It's been six years since Pen Calloway watched Cat and Will, her best friends from college, walk out of her life. Through the birth of her daughter, the death of her father, and the vicissitudes of single motherhood, she has never stopped missing them.Read more...
It's been six years since Pen Calloway watched Cat and Will, her best friends from college, walk out of her life. Through the birth of her daughter, the death of her father, and the vicissitudes of single motherhood, she has never stopped missing them. When, after years of silence, Cat--the bewitching, charismatic center of their group--urgently requests that the three meet at their college reunion, Pen can't refuse. But instead of a happy reconciliation, what awaits is a collision of past and present that sends Pen and Will on a journey around the world, with Pen's five-year-old daughter and Cat's hostile husband in tow. And 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.
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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-05-02
- Reviewer: Staff
A stimulating if baggy story of friendship, de los Santos's latest (after Belong to Me) tracks what happens to a trio of former friends brought together under unusual circumstances at their college reunion. Cat Ocampo's decision to marry Jason, her longtime boyfriend that her friends Will and Pen can't stand, drives a wedge into the friendship, and soon, with Cat out of the picture, Will and Pen drift apart. Six years later, Pen is a single mom and smarting from the loss of her father when, as the college reunion approaches, Cat e-mails her and Will, telling them she needs to see them at the reunion, but when Will and Pen show up, there's a big, unwelcome surprise waiting for them. De los Santos's fluid prose powers what turns into a nifty mystery, and though the plot flags later on, as if being drawn out for the sake of being drawn out, the mix of perfectly realized personalities and genuine emotion make this a winner. (Oct.)
Reunions and reawakenings
Marisa de los Santos has established herself as a deft chronicler of human emotion. With her first two successful novels, Love Walked In and Belong to Me, she has explored the landscape of a variety of relationships: friendly, romantic, neighborly, maternal. And in her latest novel, de los Santos traverses all of that relational terrain at once.
Pen, Cat and Will were college best friends almost from the moment they met, when Pen discovered Cat seizing in the bathroom between classes, and then called into the hallway for help. Their friendship was so tight that they excluded others from their circle—but it was a closeness that couldn’t last forever. When it was time for Cat to pursue a romantic relationship, and therefore an identity separate from her two best friends, the group’s friendship fell apart.
Pen is still feeling that pain six years later, when she receives a letter from Cat asking that they meet up at an impending college reunion. Pen’s life has changed radically since she last saw her two best friends. She’s given birth to a child out of wedlock, regularly faces her complicated relationship with her daughter’s father and is still reeling from the sudden death of her own father, whom Cat and Will adored. She still thinks of her former friends often, and wonders what they would make of who she’s become.
And so Pen sets off toward that reunion, prepared to meet Cat but surprised instead to see Will, who received a similar letter. As the pair search for Cat, they revisit their lost friendship and their complicated feelings for one another.
Falling Together explores the ways our familial relationships and friendships affect who we are and who we’re becoming. Though the ride through Pen’s relational topography is sometimes bumpy—flashbacks aren’t always clearly differentiated from Pen’s present day—the appeal of de los Santos’ books remains the intimacy with which the reader gets to know each character.