Since We Fell — by Dennis Lehane

This book took me FOREVER to read. It took about  a week, which is an eternity for me to spend on one book. Near blasphemy, tbh. But I finished it and loved it, although I have to read the ending again (the last 20 pages) just to be sure I know what really happened.

It is a long book, between 400-500 pages, I think, but it’s worth it. Engaging from the start. The first chapter is about the time Rachel shot her husband and watched him die. Normally I HATE that kind of in media res approach – I find it a cheap appeal to the reader’s sense of curiosity and shock. But I fell for it in this one and ended up loving the book.

Lehane is the same guy that brought us Shutter Island, which I loved, and Mystic River, which I haven’t read, so I knew this would be a great read. It absolutely was, even though I honestly felt like I was slogging through it just because it seemed to take forever.

I started out hating Rachel. I have realized that I tend to hate characters with serious anxiety disorders who refuse to seek help for it. I just haaaated Rachel. By the end of the book, that was no longer the case, because I thought she was a rock-solid, totally brave woman.

Rachel is a great female character. It didn’t escape my notice that this was Lehane’s first time writing from a female character’s voice, and not only did he do it competently, he knocked it out of the damn park. Even when I didn’t write her, I knew that Rachel was written very well, very intimately (without the boner lens), very richly, very completely.

I’m not going to get into the plot, except to say there were lots of twists and turns I didn’t expect, and that this was a thriller on steroids, and it was loads of fun. BOTM Club has really pushed thrillers on me (because those are the ones my friend Ann usually picks and then she lends them all to me), and I’ve been enjoying it a lot.

The one complaint I have with this book is that the pacing is weird. It feels like the first part of the book, which has so much to do with explaining WHY Rachel is the way she is, but absolutely nothing to do with the real meat of the plot after her marriage, takes sooooooo long. And the real meat of the plot, with all the action, goes by so quickly that once I skimmed over a paragraph without reading it and missed someone’s death. Hah! I mean I went back instantly but damn.

Since We Fell is amazing, although it did make me cry. I have so many issues with relationships, romance, intimany, trust, vulnerability, and Rachel and Brian’s relationship just hit a few of those things too hard, too close. Rubbed them a little too raw. There was one line, I remember, and it was Rachel imagining the universe talking to her (as I often do as well), and the universe said, Silly girl, don’t you know that love isn’t for you? 

And I had to shut the book and walk away from it for a day or so. And I dreaded going back.

I know that’s probably super dramatic of me. Whatever. But Rachel and Brian’s relationship was very very interesting to me, and I was completely wrapped up in it to the point that I was talking to Ann and I asked her about it and she said something but then jumped to another aspect of the book and I wanted to shake her and yell NO LET’S GO BACK TO TALKING ABOUT BRIAN AND RACHEL WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP.

Since We Fell is amazing, and such an engrossing, rich read. Lehane is a fantastic writer and does not disappoint.

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