Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

Since We Fell

Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with de...

Title:Since We Fell
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0062129384
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:419 pages

Since We Fell Reviews

  • Kemper

    This is going to be one of those pain in the ass books to review because you can’t really talk about it without spoiling it, and the things that really need to be discussed all happen later in the plot. Yet there’s so much wrong that I really want to get into all of it. It’s quite a dilemma.

    Here’s what I can safely tell you: Rachel Childs’ mother refused to tell her who her father is which leads to a troubled childhood and rebellious teenage years. After her mother’s death Rachel follows up on

    This is going to be one of those pain in the ass books to review because you can’t really talk about it without spoiling it, and the things that really need to be discussed all happen later in the plot. Yet there’s so much wrong that I really want to get into all of it. It’s quite a dilemma.

    Here’s what I can safely tell you: Rachel Childs’ mother refused to tell her who her father is which leads to a troubled childhood and rebellious teenage years. After her mother’s death Rachel follows up on various clues as she finishes school and becomes a rising star in TV journalism. While reporting in a disaster zone she experiences some terrible events that lead to the derailment of her career and crippling panic attacks that leave her a shut-in almost completely unable to deal with the world outside her apartment. Then some other things happen…

    This really seems like two different books. The opening sentence tells us immediately that Rachel is headed for big trouble, but then it jumps way back to her childhood. We spend a lot of time with her growing up and being obsessed with tracking down her long lost father. This goes on for so long that it fools you into thinking that the book is more of a character drama/romance type of thing instead of a straight-up mystery/thriller, and I was actually enjoying this part.

    After the turn we know is coming happens it seems like we’re in the territory of a

    movie, but the book still had its head above water at this point. That’s when this plot which had been looking like a psychological suspense thriller turns into something else completely which stretches the suspension of disbelief way past the manufacturer’s recommended limits, and it shatters completely.

    I yelled "Oh, bullshit!" so many times during this second part that I sounded like someone walking across a cow pasture wearing his best shoes.

    I’m a huge fan of Dennis Lehane so this is really disappointing. Now I know how a teacher feels when their favorite student hands in a rotten paper, and they have to give it an F. I suspect that a lot of readers will find the first half boring and pointless compared to the second half, or like me, they'll be more intrigued by the character based first part and think the rest is complete nonsense.

    Lehane just got way too cute for his own good here as well as not seeming to have a good handle on what kind of book he was doing. While the writing itself is solid and Rachel is a pretty decent character it’s like he tried to make a peanut butter and tuna fish sandwich, and the results taste about as good as that sounds.

  • Larry H

    I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

    Dennis Lehane is truly one of my most favorite contemporary authors. He electrified me the minute I read the first Kenzie-Gennaro mystery (and all of the others that followed) and dazzled me with

    , and while not every subsequent novel has been a home run, the indisputable fact is, I love the way he writes.

    Needless to say, I pounced on

    , his newest novel, practically at midnight the day it came out. I've decided that how you feel about this boo

    I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

    Dennis Lehane is truly one of my most favorite contemporary authors. He electrified me the minute I read the first Kenzie-Gennaro mystery (and all of the others that followed) and dazzled me with

    , and while not every subsequent novel has been a home run, the indisputable fact is, I love the way he writes.

    Needless to say, I pounced on

    , his newest novel, practically at midnight the day it came out. I've decided that how you feel about this book may very well depend upon whether you've been led to believe it's a thriller or a novel. As a novel, it's definitely thrilling, particularly the last third or so, but as a thriller, it's not quite as pulse-pounding as you would probably expect it to be. Expectations. Tricky things, no?

    Rachel Childs had a difficult childhood. Raised by a single mother who refused to give her any information about her father, Rachel was simultaneously nurtured and bullied by her mother, smothered and neglected. After her mother's death, her search for her father leads her to meet some interesting people, and learn just how difficult and controlling her mother really was.

