Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FALLING TOGETHER by Marisa de los Santos

Pen (short for Penelope), Cat, and Will were inseparable in college.  Now it's time for their college reunion (10 years?), and the three have not seen one another in six years.  Pen has a 5-year-old daughter, Augusta, by her on-again off-again married boyfriend and has no intention of going to the reunion, until she receives an email from Cat, imploring her to attend.  Will has received the exact same email, but Jason, Cat's husband and the real author of the emails, approaches Will and Pen at the reunion with the news that Cat has disappeared.  Now we have a different threesome, with Will, Pen, and Jason becoming a team as they head to the Philippines, the home of Cat's deceased father, in pursuit of Cat, who may not want to be found.  Jason is a big, annoying lunk, who's not sharing everything he knows, but he does really love Cat, although the extent to which she returns this love is in serious doubt, given that she's left him, without any explanation.  Will apparently has been carrying a torch for Pen since college, and the anticipation of seeing this relationship finally blossom was what kept me interested.  What happened to Cat is the big mystery, I guess, but, since she's absent through most of the book, I didn't feel that vested in her story.  Marrying Jason in the first place seemed particularly unwise, but more importantly, Cat is an epileptic who takes her meds sporadically, at best.  Her seizures mark two pivotal events in the plot, and I guess we wouldn't have much of a novel otherwise.  All the characters have good intentions, with malice toward none, but the author makes a somewhat lame attempt at injecting some conflict, in the form of a spat at the end between Will and Pen, which amounted to nothing more than a serious case of over-reaction on Pen's part.

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