Review: Where We Fall

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Book Title: Where We Fall
Author: Rochelle B. Weinstein
Series: None
Genres: Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Mental Illness

Date Read: 07/29/16
Pub Date: 04/19/16


By all accounts, Abby Holden has it all. She’s the mother of a beautiful teenager and the wife of a beloved high school football coach. And all it took to achieve her charmed life was her greatest act of betrayal.

Coach Ryan can coax his team to victory, but he can’t seem to make his wife, Abby, happy. Her struggles with depression have marred their marriage and taken a toll on their daughter, Juliana. Although this isn’t the life he’s dreamed of, he’s determined to heal the rifts in his family.

Chasing waterfalls and documenting their beauty has led photographer Lauren Sheppard all around the world. Now it has brought her back home to the mountains of North Carolina—back to the scene of her devastating heartbreak.

For the first time in seventeen years, a trio of once-inseparable friends find themselves confronting past loves, hurts, and the rapid rush of a current that still pulls them together.…

There is always something refreshing and terrifying when you find a book that you can relate to on a deeply, personal level. You see, even though slightly different than what is portrayed here, I suffered from postpartum anxiety/depression after my babies. I don’t know what it is about my body, but it just doesn’t want to function properly during the first year after having a baby. Thankfully both times were short lived and life resumed as usual, but I could relate to the feeling of those dark times as referenced in this story.

The reality of mental health illness is that it affects such a large number of the world’s population, but it maintains an enormous stigma that prevents so many people from getting the health they need. The issues behind the disease, whether caused by chemical imbalance, trauma, or one of the many other reasons need to be addressed head on, and that is the whole idea behind this story of healing and emotional restoration. This was not a light and fluffy tale; it went much deeper than surface level “chick lit”. Not only does the book deal with Abby’s mental health issues and being admitted to the hospital, but it also deals with the effects that such a debilitating disease have on the remaining family. Abby’s daughter Juliana is simultaneously ashamed and worried for her mother, her husband Ryan is trying to protect his family while coaching his boys to victory, and all the while Lauren, Ryan’s first love, is struggling with their issues from the past.

This book was gut wrenching and heartfelt; at times I had to put it down so that I could gather my thoughts and soak it all in. I kept taking time to put myself in Abby’s shoes, to feel what she felt and imagine how easily I could be walking through that very scenario. Anyone who has experienced any level of mental health issues knows how dark and alone it can feel; there’s unfortunately still an antiquated stigma that most people feel they need to uphold, a feeling of shame and fear that those they love will view them differently and not offer the support needed. I’m hoping that more books like Where We Fall, while fictional, could help bring light and attention to such a heavy subject that needs to be discussed. I’m very grateful to have had such a support system around me, especially after baby number 2. She was sick and we didn’t know why, so we were all constantly worried and stressed. If it hadn’t been for family, neighbors, and our friend Noelle who fed us when I simply couldn’t get out of bed, I don’t think we would have made it. I’m hoping one day to be able to offer that support to another woman/family in need, and that we can begin to once again build a sense of community around our families.

*I’d like to thank Rochelle for providing my copy in exchange for an honest review. I won a copy of her two previous novels and she decided to throw in a copy of this one as well because she is just that fabulous. 🙂

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