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A Beginner's Guide to Free Fall

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  3,714 ratings  ·  366 reviews

Husbands and wives. Brothers and sisters. Mothers and daughters. Okay, everybody. Hold on tight.

Davis Winger has it all. A respected engineer who designs roller coasters in theme parks across the country, he is deeply in love with his wife and has a beautiful young daughter and a happy home. Until an accident strikes on one of his rides. Nothing fatal—except to his car

Kindle Edition, 392 pages
Published January 1st 2020 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,714 ratings  ·  366 reviews

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Larry H
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-first
3.5 stars.

A little familial and marital dysfunction, along with a few crises of self-esteem, never hurt anyone!!

Everyone likes Davis Winger. He’s funny, good-natured, a devoted husband and father, a loving brother and son. He has a great job designing roller coasters and other rides, which meshes well with his personality.

When a mishap on a ride he designed occurs, his job is threatened. At the same time, the one lapse in judgment he's made in his marriage comes to light, and suddenly he finds h
Theresa Alan
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this novel because the characters and their relationships are complex. Davis and his sister, Molly, have survived having a mother abandoning them when they were young. This summer marks some changes for both of them. For Davis, who engineers roller coasters all over the world, when an accident occurs on one of the rides he designed, he gets an unwanted sabbatical from the office while it’s investigated. At the same time, a stupid thing he did a while back comes to light, also putting h ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Broken parts

I will be the first to admit this is not my usual book, I did enjoy parts of it. I think the main I did not like in this book was the main character Davis. I keep being told he was supposed to be charming and charismatic, but I simply did not like him I found him more annoyingly smug and condescending in his humour. I think his sister Molly was a better main for the book.

As for Davis' wife being Indian, I did not fully realise this till his daughter said she was half Indian 3/4 of t
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

*My Pick from Amazon first Reads, in December 2019 I think it was*

Moves a bit slow for I want to saw half or close to it, considered giving up on it a couple times but I had a sense that it wasn't quite time yet and pushed on.
I grew more attached to the characters not long after.. can't pinpoint exactly when it happened, it kind of snuck up on me :).

This is more a character piece with some plot in there. Not to say there isn't a plot, but it is more.. slices of life I guess? Its a sn
This was my December pick from the Amazon Prime First Reads selection.

Davis and Molly were abandoned by their mother when they were children. Each in their own way carries the burden of that abandonment. Davis is a hot-shot engineer who designs roller-coasters whilst Molly plods along as a 'features' writer for a failing local paper. Davis blows everything that matters to him on one night of ill-considered lust with a colleague and Molly plods along with a younger boy-man as if trying to avoid h
Ange H
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
My first book of 2020 got the year off to a good start!

This was a pretty standard story. Davis is an otherwise good guy who has an impulsive, unsatisfying one-night stand which he immediately regrets, and it makes him realize how much he loves his wife. But his wife finds out and throws his cheating a$$ out. Then he spends the rest of the novel trying to win her back.

What elevated this one for me was the likable characters and very witty dialogue. Davis has a job as an engineer/designer of theme
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal!!! Cannot express how much I enjoyed this book. It gave me lots to ponder and the humor flowed right through the plot seamlessly with remarkable authenticity.

Hopefully more of Mr. Abramowitz's books are planned (in the near future) for release on audible. Enjoyed listening much more and was immediately lured in and transfixed. The plot was amazing!!

Mr. Abramowitz also performed the narration .- Nailed It!! - Flawless. Kept my attention start to finish, and only sorry it wasn't longer
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly, highly recommend. Lovable characters and clever dialog!
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up A Beginner’s Guide To Free Fall from Amazon’s First Reads, because, hey, free book! That’s kind of my overall feeling after reading it, though. Hey, it was free.

