Shana's Reviews > Falling Under

Falling Under by Danielle Younge-Ullman
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-0-stars, contemporary-fiction, debut-novel, fiction, read-in-2008, art, alcoholism, mental-illness, canada

In Danielle Younge-Ullman's emotionally charged debut novel, Falling Under, readers meet Mara, a twenty-something painter with more than her fair share of problems. In the past, Mara has experienced events and encounters that have left her emotionally scarred and seemingly incabable of having a healthy relationship with anyone.

In Mara, Younge-Ullman has created a character that is incredibly raw and vulnerable. Mara's story is told primarily in the first person, with second person narrative interspersed throughout, usually when she is recounting her childhood. There is no omniscient narration here. The reader sees only through Mara's eyes, which means normal physical descriptions of characters and place are few and far between. This only adds to the authenticity of the narrative and frees the reader to step more fully into Mara's life.

While Mara was indisputably the star of the story, there were several very well-developed secondary characters, such as her best friend Bernadette, and several of Mara's boyfriends. Her parents were both flawed in their own way. Bitterly divorced since Mara was a child, her father was a mentally ill alcoholic and her mother was cold, distant, and absorbed in her career to the point of neglecting Mara's emotional needs. Still, despite my frustration and disapproval of their parenting choices, they were sympathetic characters for whom I wished eventual redemption.

Younge-Ullman has a unique and mesmerizing writing style. It is at once raw and gritty, eloquent and beautiful. Most outstanding is her ability to take the reader inside her character's head and heart, creating a unique and unforgettable reading experience.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 14, 2008 – Shelved
October 14, 2008 – Shelved as: 5-0-stars
October 14, 2008 – Shelved as: contemporary-fiction
October 14, 2008 – Shelved as: debut-novel
October 14, 2008 – Shelved as: fiction
October 14, 2008 – Shelved as: read-in-2008
October 14, 2008 – Shelved as: art
October 14, 2008 – Shelved as: alcoholism
October 14, 2008 – Shelved as: mental-illness
October 14, 2008 – Shelved as: canada

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