insisting against all evidence that she was actually on dry land.

"Freddie, go and ask Virginia to bring a cloth, will you? There's a good boy. And Celia dear, don't be horrid. Lottie, straighten up your blouse, dear. You've gone peculiar. Now, girls, you're not going off to gawp at our new arrival, are you? We don't want her thinking the residents of Merham are some kind of peasants, standing there with their mouths hanging open."

There was a brief silence, during which Lottie saw Celia's ears flush ever so slightly pink. Her own were not even warm; she had perfected her denials over many years and against tougher interrogators.

"We'll come straight home from the coffeehouse, Mrs. Holden," said Lottie. Which could, of course, have meant anything at all.


Excerpted from Windfallen by Jojo Moyes
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Jojo Moyes is a British novelist and journalist. She is one of only a few authors to have twice won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association and has been translated into eleven different languages.

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Windfallen 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of best books by JOJO MOYES! This book has several twists and I loved it! In fact I read it a second time because I rushed thru the first time and I really savored it the seond time. It really shows how your life can change with 2 little Words! This is the third book I've read by Moyes and I loved them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had a slow beginning, and after reading the sample, I was not sure I wanted to purchase it . But since reading other books by this author, I decided to trust her and buy the book. So glad I did!! Great story, wonderful characters. JoJo Moyes does not disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked the book ver much...but the timing is off...it's set in the 50s...when Camille is conceived and then we're in modern day...50 years later and Camille is in her 30s? What did I miss?
lousquared 18 days ago
If you've read "Me Before You", you may be disappointed in Windfallen. Altogether I liked the story, however in the beginning felt a bit confused with all the characters. Does not have the sweetness and humor and compassion of "Me Before You".
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Teenage Londoner Lottie Swift finds the seaside village of Merham quite delightful as no one dare break the rules of morality less they prefer exile or being ostracized. However, the conversion of Arcadia mansion into a retreat for bohemian artists causes monumental conflict, as the locals detest the nonconformist outsiders. Lottie relishes the new infusion of excitement that the avant-garde crowd brings.

Five decades later, Daisy Parsons arrives at the small back to sleep village to renovate Arcadia into a luxury hotel. The villagers once again abhor the thought of amoral outsiders descending on their hamlet. Insecure from a failed relationship, Daisy discovers a mural that portrays scenes from the mansion¿s ignominious past. Daisy¿s work begins destroying the emotional cocoon that Lottie has resided since her teen days.

WINDFALLEN is a well-written comparative character study that interweaves the past and the present into a cohesive tale. The story line enables the audience to see deep inside the two women so that everyone understands what motivates both and the tenuous relationship and bond which forms between them. Though limited in action, Jojo Moyes provides readers with a deep drama that focuses on the long-term impact of personal opportunity costs.

Harriet Klausner