Falling Through Darkness: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Falling Through Darkness by Carolyn MacCulloughSeventeen-year-old Ginny’s life feels like a waking dream. Or maybe a nightmare. It all seemed so different when Aidan first came crashing into her life.

Beautiful, vivid, reckless Aidan is nothing like Ginny–a quiet, good girl more comfortable blending in than standing out. But Aidan makes Ginny different. He makes her want more. Makes her feel more. In the end, he makes her feel too much.

There was a crash. Something everyone else is calling an accident. Aidan is gone. But Ginny is left behind to piece together the shattered moments of her life with–and now without–him in Falling Through Darkness (2003) by Carolyn MacCullough.

Falling Through Darkness is MacCullough’s haunting first novel.  This is a story about depression and falling apart, but it is also a story about grieving and acceptance. Ginny would be perfectly happy to stay in this fugue state, sleep walking through life. That is until a new tenant moves in forcing Ginny to confront all the things she knows about Aidan, and the accident, but never wanted to admit to anyone–especially herself.

Ginny’s depression after the accident is palpable in MacCullough’s writing. Equally compelling are her portrayals of Aidan’s frenetic energy. Even when Ginny falls into his dangerous habits it’s easy to understand how she would be sucked into his jet stream. The story shifts seamlessly between Ginny’s present and memories of meeting Aidan and their subsequent, whirlwind, relationship with writing that is evocative and beautiful.

Possible Pairings: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Where She Went by Gayle Forman, Last Night at the Circle Cinema by Emily Franklin, And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard, If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson, The After Girls by Leah Konen, Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, Fracture by Megan Miranda, This Song Will Save Your Life by Lisa Ann Sandell, A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell, The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle, My Private Nation (album and single) by Train

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