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I wanted to like this book. So. Bad. I liked the beginning, I enjoyed the writing style. Unfortunately, it almost seemed like a different author took over and it was, just, not good. I have to admit I didn't finish it.
I just started reading this book and it's super slow.... does it get better? is it worth sticking out??? i'd read the discussions but I don't want to be spoiled...
Just finished the book and agree with most that it felt like two different books within it. I'm stuck on the part where Rachel goes to answer the door after Caleb is killed. She reaches for her bag, crosses the threshold, handed Kessler his hat and gets out into the hallway....then the description on page 296: "the bullet enters her back, cut her spine in half, spewed the bone chips into her bloodstream as she collapsed into Detective Kessler."..... What??! I literally thought they died and then the book keeps going!!! What was the point of this?
This has absolutely been my favorite BOTM. I experienced just about every single emotion in this book up until the VERY end - I was convinced that I would be heartbroken with the ending, but I was surprisingly pleased with it. I'd just like to give credit to the author for allowing Rachel to grow into a bit of a badass.
The little details in this book, however, drove me nuts. The one that I'm really hung up on is the end of Chapter 15 when Rachel realizes that Caleb was lying and had actually been out of the office... did that have any purpose other than to expose the lies in Rachel's life? Or was he actually doing something that relates to his and Brian's secret life, and I just missed that reveal later on? I'm losing sleep over this part!
This was one of my favorite books to read since joining BOTC in January. I thoroughly enjoyed the book's many twists & turns. Since We Fell was both captivating and suspenseful. I have passed it along to several family members and they have enjoyed it as well.
This book felt as if it was composed of two COMPLETELY different stories, with little to no relevance (Not knowing her real dad, covering issues in Haiti, marrying a con man, etc). It made me think that Lehane pulled random events out of thin air. However, after some reflection, I began to see that the irrelevant became relevant. In her world of uncertainty Rachel, a daughter, wife and journalist was always committed to discovering the truth.
Has any girl not currently on her period (or even currently on it) ever thought on a day trip in the woods oh crap I hope I don't get my period because I might attract bears? ...... no? haha However, I loved the descriptions of Rachel's anxiety as it is something I struggle with and getting out of the house (although not to the extent of Rachel's agoraphobia). Overall, I loved this book!
I finished this book two days ago and have been waiting to post because upon finishing, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I was one of the few readers who seemed to enjoy the upfront portrayal of Rachel's life - admittedly, I am quite interested in character development, so I may be biased here. Lehane's description of Rachel as an individual with anxiety and agoraphobia was well-written and helps bring to light the struggles and experiences of individuals with anxiety-based disorders. For me, this kept me quite interested, but I can understand the critiques that it reads slow to others.
After finding out that Brian was a conman, the pace of the book did pick up significantly and reading the second half of the novel took me half as much time as the first. As the details started unfolding about Brian and his "double", I had to go back and re-read the original story he had told Rachel. The author really did set-up what the reader needed to know, but did so in a way as to not give too much away too quick.
Overall, I think I may have been waiting for some "big reveal" or surprise ending at the conclusion of the book. Because that big reveal never happened, I cannot determine if I am satisfied or unsatisfied with this novel. After finishing, I even asked myself "If my partner was leading a double life and was in trouble would I drop everything and help him"? I appreciated how Rachel put Brian through a test of his love before just committing herself to help him. I would say this book was enjoyable and would recommend it to friends looking for a thriller.
Alright, I am maybe 144 pages into this book and I'm struggling! I don't feel like the "very public mental breakdown" had enough severity to it, or enough description. It kind of falls flat for me. I think Rachel as a character is just a little, eehhh. My opinion might change as I continue to slog through this book but its not likely that it will. I want more out of the book than it's giving.
I got so excited nearing the end of this book thinking that the author still hadn't tied in the strange death of her mother and the unanswered question of who her father was. I kept thinking " how is this all going to connect?" When the story ended without it all coming together I was shocked. Anyone else?
