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Breaking Her Fall
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Breaking Her Fall

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,373 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews
Just before eleven on an ordinary summer night in Washington, D.C., Tucker Jones picks up the phone, expecting to hear that his teenage daughter, Kat, is back from the movies. But the caller is another parent, a man who tells Tucker that Kat was actually at a party-- and makes a shocking allegation about what happened to her there. From that moment Breaking Her Fall sweeps ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published May 3rd 2004 by Mariner Books (first published 2003)
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Rating details
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Lori Anaple
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
I give it two stars because I finished it. Painfully. I thought it was going to be so good too! I was excited to hear a story about a father/daughter instead of the usual mother/daughter dynamic.

This dude just never stops talking...blah blah blah blah. The entire book could have been over with as a short story.

It irritated me more than anything. Here this dude is, going through a law suit and more worried about schtupping the friend who happens to be married to his best friend. I hate that.

Adrian Stumpp
Aug 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I’m not a big fan of books who toot their own horns but when is says, “Breaking Her Fall sweeps irresistibly forward to its wrenching, and redemptive conclusion,” it’s the truth. If there was one book I’ve liked to date this year over all the others, it’s this one.

A lot of books I’ve read over the post three months have dealt with a mother’s relationship with their child (i.e. Perfect Match, Odd Mom Out) and it was a nice change to read a book about a father and his relationship with his daughte
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I had goosebumps when I finished and wanted to read it again. I found the relationships between father and daughter, father and son very real. I was rooting for this family and felt the story which takes place in 1998 could certainly happen today. Relationships are so complex and this story shows a father trying to save his daughter and keep his family safe through some very difficult times. Lily, the neighbor and her daughter Abby are also an integral part of this story and j ...more
Jan 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Very hard to read about this father dealing with the information he receives about his 14-year-old daughter. The aftermath made me think of Map of the World, in which a single very unfortunate event follows a mom. Interesting to read a novel set in DC. Loved the landscaping info. Kids making choices about their sexuality without much information to go on makes we wish everyone could have Our Whole lives (OWL) training. Interesting to see what the psychologist says. I especially like the joke he ...more
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Simply incredible. There were times when I honestly forgot that this story was a work of fiction. I felt intrusive. As if I had stumbled upon an open journal and indulged in the secret thoughts and feelings of a friend. Regardless of how anyone may feel about this story, Stephen Goodwin is a master with the pen. There was nothing cheesy or fake in the dialogue and the rest of the writing was raw and real. Tucker(the narrator)spoke candidly about emotions we have all felt, and never want to admit ...more
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Wow. Warning to all my friends on Goodreads who are parents--this one is heartbreaking. I feel sort of lucky that I can read these types of stories without worrying about my own children. BUT--though heartbreaking, it has a good, solid ending, which I always like because I need closure with novels. It's well-written, moving, and overall pretty amazing. Highly recommended as long as you moms keep the tissues handy while reading.
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
This was probably my least favorite book this year. It started out with potential; a father finding out that his 14-year-old daughter has gotten into some trouble at a party. However, the story goes nowhere. The author attempted to show a family healing but I didn't feel anything for anyone. Bored.

Also, I hate reading dialogue that NO one would say. It bugged me in Juno, but in the opposite way. In this book, everyone's a talker and overly so.
Lil' Jenny Graff
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
i thought i was really, really going to like this book. it's about a divorced man raising his 2 teen-age kids. he gets a call late @ night regarding his daughter and all the 'bad stuff' (don't want to give it away) she has been doing. anyway, the dad kind of loses it a bit, like any parent would after receiving this phone call. anyways, i guess the book did a great job detailing the relationships between fathers and teenage daughters. but i wasn't really into all that. it was eh, at best.
Mike OConnor
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
The book jacket got me: A daughter named Kat and her actions which put a family in turmoil. The crisis leads the father overreact (Not in my estimation) and to cause injury to a teenage boy. Too many words for so shallow a story. Only the lack of another book on a four day trip, kept me reading this one. When will I learn.
May 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent story, though it needs to be further edited down to about 100 fewer pages.

Father and owner of a lawn and landscaping company Tucker Jones receives a phone call from another parent, telling him that his daughter is not at the movies, where she has agreed to be. When Jones finds out purportedly what she has been up to, Jones decides to take matter into his own hands, precipitating a series of actions which alter his, his family's, and his friends' lives forever.

What's cool about the b
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Twill Landscaping keeps Tucker Jones pretty busy, as does raising his two nearly teen-age kids Will and Kat. When he gets a phone call insinuating that Kat is at a party and in trouble he rushes to her rescue and an unfortunate accident occurs that permeates each of their lives for years to come. The helpless feeling when one is caught up in a burgeoning lawsuit was difficult to get through, so I felt pretty victorious when I finished this one.
Linda C
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2012
Brats. What a bunch of brats. Upper middle class, well-off, well-educated, spoiled brats. The teenagers were obnoxious and the adults not much better. This book suffered from the curse of contemporary fiction-- set in 1998, it's not old enough to be considered historical, but too old to feel contemporary. Instead it just felt stale and dated.