After a dramatic opening, in which our protag Davis loses his job and his wife in one afternoon, the book meanders though their family history and introduces secondary characters who are mostly a little too Quirky, in ways that felt forced. I bought Davis’ shy sister Molly (although I didn’t buy her weirdly passive relationsh
CYIReadBooks (Claire)
Thanks to the Goodreads Giveaway, I got this book to read. I wasn't expecting much because of the title and the book cover. However, like they say, "You can't judge a book by its cover." This book really surprised me. It was actually really good. Davis and Molly are brother and sister both going through some unexpected life changes. It's a story of how they each cope with their own crises, and how they adjust and adapt. The story has some humorous moments, and some sad moments as well.
I caught m
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I suppose some would regard A Beginner’s Guide to Free Fall as merely a work of fiction and suggest that my virtual “shelving” of the book as “literature” is either nescient or pretentious. Nonetheless, this novel is full of human insight with cleverly crafted phrases, similes, and metaphors. I didn’t simply read it because the idea of an amusement park design engineer coping with things in his life going terrible wrong (not all of his own making) was interesting, but I enjoyed the cleverness of ...more
I wasted my December Amazon First Reads pick on this.

Flounced it at 13% as I couldn't bear to read more.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took a chance on this one as my Kindle First Read book for December 2019 and I'm so glad I did. This book was beautiful. An absolutely compelling read. The characters came alive on the page with all their flaws and vulnerabilities.

* Davis with his rash choices and poor decisions, trying to put his life back together

* Britt with her scorn and working through her anger (and rightly so)

* Molly with her introversion and insecurities

* Charlie being young and brash

* Even the enigmatic McGuinn

Linda Watson
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved A Beginner's Guide to Free Fall. The author says he can't build a roller coaster, but I disagree. I was on that roller coaster laughing so hard I couldn't breathe and crying so hard I was sobbing. One reviewer said it was a slow roller coaster ride. I think the pace was perfect. We really get to know Davis through his interpersonal relationships, and we come to care deeply about him. Without Davis and the people he loves, there would be no story. This was a beautifully crafted and well w ...more
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. A quick and easy read that will make you laugh and also warm your heart. Lots of great writing - including some really good nuggets that made me wish I had written them, and the musical references are a bonus for music lovers. Highly recommend.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t really have high expectations for this as it was a free kindle first book this month but it was really good. The sibling stuff is perfect- made me laugh and also very real. I enjoyed it much more than I expected.
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Sometimes turbulence is unexpected.”

I love how the cover plays in to the story. The roller coaster on there is because Davis, one of the MC's, designs and coordinates having them built at amusement parks. The other MC, is Molly, his sister. When we stumble in to their lives, they are in the midst of some pretty big upheavel.

Davis's skills are put into question when a child is hurt on one of his rides and Molly is in a deadend spot in both her job and in her love life. As they each suffer their
M.M. Schreier
Dec 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporary
This was altogether awful.

The primary character--Davis--has cheated on his wife and more or less goes into a full-on childish tantrum. Instead of manning up, he continually whines about it being a "mistake." No dude, that's a full on conscious decision. Overall, he's pushy with his wife, a judgmental neighbor, tries controlling his own (adult) sister's love life, cringeworthy-woke re: racism, but completely unaware of his own blatant misogyny.

The secondary character--Molly--is marginally more i
Kat Lyon
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Food for thought

When I started this book, I really wasn't sure where it would take me, but I got an intimate feel for David and his sister Molly's life. Both of them were truly at the edge of a precipice and free fall in their lives. An excellent foray into family dynamics, and how they effect us for the rest of our lives. Very well written and excellent character development. I grew to care about the characters and what they were going through. Different genre from what I normally read and well
Kelly Prue
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I discovered this author through BookBub. I loved his snappy dialogue and writing style. The dialogue often made me laugh. Great story and writing.
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you

As a 60 something with an abandonment issue, I thank the author for the space to see my parents and myself in a different light. I occasionally got lost in the pop and literary references but appreciated the gentle revelations they exposed. Before reading "Free Fall" I thought there were no depths left to plumb. Well-written, educated prose with deeply flawed and sympathetic characters. Recommended for anyone whose life has been one big search.
Ramona Mead
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh what a beautiful novel this is. The rollercoaster is the perfect symbol here because my heart was dropping and soaring throughout the story.