I bet if I just picked this book up at an airport I would have been very happy. But I had high expectations after reading reviews and I think that ruined it for me. I was certainly entertained, just not sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story.
[NEXT PART HAS SPOILERS!]
I think Brian's master plan with all the "clues" and having Rachel be the one to shoot him was highly unrealistic. That's easy to overcome by the suspense factor, however. My biggest complaint is that Rachel and Brian end up reuniting and readers are left to assume they skip off into the flowers (with a child) in Amsterdam or something. For a protagonist that suffered abandonment issues throughout the book, I was sort of hoping she would tell Brian to get lost at the end and find happiness in her own independence. Oh well.
Bonus points for the funny descriptions and comparisons, though.
I think I'm in the minority here, but I liked the slow pace while we were getting to know Rachel. I liked her backstory which gave me a reason to root for her during the rest of the story. (And Brian and Rachel were my favorite "bad guys" to root for in a while!!)
I also enjoyed the ending. A bit of mystery, an addition to the twists, and I can assume the action was over. There's room for a sequel (or not). Either way, I was satisfied with this ending.
At the part where Caleb is shot, the detective comes back, and Rachel leaves the apartment, there is a paragraph about how she is shot in the spine. I figured this is one of her hallucinations but I had to reread this about four times before I could move on. Did anyone else struggle with her hallucinations? This one seemed a bit misplaced and bothered me for a while.
â€˜Since we Fellâ€™ opens with the shooting death of Rachelâ€™s husband and, just like judge Sarah Weinman promised, the reader is hooked.
Unfortunately, that momentum is just as quickly lost in the chapters that follow. The first two sections of the book are best described as a motley collection of vignettes hastily slapped together like polaroids in an old family photo album. We see little scenes into Rachelâ€™s pastâ€¦ her manipulative mother, her absentee father, her troubled first marriage, her emotional breakdown in Haiti.
The more I read, the more â€˜Since we Fellâ€™ began to feel like the literary equivalent of quicksand; each step forward dragged me deeper and deeper into the insufferable sludge that is Rachelâ€™s psyche (or, rather, author Dennis Lehaneâ€™s attempt at portraying the psyche of a wounded woman with daddy issues and post-Haiti survivor guilt).
The chapters jumped in time, and each passage was definitively past-tense. As a whole, it had a memoir feel to it. In fact, the long-winded passages about Rachelâ€™s foray into broadcast journalism and her doomed marriage bore a striking similarity to the Megyn Kelly memoir I read a few months ago. Thereâ€™s nothing inherently wrong with that writing style or pacing, itâ€™s just not at all what youâ€™d expect in a book that has been dubbed a â€œliterary thriller.â€
That format and pacing are abandoned in the third act. We find Rachel married to Brian Delacroix, the man who has quite creepily followed Rachelâ€™s every move for over a decade. Brian was first introduced in act one as a private investigator hired to track down Rachelâ€™s father. When he and Rachel later reconnect, he (inexplicably) is some sort of international lumber tycoon whose career (again, inexplicably) takes him all over Europe on lengthy business trips.
While the discerning reader will quickly akin Brianâ€™s story to a piece of swiss cheese, Rachel is smitten. They have the perfect relationship full of trust and love and inside jokes, untilâ€¦ until Rachel happens to find a receipt in his jeans pocket, bearing the wrong date format. Panic ensues, and the story goes from slow-paced memoir to â€˜Mr. and Mrs. Smithâ€™ style spy thriller.
There are bad guys with guns. There is violence. There are boats and safe deposit boxes and loads and loads of cash. Yes, it literally turns into THAT kind of story.
I spent 75% of the book picturing Brian as Finn Wittrock in a sweater vest and horn-rimmed glasses, but in the flick of a page he turns into Jason Statham. I pictured Rachel-the-shut-in as a bumbling, oversized sweater-wearing Dakota Johnson. But somehow, in a matter of pages, she rises like a phoenix from the ashes of emotional ruins and becomes some sort of gun-wielding, police-evading, hardened action movie heroine.
