Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In Falling we have multiple narrators take on who Liz was for them. Her bestfriends, the guy who's into her, her family, those bullied by her... are each as troubled as the lead in question, yet it's who they were for each other and not just who they were as perceived by others that's noted.
There's a lot of what-if's and could-have-been's mused. As in what if her mother weren't so preoccupied? What if her father had lived? What if Liz had gone on being not-so-sought-after? To her friends and not friends, what if they were never friends at all? What if certain connection/actions/choices were never made? What if one or two or all or somebody had just said 'No.'
Yet beyond the what -if's I feel like the message is skewed; too much importance is placed on the role she seemingly (or actually) had in all their lives and they in hers. Yet, choices in the end are individual ones, do matters in this become simply Liz causing an outcome? Would it be a fairer assessment to say she like the rest of them made choices, were active in the choosing. This is not me minimizing anything; rather, it's me pointing out that painting Liz as the be all, end all to all their predicaments (particularly Julia and Ren(?)) feels simplistic. Tracing the root cause to her, as Liz and those around her were doing, places to much importance on one thing/person- Liz, when realistically shouldn't things like theirs should be taken in confluence with other factors that had gone unmentioned here.
But it is her story, and she did/does play a factor in whatever it was the rest went through; I simply don't think it's all in her... as her choice indicates. Now her guilt and her actions- those were her choices. It's the multiple other narratives (Liz included) that pinpoint her the sole cause that I had a problem with. Because instead of a lead who's passive, she's become much too present, too active a cause in all the rest of their woes.
It was interesting...
Thank you, Edelweiss.
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