It was with great anticipation that I looked forward to reading Charrie Hazard’s Falling Into the Sun. Having myself experienced two suicides and a bi-polar sibling, almost made it imperative reading material, a source of answers, perhaps, to my own unanswered questions.
In Falling Into the Sun, Kate witnesses her neighbor, Michael’s, suicide. From that moment on, Kate’s world is turned upside as she embarks on a journey to slay the inner demons Michael’s death has awakened within her. As Kate attempts to figure out what could have pushed Michael in to such a desperate act she is forced to face her own feelings of loss and fear, panic and disillusion, life and death, and of a sudden and utter dissatisfaction of her life.
Kate’s hesitant visit to a therapist opens doors within herself and demands she examine the issues and events taking place in her own life, events that are unsettling her world and testing the very core of her faith. A verbally abusive, alcoholic father; a violent, dangerous teenage son; a beloved, wise Godmother fighting cancer; a husband that seems to be pulling away; her own self-worth in shambles; temptation in the form of a handsome Priest, and a deep, buried need, fester and scratch at the core of her soul, compel Kate (and readers alike) to sink or swim, turn to, or away from “God”.
One of the things I adored about Falling Into the Sun was the depiction and rendering of Kate’s belief in “God”. Blending and fusing Christian, Hindu and Native American beliefs, male/female aspects, God/Goddess, the reader is pulled along Kate’s gripping and at times, crippling, journey without being forced to surrender to one singular belief. In fact, Falling into the Sun encourages readers to look outside the box in terms of ‘religion’ and instead look within themselves for deeper, truer, more spiritual answers.
While I found some conversations between Kate’s beloved Godmother, Jean, a little hard to swallow in their idealistic tone and timbre, a little too sugary sweet and wisdom’ful, I could not help succumbing to the chance of hope and promise, of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, that Falling into the Sun affords it’s readers.
Falling into the Sun competently and heart wrenchingly depicts the story of a family forced to deal with mental illness and alcoholism and the devastating effects they have, when left untreated, upon a person and family dynamics. Only with perseverance, strength, pure faith and the will to overcome all challenges, one minuscule step at a time, does the path to true peace and inner-power present itself.
Falling into the Sun not only demonstrates that with love and belief all things are possible, but forces the reader to take stock of their own situation, their own lives, and fall into God now and again, secure in the knowledge that, while invisible, His/Her hands will always be there to catch them.
Claudia resides on Cape Cod and is a wife and mother of two. She attended Lasell College in Newton, MA, after spending 18 years abroad as the daughter of a Diplomat, her latest post being Belgium. Her desire to work in the publishing business as an Editor.