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The Joy of Falling

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  416 ratings  ·  195 reviews
Eva and Angela must learn to live again. One step at a time.

It has been fifteen months since Eva and Angela lost their thrill-seeking husbands in a scuba diving accident. Both women are trying to navigate their way through the grief, but neither one is making much progress. Angela is barely making ends meet, angry at her husband for leaving her to raise three children on h
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 14th 2020 by Thomas Nelson (first published April 2020)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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Beth
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a poignant story of grief and finding joy again after terrible loss. Though their circumstances are different, both Eva and Angela have to figure out what their lives look like now that their husbands have passed away.

I loved the realness of the family dynamics, as well as the lush New Zealand setting. And while I never see myself doing an ultra marathon, I found those details fascinating and loved going on that journey with them. The parallel to their inner journey is apparent but feels
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Abby Breuklander
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love love and love this story!! Grief is one of those things that unfortunately we'll never be able to escape in this life. Every one of us will go through it at some point. Each one will experience it differently too, no two journeys are the same. And that's okay, there are no rules or timelines when it comes to grieving a loss, whatever that loss may be.

We may feel like we'll never be happy again, but that's just not true. Happiness is a fleeting feeling that comes and goes with the circumsta
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Laura
This was a great read with some well thought out, faith-based nuggets of truth and wisdom for the reader to chew on. It dealt with the grief of loosing a spouse and learning how to grow and continue on in life. I enjoyed the setting, as most of the book took place in New Zealand, and I loved that the characters were competing in an ultra-marathon! The runner in me loved those details. I also appreciated the mature characters learning to balance life and parenting during the teen years.
This was
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Melanie
I honestly don't even know what to say about The Joy of Falling. I finished it a couple days ago and still don't have the words...but I'll try my best. I loved the book. When I heard that this was, in part, about running a marathon, I thought it wasn't going to be that interesting...boy was I wrong!

This book dealt with loss, grief, healing, and new love. I was captivated by the story right away and felt like I took this journey of healing with Eva and Angela. I was rooting for them as they ran
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Rachael
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A book that has so much emotion...and has my mind spinning. Books that make me think about life,and how a God wants us to live it...books that make me introspective are usually the five star reads for me. This gets those stars because I’m going to be thinking about this one for a while!

The three main characters are really well done. The book goes back and forth between the two sisters-in-law’s point-of-view. I really liked that because it gives an insight into two people both experiencing the l
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Steph's Romance Book Talk
4.25 Stars / 1 Steam Fans

Anyone that knows my reviews will tell you that I am not a fan of Christian Fiction; however, I must say that The Joy of Falling was such a delight to read. Eva and Angela are mourning the loss of their husbands. So when Eva finds out that their husbands had signed up to participate in a mega marathon in New Zealand, she convinces Angela to join in their honor. As sisters-in-law, Angela, and Eva work through the different ways to grieve, celebrate, and accept the traged
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Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love Harrel's way of writing. Her storylines and plots are unique and the settings are captivating. I loved the New Zealand setting and found myself looking up places she mentioned so I could better picture everything.
The themes of grief and the different ways we work through it resonates throughout the story, and it is very meaningful because it's definitely apparent that the trajectory is different for everyone--Angela, Eva, and even their mother-in-law and Angela's children all work through
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Christine Indorf
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Joy of Falling is about 2 sister in laws who lost both of their husband decided to run a race in New Zealand. It was a 7 day race. The girls who really don't get along, but decide to run the race together for their husbands. Both learn about each other as they train for the race. During the training both fall in love. Both women have to learn how to let go of their husbands. The race was taxing but they learn what can happy when they work together with each other. I felt the book was a littl ...more
Lou Allen
The Joy of Falling is a contemporary romance novel following two sisters-in-law, who are both grieving the loss of their husbands but in different ways. They decide to take on a New Zealand ultramarathon race that their husbands should have run.

The book follows their progress through the training for the race. We see the many emotions involved in grief, as well as their struggle to hope for future happiness.

