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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Falling Into the Sun: A Novel by Charrie Hazard

Falling into the Sun: A Novel
Publisher: Spoonbill Cove Press
ISBN: 098154102X
Pages: 363 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher's Description:

After discovering her neighbor's suicide, Kate Nardek realizes that the same kind of despair that spurred her neighbors self-destruction fuels her teenage son's violent blowups. She seeks psychological help for him, a decision that changes both their lives. In her quest to vanquish her son's demons, Kate must face down her own, and consequently rethinkher beliefs about mental illness, good and evil, death, and her own self-worth. Michael's journey parallels Kate's as his soul flies into the center of creation. There, he discovers something has noted every twist of his life. This being's perfect knowledge generates the healing salve of perfect compassion. If Michael confronts the truth behind violent episodes in his recent life, he too can learn compassion. Gripping, poetic, and powerfully uplifting, Falling into the Sun explores spiritual truths of Hindu, Native American, and Christian traditions as it tenderly grapples with the generational legacy of alcoholism and mental illness.

My Review:

Let me begin by saying that I have had this book on my review pile for a while. I was a bit scared to pick it up because I normally have a rule against reading of any religious or faith inspired book. I am not the most religious person in the world...if fact, I'm probably the least religious person in the world and it really irks me when books get preachy. I still am a bit afraid of faith inspired novels but this one was an exception to my normally very rigid and unbreakable rule. Some of the ideas of god in this novel really appealed to me and made me think of faith in a different way. It is not so much following rules and attending mass but having a connection with a higher being.

I usually figure, when I read this type of book, to meet an idealized version of a person. Someone whose faith in her religion and god is never shaken but what I found was a woman who is trying to figure it all out in the face of dire family problems. Kate was such a strong and intelligent woman but, for some reason I identified and liked Josh more. I felt bad for him. His sisters got more affection and attention from both Mitch and Kate than Josh could ever hope to get. To me, his freak outs seemed to be the only way he could get attention from his parents. If Mitch and Kate had not treated him like a pariah or a skittish puppy, perhaps he would have found more proactive ways of getting attention. Instead of trying to find a psychological problem with Josh  perhaps they should have reevaluated their parenting of him. But then again I am not a parent nor do I ever plan to be, so there really is no way that I can empathize with Kate's situation. I still see things from the child's point of view not the parents'.

The one shining star in this novel is the writing. It is poetic and lyrical especially in Michael's chapters. There is also this sense of foreboding and pain in those chapters. I really enjoyed the beginning of the novel where Michael played a more prominent role.

The only thing I really did not like was the kind of Hallmark card dialogue in Kate's conversations with Jean. I also felt that the ending was a bit abrupt. I wanted to know what happened to Josh.

Overall, this was a really well written and interesting novel and I would definitely pick it up if you are looking for something inspirational to read.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

1 comment:

  1. [...] Ann Collins 53. My Cousin Caroline-Rebecca Ann Collins 54. Hunter: A Novel-Campbell Jefferys 55. Falling Into the Sun: A Novel-Charrie Hazard 56. Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer’s Life-Michael Greenberg 57.The Holy Bullet-Luis [...]



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