Cassandra, Cassie, Madison left small town Walton, Georgia for New York City without a backward glance and with a broken heart. As she waited for her date and fiancé, Joe, her sister, Harriet was eloping with him. Unable to deal with this betrayal, Cassie carves a life out for herself and hasn’t been back to Walton for 15 years. Now, at 35, she’s engaged to her boss, Andrew, has a rewarding career, and an upscale apartment. When the phone rings at 3am, Cassie knows the news will not be good and she’s right. Her father is dying and needs her to come home.
Cassie isn’t sure what to expect as she arrives back to her slow paced hometown. What she finds is old feelings are gone or changed and there’s a lot more to Walton than she remembers. Her loyalties are strained as she finds herself attracted to Sam, a boy she grew up with and who is now the town doctor. She also finds herself in the middle of a town dispute between preserving historical buildings and progress. With her eyes still northward towards New York, Cassie begins to love her family, and learns that there is more to it than she thought when she finds and reads some letters written before her parents wed.
Will Cassie be able to return to New York and Andrew as her head tells her is practical or will be follow her heart and stay in Walton? Is there a compromise? When Harriet needs her the most, will Cassie be able to give her what she needs or will she run away like she did 15 years ago?
This is a reprint of a book that Ms White wrote several years ago. In an interview located at the end of the book, she states she used this opportunity to make the book better while not changing the core story. As I have not read the first edition of it, I’m not sure but I do know that this edition is excellent and well worth all 437 pages of it.
Walton represents small town southern life perfectly. There the residents all know each other, or at least each others families, and care about what happens to the town. As happens in many small towns, there becomes two warring factions, one to preserve what they have and one that thinks in order to thrive you must throw out the old and bring in the new. The gossip grapevine is alive and well spreading bad news quicker than you can make phone calls yet in time of trouble those same people are on your doorstep with food and comfort. Core values don’t change even though the character of the town might.
Those people that make up Walton were also done exceptionally well. Cassie has problems evolving her views of what people were when she left to what they are now. It’s easier to take them at face value than to realize that that southern good old boy is actually an Ivy League college trained doctor. Harriet recognizes that she hurt Cassie in ways that she can never apologize enough for but she also wants her sister back. The love between Joe and Harriet is so real, that you wonder how Cassie could have missed it. Other minor characters that make up the charm of Walton include some older sisters, an elderly spinster and a former high school beauty. Each makes up a unique part of this typical town.
The only character that I didn’t see being done as well is Andrew. Within the first few pages, I hated him and that feeling never left. While that may have been the point, I really kept hoping for some redeeming feature but never did find one.
The emotional roller coaster that this book takes you on has high highs and very low lows. Within pages, you become involved with Cassie and how she’s dealing with returning to a home she left when she was little more than a child. Memories come flooding back and she needs to mesh them with her present. The problem is her present seems to be shifting faster than she likes but she’s powerless to stop any of the events happening.
Outstanding emotional story that can touch just about anyone’s heart. You don’t need to be a southern to understand Walton and its values. Instead, you feel drawn to this quaint southern town and want to take your place in it. Though there are over 400 pages, the story seems to end too soon. I had no desire to leave these characters. I wanted to watch Harriet’s children grow up and I wanted to see what Cassie does next. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has ever lived in a small town, had a sister or wishes they had one. So come on down and drop in to visit. You may just want to stay awhile.
Falling Home is a coming home story about forgiveness and acceptance, and of finding love in the most unexpected of places. Home is where the heart is, but Cassie Madison prefers to think of it as a place where one is born, then outgrows, along with skinned knees and childhood dreams. A humiliated Cassie left Walton, Georgia for Manhattan fifteen years before, vowing never to return.
And then her sister calls. Their father is dying and wants Cassie to come back home. When Cassie's father dies, saddling her with the family's antebellum home and letters hinting of an unknown sibling, Cassie finds herself sinking into the red Georgia clay like quicksand. Reluctantly, Cassie is pulled into the lives of her sister and family, and that of Sam Parker, the town doctor.
When tragedy strikes, Cassie is led to discover that home is a place that lives in one's heart, waiting with open arms to be rediscovered.