A few times I had to stop reading, just to glare at the cover of the book and ask, â€œreally?! seriously?!â€ By the end, I didn't care about any of the characters anymore. Despite the great lengths that Lehane went to, literally paving Rachel's past brick-by-brick, I just wasn't invested in her, or Brian Delacroix-Alden-Whatever, enough to care.
It was just a really, really strange book.
This book was a pretty great read. I LOVED the ending. I loved how it evolved, but with that said, I don't think the first part lent as much as it maybe was supposed to. I get that it was setting everything up, but I felt like it was a large waste of time. I remember around page 237 it really started to get good, and it never stopped at that point. But the first 234 pages was just....meh. Wasn't necessary, it def didn't need to take up as much time as it did. With that said I loved how it all unfolded, I loved seeing Rachel wake up and come back to life, and the unwavering love Brian had for her, even when he was being dishonest! I would definitely recommend this book to my friends who want a good thriller to blaze through!
I was very excited to read this book after leaning this was the same author who wrote Shutter Island. I was not disappointed!
I really liked Rachel, she was the type of character you couldn't help but relate to someway or another. I was a little bored with the Haiti chapters, I really cannot tell you why, I think the randomness threw me off. It all made sense in later chapters....
I was left with more questions than answers in the end, but I believe that was the entire point of the novel and goes hand in hand with Rachel's life in general. Aside from that bit, this book is definitely a page turner and I am interested in reading more by this author.
After reading the rest of the comments, there seems to be a love/hate relationship with this book. I loved it. Or most of it. I actually took the longest getting through the first section, which seems to be opposite of many readers, but then I read all of section two and section three in one day.
The book just went to a place where I wasn't expecting (but was excited to go to!). I found it to be page turning and exciting and I was literally on the edge of my seat. Obviously when you look at the characters individually (i.e., Rachel) there's some concerns and issues, but as a whole I found this to be just really good.
Until I got to the last 10 pages...it was here that I realized that what I thought was going to happen was not going to happen. That the closure I was looking for in this book, was not going to be presented. And then I was given THAT ending. Can you call that an ending? Maybe to a chapter....but not a book. I'm not sure a sequel would be warranted.....there's not THAT much to tie up, but an epilogue would have helped! Like, 10 years later - Brian, Rachel, and AB? Or Rachel and AB? What did she do with the passports? What's going on in Amsterdam? Who's in jail? Anyone? Who's 70 million richer now? Anyone? I just needed one more chapter.
As a brand new subscriber, I am over-all satisfied with the purchase. However, I did feel the pacing was inconsistent. As others have stated, the first half of the novel was great! I was drawn to the story, and especially to Rachel. Although my life does not resemble hers, her character was very relatable. I felt great empathy toward her through the struggles with career, marriage, mental health, family, and a lack of belonging. I cheered her on as she fell for Brian and their relationship blossomed into something beautiful and sacred. The care he shown for her was swoon-worthy. And then the second half of the book cameâ€¦
While I was still intrigued by the plot, there were instances of Rachelâ€™s behavior that made me think REALLY??? Such as the reaction to the receipt. Some scenes flew by so quickly, that I had to stop and think wait, what? The ending, I did not feel was satisfactory. Leaving the story with bidding farewell to an almost strangerâ€™s corpse, made me want to shake Rachel. Did she not learn her lesson of needlessly stopping with hitmen hot on her trail the first time??
First BOTM !
I actually liked the fact the book was split into 3 different parts of her life. I hate reading a book with parts that all end up telling the same story, no point in making parts if it's all the same! I would like to have at least had Rachel get a chance to see meet her dad rather than him being dead but I understand the need for him being dead. And I love/hate he ending! My only hope is there is a sequel !
I read this book in its entirety, which is why I say it's the worst I've finished reading in a long time. For books I truly dislike, I don't make it all the way through. This writer is good, the book is bad. I liked the basic premise, but I found myself groaning throughout, mostly through the dialogue after Rachel learns Brian is a bad guy, but also during the expositions of her psychological growth. All of the dots were connected for us when it came to her mental health milestones. All of the characters seem to pull from the same reservoir of vocabulary. Which made the dialogue mirror a primetime crime show. So, I did finish this book, but it was so painful, all the way to the end where we are surgically cut off from any resolution whatsoever.
