Thursday, June 6, 2019

Dreams of Falling by Karen White

Dreams of Falling. Karen White. Penguin Publishing Group.  June 2018; hb. 416 pp.; ISBN #: 9780451488411.

Ivy, Larkin, Margaret, Cecee, Bitty and a host of their former friends fill these pages with mysteries and secrets!

Larkin left Georgetown, South Carolina for New York nine years ago but gets a telephone call noting that her mother Ivy is missing.  While she is traveling home, Ivy is found, fallen through a rotted plank of a staircase in their old plantation home.  Close to the house are moss-covered trees in which one puts ribbons which are inscribed with one’s dreams.  There, the characters discover there are ribbons newly placed which hold mystifying messages or dreams. Who placed them there and what do the ribbon messages mean?

The plot in this latest novel by Karen White is simple and yet oh so complex.  Larkin obviously felt very insecure and incapable when she lived here as a child.  However, everyone else remembers her as a forward, more than capable and amusing child and teen, to the point that her strengths made others feel less capable and even inferior.  So the memories of her former friends emerge more as confessions, envy and slightly critical of her for leaving.  South Carolinian relationships seem quite binding and even at times slightly oppressive which adds to the mystery in each scene as it unfolds.

Ivy never recovered from losing Ellis, her first husband and deepest love; her artistic abilities and kindness to all are noteworthy.  Cecee is the preacher’s daughter who along with the others went on a phenomenal trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when a teen that changed her life forever.  Bitty, another artist, seems to be a follower but has her own past relationships and dreams that never quite unfolded as she wanted.

As the tales unfold about the past, will new romantic interests emerge?  Will Ivy come out of unconsciousness or not?  Larkin spends a great deal of time discovering things about her mother from other people.  As she talks to her unconscious mother in the hospital, Ivy is internally hearing it all and responding mentally.  Only when these dreams, scenes and discoveries are fulfilled in the way they must can each character truly let go of the past and embrace the present.

Dreams of Falling is another lovely story penned by the talented Karen White!  This is fine, interesting and endearing historical and contemporary fiction for all to thoroughly enjoy.  Nicely crafted and recommended reading!

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