Author: Kara Isaac
Review by Grace Olson
Back Cover from Simon and Schuster’s website for Can’t Help Falling:
A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.
Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.
Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.
When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac’s inspiring and romantic story about second chances.
I have heard an incredible amount of buzz over the internet and in person about Kara Isaac and her books. Not only does the author have a great connection with her readers, but she also writes very well. I haven’t read her first book, Close to You, but oooh, I want to now.
Kara’s writing style is light and easy to read, which is deceptive, because this story about second chances with people and with God packs a punch. I could tell that she was from New Zealand every now and then, because she had knowledge about things I didn’t even know I didn’t know. 😉 Even though this book is set in Great Britain, she does a fantastic job with creating a vivid picture of the area and its culture.
My heart went out to the heroine, Emelia, many times, as her story unfolded. The life she lived previous to coming to Oxford was messy and harsh, and her warped view of God did nothing to help her along. The change that took place in her was long in coming, but that’s what made it feel natural, real, and not forced. I also enjoyed Peter as a character, and the ability to get a glimpse into the sport of rowing. Which, prior to reading this, I knew next to nothing about. The secondary characters are colorful and unique, adding plenty of fun.
This book is lighthearted and humorous, a fun read, though I would say it’s a little edgier than some Christian fiction. Be warned, Emelia’s fascination with Narnia may even drive you to pick up the Chronicles of Narnia and dive back into that enchanting world. It did me.
About the Author
Biography from Simon and Schuster’s website: Kara Isaac is an award-winning writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and two children.
I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.