At first I loved this book! The ending ruined it for me. It gave off a Mr. & Mrs. Smith type feel for me. With that being said I still love Brain even after the truth came out. I wish he would have been a bit more upfront with her, but ya know... also, how did he know he was going to have to take his death when she went on the boat?! Did his friend know he was going to do that? Why didn't he tell her that Nicole was his sister?! Ah so many things left undone! I want to know how they get to Amsterdam, how the finance sharks don't find them and how many kids they end up having!! Dammit.
I loved the book at the beginning. Fast-paced, engaging and I really felt for Rachel. However, the second half felt predictable and disappointing. Am I alone in this?
With "Since We Fell" being my first official Book of the Month book, I have to say that I was very satisfied overall. I personally felt it was very easy to relate to Rachel, despite the fact that I did not grow up with a single mother and have never experienced panic attacks myself. As a few others have mentioned, the only aspects of the book that confused me a bit were the quick plot switches with the book focusing on the mystery of her father and then changing over to everything centering around Brian. Perhaps the author intended this book to actually be two books at one point in time? Either way, the consistency of Rachel herself throughout the book made sense and I found myself getting sucked back in every time I picked it up to read. There was always some issue that Rachel was freaking out over and somehow that kept my attention, wanting to know what would happen next. Did anyone else feel like there were a few moments where plot twists happened so quickly and unexpectedly that they had to go back and read over things to figure out what was actually happening?
I loved the writing in this book. I kept reading because i enjoyed it, however, it was so slow. 250+ plus pages building a character with a lot of rabbit holes. So much time was wasted on details like finding her father, then it fizzled out and didn't go anywhere. The book felt so disconnected! The last 100 pages felt like an entirely different novel. For the most part, I liked the book but i wouldn't read it again. When i finished it i felt a little let down.
'Since We Fell' was less than I expected, but more than I had hoped for once I started reading it. It seemed to predictably be a balance between a never-ending life of a city-girl and one-panic-attack away from disaster. That being said, I wasn't expecting Brian's backstory and it was a bit of a relief knowing that Rachel's anxiety wasn't the climax or the cause of the story's conflict.
Which leads me to my inquiry: assuming all went according to plan and Rachel, Brian, and AB made it safely to Amsterdam, do you think Rachel's panic attacks returned? Or do you feel that this adventure/nightmare freed her from her agoraphobia?
Ok first I enjoyed this book. I was really drawn to Rachel. At first I didn't really understand why a breakdown that went viral was so upsetting that she could no longer function. I knew there had to be more to that story. I Got to the 2 part and really wasn't sure where it was going. Now the twist gets interesting. I really didn't expect that. Honestly I was really expecting something else. I got to the ending and thought it was fell flat. Maybe it was just me, but I felt like it just ended with nothing.
Again I did like the book. But I guess I was expecting more from Dennis Lehane because Shutter island was amazing.
It was a slow buildup, but I honestly didn't mind that, and I liked that the author put so much into showing us Rachel's character throughout her life rather than just when the meat of the story happens. It wasn't really what I was expecting though! I kind of thought it would be more of a mystery than it was, especially once Rachel started looking into what Brian was really up to on his "business trips." (that was the most thrilling part for me!) After we find everything out, however, it's sort of just a thrilling along-for-the-ride sort of story. I was also starting to wonder if she was having some sort of psychotic break when she found out that Brian wasn't where he said he was, but that he really was and she was just going crazy and getting paranoid since she had been going out into the world again and had cracked. Not the case. Again, not really what I was expecting but still enjoyable.
I am still working on this book, but I am confused, about Rachel's "break down" on tv that went "viral" and made things hard for her, when I read the "breakdown" it didn't sound like a big deal, but then as I read the story it goes on and on about what a big deal it is and how it was a huge breakdown. Did anyone else get lost with this???? (I'm still reading and not finished yet)