When I was approached by Spoonbill Cove Press about reading and review Falling Into the Sun, I immediately nullified my own no ARC policy (especially useful during a move across the US) and accepted the request. The book, based on Hazard’s personal experience, sounded incredibly interesting, and I wanted to read it. But then once the book arrived at my doorstep, I hesitated over picking it up because I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book I was convinced would be depressing. I should have known not to let this book languish for as long as I did!
From the very first page, Falling Into the Sun grabbed me and refused to let me go. The novel opens up with Kate’s neighbor, Michael, committing suicide and the catalyst this tragedy acts as in Kate’s relationship with her teenage son. Her son is an angry, violent teen who hits and hurts his younger sisters, and Kate, along with her husband, are at a lost of what to do. But once Kate sees a vision of her own son hanging in the gruesome manner she found her neighbor as she pulls into this garage, she’s spurred into action and desperately tries to find rhyme and reason as to why her son — a boy who can be sweet, interesting, and wonderful to be around — can violently shift from one emotion to another. As we read about his diagnosis, Falling Into the Sun makes the reader hold their breath and sit on edge, a difficult task for a book that doesn’t revolve around a bank hist or solving a murder. In fact, other than the mystery of the diagnosis, there is very little action in the novel; it’s a day to day expose of the one woman’s life, her relationship with her husband, and her interactions with her children, but you would never know that based on how quickly I devoured this novel. Hazard does a fabulous job of keeping the pace consistent and the narrative tightly wound together; one can feel the anguish and apprehension in Kate’s voice as you turn the page.
The only thing about Falling Into the Sun was the reappearance of Michael in the narrative; not through Kate’s vivid hallucinations but his own narrative in italics. At times I thought his parts we very complimentary to Kate’s and helped explained her situation and I did have lingering questions over why he chose suicide, but when he begins speaking from the afterlife about Kate’s situation directly as though he personally was watching over her, I thought it felt a little out of touch with the rest of the novel.
One of this novel’s strengths is how it approaches spirituality. I expected Kate to turn to God at some point, not because some of GoodReads have classified Falling Into the Sun as Christian Fiction, but because people generally turn to religion in times of heartache and struggle. I wasn’t expecting there to be a pinch of Hindism and a splash of Native American traditions in the book nor was I expecting Kate to refer to God as “Her.” The most exciting part for me, though, was how this book isn’t preaching that once one finds Jesus their life will be infinitely easier, rather Falling Into the Sun is a true testament of how life has no easy answers and there is always the unknown.
- Hazard, Charrie. Falling Into the Sun. Spoonbill Cove: Safety Harbor FL, ARC. Print. 368 pgs. ISBN: 098154102X. Source: Review copy.