“Falling,” by Jane Green, is a heartwarming story of true love. The setting is the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a small town where everyone knows everyone else. The main characters are Emma, Dominic and Jesse.
Emma comes from an upper crust British town where her parents still live. She majored in finance in college and left England for a banking job in New York City. Emma led a fast paced life in Manhattan and finally accumulated enough savings to leave that harried world. Her very good friend, Sophie, lives in Westport so Emma has visited and fell in love with the town. Emma's real passion is interior design and she is about to finish an online course to obtain a certificate in that field. Emma is searching for a rental house in Westport.
The story begins as she is looking at a house owned by Dominic. His grandparents lived there for 40 years, so he has a special interest in finding a renter who will be a good tenant. The house is outdated and needs a "woman's touch."
Dominic lives next door with his son, Jesse. Dominic is a carpenter/bartender and has lived in Westport all of his life. He has a girlfriend but it doesn't seem to be a serious relationship. His son, Jesse, is 6-years-old. His mother left Jesse and Dominic soon after his birth. Emma sees that Jesse's dad is very committed to parenting his son. Jesse thinks that he and his dad are "a team" so he isn't interested in including anyone else in their twosome. Jesse's grandparents live in Westport but they don't seem to be close to their son or to Jesse.
Emma decides to rent the house and begins to imagine what changes can be made. She suggests the house needs bookcases. Dominic, a carpenter, eagerly volunteers to make them. Emma is pleased with the sincere interest of her landlord in helping make upgrades. She finds herself attracted to Dominic's honesty, his genuineness and confidence.
It is harder to be friends with Jesse, although Emma enjoys being with him. A breakthrough occurs when Emma discovers that Jesse would like to have a kitten; Emma and Jesse find one for the boy, an addition that his dad approves of.
As Dominic works on upgrades, he comes to the rental often and he and Emma begin to develop a relationship. They enjoy the same things, and Emma is starting to feel like she is finally home.
Several other characters enter the picture – most importantly, Jesse’s mother Stacy. She lives in Florida, but now wants to have a better connection with her son. Other minor characters post challenges to Emma and Dominic, yet their love grows stronger.
"Falling" is a beautiful love story, and an easy summer read. However, be prepared for a happening that shocks all in Westport, especially Emma. She ends up having to decide who is most important to her. Readers may need a few tissues to get through this story.