    Given her dogged investigative thirst, Rachel finds success first as a print journalist, then a television news reporter. She is being groomed for major success when, covering the aftermath of the Haiti earthquakes, she has a breakdown on the air. Her career in ruins, she becomes a virtual shut-in, barely leaving her apartment, licking her wounds. And then one day a chance encounter with someone from her past, someone who has always intrigued but confused her, makes her realize that happiness might not be totally out of her grasp.

    Rachel and her husband live a relatively quiet, reasonably ideal life. He travels a bit for work, and encourages her to overcome her agoraphobia, little by little, but doesn't push too hard. He wants her to find the strength to thrive on her own. But then one afternoon, as she decides to venture out on her own, she makes a shocking discovery that throws her for a bit of a loop. As she tries to make the puzzle pieces fit, she uncovers a web far more tangled than she could ever imagine. She isn't sure whether she should let her panic attacks consume her again or if she should battle back for the first time in a long time. And she's not even really sure what she's battling against.

    takes a while to build up steam, but it's still a well-told, compelling story about a woman driven to uncover secrets, first about her father, and then about the news stories she covers. It's a story about a woman knocked back on her heels, and whether she should try to find the strength to knock back, or if she should just be content with being a has-been more famous for appearing crazy than the work she did. It's also a story about how an unexpected relationship might not save you, but it may give you the courage you need to save yourself.

    Lehane's storytelling is in fine form here, and once he kicks the book into thriller mode, the engine just takes off, leaving you breathless at times. There are a lot of twists and turns here, some I saw coming, some surprised me. It's not necessarily new ground, but it's kind of like having a familiar dish prepared by a master chef—everything is just a little bit better.

    Years ago, a few days after

    was released, I met Lehane at a reading and book signing. When I told him I had already read the book, he said, "But the book came out Tuesday. It's Friday, man. I don't think I can write that fast!" I offered to sharpen his pencils if that would help. Needless to say, I've done it again, and I know I may have to wait a few years until Lehane's next book. But Dennis, if you're reading this, I'd be glad to sharpen some pencils if it will help.

    See all of my reviews at

    .

  • Susanne Strong

    4.5 Stars* (rounded up).

    She is complicated and smart. At times she may seem frail, though she is stronger than even she realizes. Her life experience has caused her to hide from the world, until one day, when hiding is no longer an option.

    Rachel was raised by a single mother, Elizabeth, who kept the “mother” of all secrets from her daughter: she refused to tell Rachel wh

    4.5 Stars* (rounded up).

    She is complicated and smart. At times she may seem frail, though she is stronger than even she realizes. Her life experience has caused her to hide from the world, until one day, when hiding is no longer an option.

    Rachel was raised by a single mother, Elizabeth, who kept the “mother” of all secrets from her daughter: she refused to tell Rachel who her father was. Elizabeth Childs was a tough woman to love, she appeared cold, unemotional and angry one minute, and mental the next. Their relationship was a tumultuous one and that relationship shaped Rachel’s entire life, as she struggled to find herself, felt a need to find the father she never knew and continued to seek out a love she never had.

    After years of a successful career in Broadcast Journalism, and a so-so marriage to Sebastian, a man who cared more about himself and his career than Rachel, things fell apart and Rachel became almost reclusive. Then she met Brian, a man from her past, and he became her future. Her safety net. They married and their relationship consumed her. He took care of her, brought her out of her shell and helped her conquer her fears. Then one day, Rachel discovered that things were not as they seemed. Her life changed on a dime and she was caught in a web so tangled that there appeared to be no way out. It became a life of terror, deceit and insane intrigue – all of which made my breath catch in my throat and caused my chest to get tight.

    For me, none of this was surprising, for Rachel Childs was a woman who grew up in a house of lies, experiencing familial dysfunction. Therefore, it was only natural that, that was what she gravitated towards. In realizing all of this, somehow, Rachel was able to dig deep and finds something inside of herself that she thought was lost forever.

    Rachel is an interesting, multi-faceted character. I liked her from the get-go. She is not perfect, far from it actually, but she is real and that is what made her so likeable. Dennis Lehane did a great job creating masterful characters whose pain and suffering I felt in my core. The drama and intrigue that was in play towards the last half of the book was first rate and kept me glued to the story. I listened to the audiobook and thought the narrator, Julia Whelan did a particularly spectacular job.

