Laura Moriarty’s While I’m Falling is an intensely engaging story that looks deep into family relationships, especially when the traditional stronghold of family life has shifted; a mother is displaced, both in her role as a housewife/mother and in her financial circumstances, while a daughter is adjusting to her own budgetary constraints at the same time that she’s trying to maintain a new relationship.
Told primarily from the daughter Veronica’s point of view, occasionally presenting the mother Natalie’s perspective, this compelling and dynamic exploration of a family falling apart spotlights what it is like for the daughter, who is trying to grow up while her mother is just trying to stay afloat.
Fearful that their mother is “going crazy,” Veronica and her sister Elise (who is a lawyer living in California) each try to grasp their mother’s issues without really understanding them. But Veronica finally does come to know firsthand what her mother is experiencing when Natalie shows up at her dorm one night with an odd request.
Meanwhile, Veronica has been trying to make ends meet by taking on extra jobs–a dorm assistant job mixed in with house-sitting for a student who has a luxurious condo. Strange mishaps on the job create havoc in Veronica’s already-stressed life.
When these chaotic lives seemingly spin out of control, events suddenly turn on a dime, and everything begins to fall into place.
This absorbing drama kept me reading, page after page, until the fulfilling conclusion.