I enjoyed watching their journey, though at times I got frustrated for them. I think the
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Colleen Fauchelle
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
At the moment it is taking me a few days to settle into a book, this book was no different, but once I settled into the story I did enjoy it.
Eva and Angela are sister-in laws, who's husbands died 18 months ago and they are both in different ways struggling to move on in their lives. Eva in a job with workmates who wish she wasn't there.
Angela has three children, she is angry a lot of the time and struggling in her relationship with her oldest daughter. Both have lost their passion for life.
A ph
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Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
Harrel gives readers a story of hope, second chances, healing, and restoration in The Joy of Falling. With beautiful settings, broken characters, and a secondary character to adore, this is another winner in my book. There were a few moments that I teared up a little bit and reached for my tissues, as the characters had to come to some realizations about their past and what that meant for their future. And really, it got me thinking about myself and my own story. That’s what Harrel’s books alway ...more
Jennifer
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, netgalley
3.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was about family, running and romance. Which are some of my favorites things. I really didn’t like Angela very much, but she grew on me. And I hate it when people can’t make up their minds but over all the story was sound. Some parts of the story felt underdeveloped but I would definitely read another book by this author.
I did enjoyed the whole idea of racing in their husbands place and loved that it was in New Zealand.
This was a NETGALLEY gift from the publisher and all opini
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Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
FABULOUS read! Hits all the feels. Longer review coming soon :)
Andrea Cox
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.

Grief isn’t the easiest topic to write about, but Mrs. Lindsay Harrel mastered it in The Joy of Falling. The emotions Eva, Angela, Sherry, Kylee, Marc, and Simon all experienced were palpable, raw, real, and as varied as their personalities. I was blown away by how Mrs. Harrel vulnerably displayed a few of the faces of grief. Strong, weepy, joy-filled… the
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Courtney Clark
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Joy of Falling is an amazing story of grief and healing, joy and triumph, and the importance of relationships in every aspect of life (family, friendships, romance). Oh, and a little armchair adventure in New Zealand happens along with ALL THE FEELS.

I believe anyone who has experienced grief can relate to this story. While these characters lose their husbands, their journey of grief shows how it manifests uniquely to each person and is simultaneously universal. I appreciate how Harrel clear
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Hallie Szott
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5

Having lost their husbands in a scuba-diving accident over a year ago, both Eva and Angela are still figuring out what moving forward without them should look like. A perfect opportunity to confront what is holding them back presents itself in the form of a New Zealand-based ultra-marathon, a race for which the men registered a week before their deaths. As Eva and Angela train to fill the spots of their husbands, the journey they experience moves them inwardly, in addition to outwardly, of co
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Melissa
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-audios
What a beautiful story! Lindsay weaves stories that are full of emotion and heart and this one is chock full of both. I very much enjoyed the premise of the book, and my "trip" to New Zealand. The descriptions in the book made me feel as if I was there, not sitting at my house currently going nowhere. I really felt for Eva and Angela as they struggled with their losses and trying to figure out how to live again after losing their husbands. Lindsay's stories just reach another level that is hard ...more
Staci
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Captivating tale of two sisters in law, Eva and Angela, that are mourning the deaths of their husbands. The way that they mourn and their family situation are very different. Ultimately, both sisters won my heart. The author did a fabulous job with the portions in New Zealand in bringing the area to life.
Abigail Harris
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Grief is a different story for every person.

The Joy of Falling is not an easy book to read, take the warning to heart when it says: "Both women are trying to navigate their way through the grief,".

This story doesn't sugarcoat the characters' feelings, as a reader, it is hard not to feel for both, Eva, and Angela. They are two very different women who we get to see go through life after becoming widows by the same accident. I liked the way that the author showed different ways of grieving for los
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Rosalyn
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a lovely story about going on with life in the middle of grief, about moving on and looking for joy after losing a spouse.

To this point, I've read and thoroughly enjoyed all of Lindsay Harrel's books.

Each one deals with grief, loss, or some kind of heartache. She has a way with words that draws me in, makes me feel what the characters are experiencing.

Various times as I was reading, I had tears running down my cheeks. Even though I haven't experienced grief to the point that Angela, Eva, an
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Ebos Aifuobhokhan
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Trusting God to catch you . . . that’s what life was really about.
- Angela

When I started this book, I knew I would not put it down until I was done reading. 10pm to 6am the next day was how long it took me.

Lindsay Harrel captivated me with her magnificent and beautiful story telling in this book. Written from Eva and Angela's point of view, I was drawn into their world's of pain, grief, losses, triumphs and love and second chances. Their pathways in dealing with the grief of loosing thier husba
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Rebecca
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
" . . .if grief has taught me anything, it's that we don't know what's around the corner. It could be a dream come true. It could be heartache. And that's a scary place to be." . . . . .