    Her personal journey is the reason for this book. Her life becomes an unexpected psychological thriller. It was a rollercoaster I didn’t expect to take, but it is one, whose genesis I understood. It was fascinating. I hope you explore it my friends and I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

    Published on Goodreads and Amazon on 5.26.17.

  • Elyse

    My first question when I finished the last page was...."has a movie already been made"?

    What stands out more than anything to me is the creation of "Rachel Childs".

    In the same way that Lisbeth Salander is synonymous with the Steig Larsson's Millennium Series ....Rachel Childs is with "Since We Fall".

    NOT that these two women are alike - or behave the same -but she's one hell of a fascinating female protagonist.

    When Paul asked me what I was reading.... I replied Dennis Lehane's new book -"Rachel

    My first question when I finished the last page was...."has a movie already been made"?

    What stands out more than anything to me is the creation of "Rachel Childs".

    In the same way that Lisbeth Salander is synonymous with the Steig Larsson's Millennium Series ....Rachel Childs is with "Since We Fall".

    NOT that these two women are alike - or behave the same -but she's one hell of a fascinating female protagonist.

    When Paul asked me what I was reading.... I replied Dennis Lehane's new book -"Rachel Childs". I kept forgetting the books name "Since We Fell".... but it's clear once finishing this thriller.

    What made this story thrilling were the jolting twisted shifting paths it took. Especially the first surprise ....

    One minute I was Sunday driving -the next I was race car driving. The momentum and complexity moved into high gear a little past half way through the novel.

    Through it all -- with unique supporting characters - is Rachel Childs!!! She is sensitive, often contemplating her own issues.....( fears, pessimism, loss, trust, and love)....

    As we take a journey with Rachel..... she discovers some insights about herself....but 'not' before troubling excitement. It's not "Mystic River", but it's good. I'd go see the film.

    Suspenseful - sensitive -psychological thriller!!!!

    3.5

  • Diane S ☔

    Rachel has the world in her grasp, a successful journalism career, marriage to an equally successful man, and then in a very public way it and she falls apart. Until she reconnects with Brian......

    The first part of this book is slowly paced as we get to know Rachel, her search for the birth father she never knew, her career, marriage and her breakdown and it's after effects. I enjoyed this first part, it was well wriiten and I had a great deal of sympathy for Rachel. Then this story does almost

    Rachel has the world in her grasp, a successful journalism career, marriage to an equally successful man, and then in a very public way it and she falls apart. Until she reconnects with Brian......

    The first part of this book is slowly paced as we get to know Rachel, her search for the birth father she never knew, her career, marriage and her breakdown and it's after effects. I enjoyed this first part, it was well wriiten and I had a great deal of sympathy for Rachel. Then this story does almost a complete 360 and takes off like a runaway train, morphs into a whole different thing. I have thought about this for days and let's just say that though I was almost convinced this could happen, make sense, that someone with all the problems Rachel had could act in this manner, I couldn't quite make myself get there. Not that I wasn't entertained, I was, this is a very readable story but in my readers mind, too much didn't hang together.

  • Pouting Always

    Rachel Child's mother, Elizabeth, was a famous writer, known best for her book on relationships and spent the rest of her career trying to recapture the success from her first book. Even more ironically Elizabeth spent her whole life unable to be in any healthy relationship, spending all of Rachel's life emotionally manipulating her and with holding any information about her birth father. Eventually after her mothers death Rachel sets out to search for her birth father. She decides to hire a PI

    Rachel Child's mother, Elizabeth, was a famous writer, known best for her book on relationships and spent the rest of her career trying to recapture the success from her first book. Even more ironically Elizabeth spent her whole life unable to be in any healthy relationship, spending all of Rachel's life emotionally manipulating her and with holding any information about her birth father. Eventually after her mothers death Rachel sets out to search for her birth father. She decides to hire a PI to help her look and meets Brian, who tries to aid her in finding her father.