The writing is smart and witty. I laughed out loud, but they're not cheap laughs. The author does an amazing job of capturing the back and forth of ever day relationships. The tone is snarky at times in a way that is true to real life- people tease each other and are sarcastic, they lie when embarrassed, they apologize, argue, and make up. I adored every
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book. I got this as a free Kindle First Reads ebook with my Amazon Prime membership.

Story (4/5): This was a well done contemporary fiction about two siblings. The brother, Davis, is a rollercoaster designer who has been put on paid leave because of an accident that happened on a ride he designed. Right after this happens, his wife finds out that during the project he slept with another woman. He's now living on his own in an apartment trying to pull his
Goth Gone Grey
Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it
A slow, uneventful roller coaster ride

Psychological family trauma, quirky characters, prose waxing poetic - literally and figuratively - there's so much about this book that I should adore. And yet, it fell flat for me.

Davis, the older sibling and lead character, blends into the background of the world churning around him save for one poor decision and the improbable disclosure of it to his wife. Molly, the younger sibling, finds herself and her strength, though she doesn't believe it, through
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the outset, allow me to say that this is not a perfect novel. Of course, that begs the question "IS there a perfect novel"? Maybe. I've read quite a few that I think qualify, but I'm no English Lit scholar. The flaws in this novel are minor, really, and can easily be dismissed in favor of a fun read.
The feel of this story can be described as a Johnathan Franzen story minus a few degrees of dysfunction. Or perhaps a Jesse Walter work minus a few degrees of painful insight. In all, this boo
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Davis Winger loses everything to him that matters: his wife, his job, and his house. Losing his wife and the right to live in his house with her was definitely his fault; the job as a roller coaster designer was not. He was the collateral damage after an accident injured a girl and put his company in jeopardy. This free fall from the life he knew threw him into a place he was ill equipped to handle.

The people in the book are unique individuals and could have been reduced to caricatures in less
Rachel Brown
I wish there were half star ratings, because I would definitely give this one 3.5 stars.

I found it started a bit slow, with the main character, Davis, being one I struggled to connect to. It isn't that he made mistakes, I've certainly made enough to relate to that part, but that it seemed like he was refusing to admit any possible responsibility for any of it. I did like Molly from the start, introverted, insecure, and unsure of where she is even trying to go.

That said, I found the second half
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I've always said that I would leave my husband if he ever cheated on me. In reality, it's so much more complicated than that. Infidelity is a complex subject to tackle - but Abramowitz does it beautifully. The impact to each character was explored in such an honest way. Never before have I rooted for the (genuinely remorseful without being cloying) cheater before, yet here I am.

Though the infidelity arc was just a part of a whole (tales of a tragic coaster accident, an absentee mother, a secret
Tori Hirner
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a delightful little book. It took me a minute to get into but I really enjoyed it. I love books with strong brother/sister pairs and I love books that are about real life and lots of feelings. This definitely delivered on that front. The characters are loveable and I really wasn’t sure how it was going to end. We are all flawed and we are all looking for hope, validation, love, or acceptance.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it!!! It was HILARIOUS! At the same time , an emotional read. The characters were relatable so I miss them already.
Andy has a way of writing a story that you don’t want to stop reading. Prepare to Binge Read and wish the story wouldn’t end.
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Andy Abramowitz is the author of THANK YOU, GOODNIGHT (Touchstone / Simon & Schuster 2015) and A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO FREE FALL (Lake Union 2019). A native of Baltimore, he lives with his wife, two daughters, and their bichon poodle in Philadelphia, where he enjoys classic rock, pitchers’ duels, birthday cake, the sound of a Fender Rhodes piano, and the month of October. He could never build a roll ...more

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