Fear. It has gripped the hearts of two young women who lost their husbands in a tragic diving accident. Eva and Angela are sister-in-laws, but even though they were married to brothers, their journey through grief has been anything but similar. Or, perhaps a trip to the wilds of New Zealand in order to
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Jasmine
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
The grief journey isn't the same for everyone...

Wow! What an emotional roller-coaster ride! Trust me, The Joy Of Falling is a perfect title match for this story. Lindsay Harrel took her characters through the proverbial wringer and I felt like I took the trip, and I ain't just talking the one to New Zealand, with them.

I will be the first to admit that as a single girl I really didn't 'get' all of the story. And I didn't always agree with the idea that truly living means risk-taking behaviors. B
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MJSH
"But my greatest sorrow isn't in the things I lost that I had no control over. No, my biggest sorrow is more about the things I lost to fear."

Once again Lindsay Harrel masterfully weaves together broken and raw emotions into a beautiful tapestry of hope, faith, discovery, and victory while sensitively and artfully addressing grief from different perspectives. The heroines of the story are two sisters-in-law, bound by grief of having lost their husbands in one terrible accident. They are complete
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Caitlyn Santi
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great book!
I liked both Angela and Eva and was rooting for them from the start. It was really cool that this book is largely set in New Zealand, I loved getting to armchair travel! This book does a great job of tackling the topic of grief in a realistic way without it ever being depressing, and it's a hopeful inspiring read.
As someone who is very much a non-runner I had no idea there was even such a thing as an ultra-marathon, wow, I'm always so impressed by marathon runners but some
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Hannah
I don't know that I can say this novel is "enjoyable" because it's mainly about two women coming to terms with the acute stage of their grief at losing their husbands. Yet at the same time, while I felt sympathy for both of them, I also had a hard time feeling fully absorbed in their pain. I kept feeling like I ought to like it really well but not quite being able to lose myself in the story.

I think the romance was the hardest part for me. The odds of two grieving women finding someone to love o
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Ixxati
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story are told from Ava and Angela point of views. Ava and Angela were sister-in-law and lost their husband in a diving accident at the same time. I feel bad for Sherry their mother-in-law because she lost her husband few years ago then lost 2 sons at the same time. I can't imagine the pain. But she seems calm and wow one day I wish I have a good mother-in-law like her. I love the way she support Ava and Angela.
I hate Angela at first but then I start liking her at the end lol I hate the wa
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Kailey
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. I really liked Eva’s character. It took me a little bit to warm up to Angela’s character, but I finally did start to like her. I like how this book focused on learning to live your life after such a devastating loss. I also liked how it talked about moving forward in your grief and about forgiveness. I really enjoyed the parts that took place in New Zealand!


I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions e
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Becca (Reflections From My Bookshelves)
What a wonderful story! I hadn't heard about the Ultra marathon before and found it fascinating. New Zealand too sounded amazing. Both Eva and Angela were fun to get to know. Each one was so different and yet similar in a way. The description sounded beautiful. The relationship between Eva and Angela is complicated. It reminded me a lot of real life relationships.It was so honest and refreshing to read a book where the characters deal with the same things you might deal with in real life. Grief ...more
Vicki (MyArmchairAdventures)
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brothers Brent and Wes are adventure seekers who push the envelope until both perish in a scuba diving accident. When THE JOY OF FALLING begins, Eva and Angela, widows of the brothers, are grieving and trying to cope with their new normal. Eva and Angela clash as their personalities and ways of grieving are very different. When Eva gets a phone call about an ultra marathon that the brothers signed up for before their death, she convinces Angela and Brent’s business partner Marc to run the race w ...more
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Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd with a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English. She lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Lindsay has held a variety of jobs, including curriculum editor for two universities, medical and business writer, and copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Now she juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with working fr ...more

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“Because joy isn't dependent on you or even the good things in life, like a wonderful husband. It's dependent on God, and on you being reconciled with Him. It's rooted in a deep knowing that no matter what happens in this life, you have someone you can hold on to even when you are drowning".” 1 likes
“You know, when you’ve loved deeply and lost deeply, it’s okay to feel deeply.” 1 likes
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