Monday, July 6, 2020

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Falling Woman, by Richard Farrell {ends 7/13}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

In spite of himself, he imagined a woman falling through the sky and heading toward the barn. He pictured her dropping, imagined what she felt—the cold air, the speed, the rush of wind. In all likelihood, she would’ve lost consciousness, which, given the circumstances, was a gift. Did she wake up at some point? Did she see the ground rushing toward her? What did she think in that moment?

“Could someone really have made it through?” he asked.

Lucy looked up. Their hands were still touching.

“Charlie, I don’t know, but you need to find out. We need to be certain. You can’t let all these questions just float out there unanswered. There are families waiting to hear. There are people who need to know.”

“Listening to these tapes,” he said, “hearing the voices of the other pilots and the air traffic controllers, everything seems so grounded. With all the work ahead of us, a miracle hardly seems plausible.”

“You think you’ll be able to ignore it then?” she asked. “You think you can just wait for someone else to solve it?”

“I’ve done my part,” Radford said.

While this is a work of fiction, the similar cases cited (of people falling from airplanes and surviving) were real. The circumstances all varied greatly, but they proved that the improbability of falling from such a height and surviving did not mean it would be impossible.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Falling Woman, by Richard Farrell {ends 7/13}
Erin feels that she has reached a breaking point in her cancer treatment. Having gone through two exhausting programs of medication and facing a third, she decides to take a week off from doctors and hospitals and even her family, and to fly from her home in Washington D.C. to a retreat in California that is designed for people like her, cancer victims with no chance of survival. She has reached middle age, is in a mostly loveless, mechanical marriage, has successfully seen her twin daughters enrolled in college and starting their own lives independent of her, has ended an affair she was having with a man in her office, another lawyer, and is facing the reality that for all those people—husband, daughters, ex-lover—she is essentially already dead. So when the plane she is on, headed cross country to San Francisco, encounters extreme turbulence and comes apart in midair, she accepts the reality of the fact that this will be her real death. Only fate has other ideas, for she miraculously survives not only the explosion but also the fall from the sky.

Charlie Radford is a young NTSB investigator who is on the team sent to Kansas to try to determine what caused the crash, and also to find and identify all the bodies. When, several days into his investigation, he hears a rumor that a woman was found alive in a barn, still strapped to her seat, he assumes it is a hoax, but because of word of this “miracle” has reached the media—as well as the men and women in Congress—he is forced to assume responsibility for tracking down the source of the rumor and to find the woman, should she actually exist. So for young Radford, what began as a routine crash investigation becomes a search to find the truth of the story, and then, once he realizes that in fact there is a survivor, he must convince her to come forward. The problem is that once found, Erin refuses to cooperate, having decided that her family has already mourned her death twice; all she wants is to be left alone, to live out what time she has left away from the rest of the world. But then one reporter gets wind of her location, and Radford must decide how to protect this “falling woman” while at the same time answering the commands of his superiors in the government agency.

Fast paced, and full of twists and surprises, The Falling Woman is a story of the irony of fate, and of which conflicting factor will prevail: the need of the government and its people to know the truth, or the right of a woman to determine how her personal story will play out.

This was a deep emotional story. How could someone, when given a miracle second chance, walk away and choose to maintain her status as already dead? Really, this was most of the critical question for Charlie Radford, the NTSB investigator in the story. His job is to disprove, or prove, that the explosion of a flight over Kansas had an improbable survivor. The rest of his agency assumes the odds are too great and Radford is on a wild goose chase and embarrassing himself over a hoax.

Without giving too much away, once Radford finds the woman who may have been on the flight, his real dilemma begins. What legal or moral obligation does he have? Does he owe more to the mystery woman or the government and his employer? The story premise was exciting enough on its own, but the real contemplation came with Radford’s and the woman’s soul-searching.

I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Unless reading about a plane crash will give too much anxiety on its own, anyone who enjoys questions of the human condition and contemporary fiction would enjoy this book.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley is a wife, mother, reader, and flower-raiser. Now that she’s declared it, she’ll be posting more pictures of her flowers as PoshBecki on Instagram.


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Falling Woman!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, July 13th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!
The Falling Woman, by Richard Farrell


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