This book took me a little longer than some others I have read lately. Maybe because of that, then also seeing that it took the author 7 years to write this book, I felt like I read almost two separate books. The stories linked and I’m having a hard time putting it in words, but disconnected is the best I can come up with.
The story bounces back and forth between the childhood of Tallulah de Longland (Lulu) and current day. Her childhood consisted of a friendship with Annabelle Andrews and relationship with Josh Keaton. It took me back to the awkward and awful times of being a high school girl (at least in my experience.) First loves, tight friendships, broken hearts, parental conflicts, this first part was quite enjoyable. It really gave a great glimpse into the lives of Lulu, her mother Rose (and her issues), her father Harry (and his plumbing business), and twin brothers. And then also Annabelle’s family, eccentric semi-famous artist parents – Frank & Annie. Both families with their issues, but both important in the girls lives. Enter Josh, enter trouble.
The book then fast forwards to current day with Lulu getting some press of her own and unfortunate nickname over a certain “event”. The book takes some time to explain just why she did what she did (sorry – leaving it vague!) and I was a bit disappointed. I mean the reasoning kind of made sense, but I just was hoping for something bigger…(I read a lot of mysteries, so probably where my expectation stems from!)
After that “event” – there is some flash backs to what happened between childhood and then, and then just goes forward. This is where I felt we entered into a new story. The characters were still there, plus a lot of new ones, but I feel Lulu’s adult life was another book of its own. Lulu held onto some friends from her childhood, Simone and Stella, each with their own set of issues. Had a failed relationship. Still worried about her parents. And had a crazy boss that ended up being a crucial figure in coming into her own. And my favorite part – a goofy big dog that changes her life!
Overall I enjoyed the stories and I feel the title was very appropriate once I completed the book. The writing was good, characters unique, lots of drama, I never knew what was going to happen next, I just keep coming back to disconnected. But when writing over different time periods, I would assume some of that is to be expected. Don’t let that keep you away, – it was an enjoyable read and I would definitely look out for other titles from this author. And I loved the ending – I really could picture it all in my head and was a beautiful way to connect it all together.
Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to preview!
Praised as “a tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love” (Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret), this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Frances Whiting is equal parts heartwarming, accessible, and thought provoking.
“Tallulah de Longland,” she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgment. “That,” she announced, “is a serious glamorgeous name.”
From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and by their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.
Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.
Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgivable…
It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.