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Hardcover Falling in Place Book

ISBN: 0445046503

ISBN13: 9780445046504

Falling in Place

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good


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Book Overview

An unsettling novel that traces the faltering orbits of the members of one family from a hidden love triangle to the ten-year-old son whose problem may pull everyone down.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Exposing, forgiving the tattered modern American family

Reading this marvelous book I found myself asking the same question over and over until I was nearly shouting it out loud: why isn't Ann Beattie bigger than she is?Seriously, folks, Falling in Place is an extraordinary book and deserves to be counted among post-WWII 20th century American classics. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But few books succeed as this book does in both capturing their era (in this case the malaise days of the late 1970s) and speaking to all ages. This is the story of how one family, no more or less dysfunctional than anyone¡¯s, manages to do just the opposite of the title, namely, fall completely apart. It is about family whose members forget they love each other --or forget how to love each other-- until it is too late. The book is a tragedy writ both large and small. In short, not even Cheever does a better job of exposing the mix of boredom, depravity, lies and heartbreaking affection behind the picket fences of suburbia. And to top it all off Beattie manages to deal with the then trendy "battle of the sexes" without taking sides --and remember this she did nearly three decades ago. This novel needs to be rediscovered. Perhaps, its fate is due to Beattie's overshadowing success in short fiction. But there is room for both Beatties. There must be.


What an excellent book this is, and what an original Beattie was, before she caved in to criticisms of her minimalism and started "fleshing out" her fiction (see Another You). Her gift for dialogue is without equal, and her eye is so specific she can forsake metaphor to achieve poetic, almost surrealistic, effects. It has been many years since I read this, but it was so immediate that I still remember parts as if I had read it yesterday.
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