    Might be spoilers from this point on, even though it's a general summary skip reading from here if you don't want to know anything.

    Rachel struggles with questions about her identity and her constant feeling of loneliness and isolation as she continues the endless search for her father. Meanwhile she puts herself through school and starts a career on broadcast news. Eventually she figures out her father's identity, only to be left with more questions and loose ends, which only make her pervasive issues with anxiety worse. Though she gets married to Sebastian, their relationship comes second for both, so that when Rachel is send on assignment to Haiti to cover the earthquake and devastation leading to an eventual breakdown on live television, he is quick to leave. Rachel's disastrous breakdown not only ends her marriage but her career as well; she becomes viral and secludes herself inside for good.

    On the day of her divorce finalizing Rachel takes a rare outing to go to the bar. At the bar she reconnects with Brian, who she has been in touch with on and off for years. The two eventually get into a relationship, making Rachel think for once things are going her way and will be okay. Then when Brian begins to do small things that don't quite add up, Rachel can't help but begin to question their whole life together, leading her to confront her own issues and anxieties, especially her fear of abandonment.

    I really enjoyed this one. I didn't want to put it down even when I went to pee. I really got pulled into the story and the writing was wonderful. I even loved the ending which doesn't happen often. Brian and Rachel were really adorable and when Rachel begins to look into Brian I was really rooting for them. I honestly had no clue where the plot was going and I was pretty invested all the way through. Definitely one of my favorites and I'd say 4.5 stars. I would have given it 5 but the two parts of the story didn't mesh together that smoothly and also the whole thing where Brian was shot and had planned the whole thing just felt a little bit too much of a stretch.

  • Emily May

    I am really disappointed with how

    turned out. It started okay. I've seen some other reviewers mention the slowness of the first half but, to be honest, I didn't mind so much because I assumed it was leading up to something bigger; something important. Unfortunately, though, it kind of wasn't.

    The first part turns out to be an

    about Rachel's childhood, adolescence, her mother's death and the subsequent search for her absent father, her career in inves

    I am really disappointed with how

    turned out. It started okay. I've seen some other reviewers mention the slowness of the first half but, to be honest, I didn't mind so much because I assumed it was leading up to something bigger; something important. Unfortunately, though, it kind of wasn't.

    The first part turns out to be an

    about Rachel's childhood, adolescence, her mother's death and the subsequent search for her absent father, her career in investigative journalism, and her first failed marriage. Many characters come into the book and leave just as quickly, never to be mentioned again. Then Rachel meets the wonderful, perfect Brian who is willing to help her through her personal issues, and she settles into a second marriage.

    The second part of the book is one of confusion and suspicion, as Rachel stumbles upon a secret that will change everything. And, lastly, the third part is a ludicrous stream of action that requires a suspension of disbelief I seem to be incapable of.

    Gillian Flynn said that this book contains two different stories, but I would argue that it contains several. All of them failing to come together successfully.

    . And I say this as a fan of several of Lehane's books.

    The later chapters of

    are really quite ridiculous. I felt like I'd been transported into a cheesy action movie like

    , or something like it. The plot twists are somehow both predictable and seriously farfetched. Lehane drops huge hints earlier in the story that

    so the big "oh my gosh" probably won't come as a surprise, and one hint is only subtle if you’re American

    I think, perhaps, that many feel this book gains its strength not from its thrills and surprises, but from its character exploration, but I can’t say I liked anyone. Rachel was bland to me, and every other character was either outright bad, or so unbelievably great that I could only assume they were hiding something.

    The comically dramatic action scenes of the later chapters felt so cheesy. Even the dialogue seemed to lose something towards the end of the book, feeling scripted and unrealistic. I can almost see the movie already. Lehane finishes with an open ending, so I didn't even get any closure on this disappointing story. No surprises. No suspense. No resolution.

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  • *TANYA*

    The story was not very remarkable, but it kept my interest. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. The authors writing style was fantastic.

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