I read an early copy of Danielle Younge-Ullman’s debut novel Falling Under on my computer last winter. I usually dislike reading so much on-screen, as I have wonky eyes that are quick to redden after too much pixilated exposure. But with Falling Under? I could. Not. Stop. Reading. I found myself wanting to both savor the story and race ahead to see how things ended for Mara, a deeply conflicted and broken but true, compelling, and fascinating character. I ignored husband and dog and urges to eat and sleep as I scrolled through page after page, devouring the story.
The story, in my opinion, is the main reason to read a book. But the real treat here is that Danielle is a kick-ass writer. She marries stellar storytelling with deft, gritty, and brave writing in a way that completely satisfied me. Though the story is told through a somewhat dark looking glass, there are moments of levity throughout: Mara’s friendship with Bernadette has some wry and fun moments, and Falling Under contains some truly witty dialogue. This haunting story of hard-won redemption and healing covers the full range of human emotions, and it stayed with me for a long time after I closed the book.
If you get a chance to hear Danielle read scenes from Falling Under (or any of her future books, because this is only the beginning of what is sure to be a long and successful career), do not miss it! I was lucky enough to hear several scenes during Danielle’s in-room rehearsal at RWA, and her reading of each selection gave me goosebumps. When she read the chosen chapter that evening at Books, Inc., I was riveted, along with the rest of the crowd.
Performer, storyteller, and writer: Danielle, I am in awe of your talents. I’m thrilled to help you celebrate your launch week!
10 Replies to “Deb Danielle’s Debut FALLING UNDER Soars, by Deb Jess”
Yes, Congrats Danielle on Falling Under. I am starting Falling Under today. I am sure it will be just as good as everyone says it is.
Jess, what a terrific post. You touched on everything that makes FALLING UNDER superb and now I must (somehow) hear Danielle do a reading!
Great book, great post!!
Danielle, we’re so proud of you!!!
I had the good fortune of hearing D again last night at her launch party, which was great fun, and it is a real treat to hear her act out scenes from her own novel. She’s quite the talent!
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