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Month in review

Reviews:

The Bones of Giants by Yoon Ha Lee
Candy and Me by Hilary Liftin
Color is Everything by Dan Bartges
The Dancers' War (in by N. K. Jemisin
Dolphins at Daybreak (Magic Tree House #9) by Mary Pope Osborne
Fairy Hunters, Ink. by Sheila A Dane
Falling into the Sun by Charrie Hazard
Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown
The Frequency of Souls by Mary Kay Zuravleff
The Goddamned Tooth Fairy by Tina Kuzminski
Goldilicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann
Haunted (Mediator #5) by Meg Cabot
Horrible Harry and the Green Slime by Suzy Kline
Hunchster by Matthew Hughes
I Spy School Days by Jean Marzollo
Icarus Saved from the Sky by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud
I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts by Larry Wilmore
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G. K. Chesterton
A Matter of Feeling by Janine Boissard
The Navajo (True Books) by Alice Osinski
The Night Villa by Carol Goodman
No Elephants Allowed by Deborah Robinson
On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
The Others by Lawrence C. Connolly
Painting the Invisible Man by Rita Schiano
Precious Jeopardy: A Christmas Story by Lloyd C. Douglas
Real Sofistikashun by Tony Hoagland
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
The Secret of the Pink Pokémon by Tracey West
The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright
The Sky Rained Heroes by Frederick LaCroix
Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening by DCS
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène Du Bois
The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint
Winter Walk by Ann Burg

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Falling into the Sun

Falling into the SunFalling into the Sun: 10/05/09

When I read a book, I set it aside before writing my review. Reading a book or watching a film for that matter muddles my brain. Sure, I'll have an initial gut response but I need time to fully absorb the experience of reading or watching. Sometimes a story that I didn't connect with sneaks up on me and after due reflection I come to like or even love it. Falling into the Sun by Charrie Hazard is one of these books.

Christian fiction (and perhaps other religious fiction as well) and horror share a border. On that border are books like Rosemary's Baby (Ira Levin), The Exorcist (William Peter Blatty), The Amityville Horror (Jay Anson) and The Sentinel (Jeffrey Konvitz). While Falling into the Sun isn't a horror novel and isn't completely a Christian novel either, it experiments with both genres.

Kate Nardek teaches horror at the local community college. She has come home from a class and discovers her neighbor has just committed suicide in his garage. The shock of seeing his death haunts her and brings into question her own uneasy family life. She realizes that if things don't change her son might end up following a similar tragic path or doing something worse if he can't keep his violence in check.

In the process of recovering from seeing the suicide Kate turns to religion along with counseling. The way in which the neighbor haunts uses many of the horror conventions but the book is otherwise a novel about mental health and spirituality.

When I first read the book I got too distracted by the competing themes: the horror of suicide, the son's mental illness and long discussions on the nature of good and evil. My preliminary notes were rather negative because I was too focused on the weakness of the book to not see its strengths.

I didn't see how everything comes together until about a week after finishing the book when I came across an attempted suicide. Things turned out better for this person in that he was alive and able to be rescued but it was just as traumatic. It was then that I clicked with Falling into the Sun. I too have been haunted by the attempted suicide and since my children were also involved, they have too. I have had to answer their questions and help them deal with their uneasy feelings.

So while I still see the flaws in the book and think the transitions between themes could have been more even, I have gone from thinking of the book as "just okay" to recommending it my friends. If you have had any sort of traumatic experience in your life, read Falling into the Sun.

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Comment #1: Monday, October, 5, 2009 at 14:46:40

Helen Ginger

This was a great review/recommendation. I'm sorry you and your kids had such an experience though.

Helen
Straight From Hel



Comment #2: Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 12:44:02

Pussreboots

Thank you. I'm glad you like the review. I wish we had just been able to finish our day of exploring without the attempted suicide but I'm glad we were able to help. They seem fine... probably better than I am.