During that time frame, there was a slew of "research" (mostly discredited now, I hope) that claimed that we were "failing" our teenage daughters. Girls wer
Oct 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This book had so much promise!! The first half of this book was so engrossing, I could not put it down. As a mother of an almost teenage daughter and a teenage son, the events of that night are a parents worst nightmare. But then there were so many things that started to bother me. Mainly - why did neither Tucker or Trish press charges or seek retribution for what those boys had done to their daughter??? No wonder the poor girl became so depressed - by not doing anything to support her they let ...more
Gail Jeidy
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book isn't particularly literary. It doesn't contain poetic language, but it is a page-turner because the stakes are so high. It deals with a topic of timely importance to parents, for starters, in the aftermath of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. It shows how bad things can happen to good kids in our society and how one family got through it, and in particular how one father and his daughter got through it. Goodwin includes lots of characters and keeps all the threads going, and at 400 pages, ...more
Melissa Torres
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book really caught my attention once i read the summary on the back cover. It's a life lesson book where you can relate to it. Most books are mother and daughter relationships, but this one is a father daughter relationship. How a father dealt with a divorce and has to raise his two teenage children by himself. His oldest child is named Kat and is going through her hardest and toughest time in her young adult life. Her father looses control of himself when he hears on the bad news his daugh ...more
Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
A great summer beach read - a single father gets a phone call that his young teen daughter is at a party where she has, shall we say, performed various indicretions with various boys, and he goes to find her, and a boy gets hurt. Therapy, legal wrangles, and custody issues ensue - and the story feels always like it could develop in any direction, with tension and intrigue that kept me hooked to the mystery, compassion and human interest that kept me engaged with the characters, and enough trash ...more
Aug 16, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was about a single father raising his two teenage children. One night, he get a phone call that he daughter Kat is "in trouble." When Tucker goes to rescue his daughter, he winds up seriously injuring one of the boys at the scene. I like the premise of this book a lot. But to be honest, I found the character of Kat to be extremely annoying and ungrateful. I also found Tucker to be a bit of a jerk at times. But by the end of the book, I really wanted to finish it to see what would happe ...more
Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it
This book brought up some really intense issues and made me definitely question what I would do as a mother if I was put in the situation this father was put in when he acted out.
In the beginning I liked the father and as the book went on I found myself wanting to shake him as he took on the victim role. He needed to take responsibility for what he did!!
A pretty good book that will leave you frustrated and also shatter some of the ideas you have of what you think will happen with the reality of
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fans of Jodi Picoult
Shelves: 2008
This book is very much in the same vein as Jodi Picoult's works although with more focus on the relationships between characters than a court case and for her fans this would be an engaging read although for younger readers (ie. those in their late-teens) the generation gap regarding attitudes to sex etc can become a bit of a grating point.

In short, while this book was engaging and the conversations between father/daughter were suitably awkward, the book often suffered from a lack of direction a
Carolyn Wolfe
Apr 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic and is set in Georgetown so if you live in the DC area you will recognize some of the locations that the author describes. I found this book to be a very touching account of a father watching his daughter struggle through adolescence. What makes this story unique is a significant event that greatly affected both of them and which they both must work through in order to find eachother in the end.
Anna Motteler
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was one of the most amazing, captivating novels I have read in a very long time. Every page of this kept me on my toes and I was instantly addicted to it. I love how it was from a single father's point of view. I'm so used to seeing things about a female and how she's single and can't handle life. Men have these situations too. And that was one of the many reasons I loved this book. You will fall in love with every character, regardless of the part they play. Beautifully written!
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much, except that the chapters were way to long.

The story is one that all parents with daughters fear. To find out that your baby is sexually active is hard to accept. I don't know what I would have done if I found out that my 12 year old daughter was giving BJ's at a party. I might have reacted the same way.
Andrea Carl
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-recently
I enjoyed moments of this book mostly due to how well the awkward conversations between teenage daughter and father were depicted -- it felt very real and tuned into keen insights in that regard. As the story progressed though, I found the characters more and more insufferable. The ending felt slapped together.
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
I couldn't decide on stars for this book. I did enjoy the story line and could so easily see how a dad might end up in such a terrible situation. The focus on the relationships was intriguing, but I found myself speeding through the end because I knew what was going to happen and I just wanted to finish. For all the times one wonders how a situation turns bad, just read this book.
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Like any good book, I'm still thinking about the interactions and characters days after finishing it...and imagining how I would have reacted in their shoes...I loved the development of the relationships and the communication and style of writing felt very authentic. Definitely makes me want to read more of Stephen Goodwin's work.
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book with its fresh voice,vivid characters and interesting set up. Single dad Tucker Jones gets the call we all dread. His daughter (14) is drunk and acting out sexually at a party when she said she would be at the movies. What follows breaks your heart while making you examine your own actions if this were a child of ours.

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“So I just live with my insomnia. I do crossword puzzles, or wander out to the music room and fool around on the piano, or read. Those late hours when the world is completely still, when the only sound is the rustle of the air in the vents and the wind visiting the trees outside, when the darkness is tucked tight around the house and you feel as life itself the movements of your own consciousness-these are wonderful hours to read. There is no interruption.” 13 likes
“I knew that somehow this loneliness was linked to all my other fears and worries and premonitions and to my sense, that fall, of the terrible fragility of everything around me.” 9 likes
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