I’ve been a fan of Samantha Young’s On Dublin Street series since the first book, ON DUBLIN STREET, which introduced the first couple in the series, Joss and Braden, who later received their own novella, CASTLE HILL. They were followed by Jo and Cam, Ellie and Adam, and Liv and Nate, each with their own story (DOWN LONDON ROAD, UNTIL FOUNTAIN BRIDGE, and BEFORE JAMAICA LANE, respectively). Returning to this series always gives me a feeling of catching up with old friends. Young brings a combination of humor, compassion, and drama to her writing, along with the hot sex scenes that unfailingly make my toes curl.
But with each new installment, as much as I love returning to these characters, another emotion takes over as well—the sense of trepidation. Will this one be as good as the last one? Because of my love for this series, that sense of worry always accompanies me when I start reading it.
I needn’t have worried.
FALL FROM INDIA PLACE explores the life of Hannah Nichols, Braden and Ellie’s half-sister. She is now twenty-two years old, a graduate of EdinburghUniversity, and working her probationary year as a high school teacher of English. Her friends and family always ask her about her love life, and there’s a reason it’s non-existent. She can’t forget the one man she truly ever cared about, Marco D’Alessandro, an American of mixed heritage two years older than her who had a rough childhood. They met when he defended her from a school bully when they were teenagers, and their friendship developed from there. One night, their relationship took the next step, but without warning, he abandoned her and disappeared from her life. He reappears five years later, desirous to rekindle their friendship, but Hannah is hesitant because of a secret she is keeping from him.
I find that when I read a book in this series, I can always predict what a character’s secret is, and that by no means tells me that Young’s writing is predictable. On the contrary. It means that I am connecting with the characters, that they are relatable to me, and this was the case again with Hannah, but what I didn’t expect was to what extent this secret affected her, and that made my reading experience all the more engaging. Marco has a secret of his own, a few in fact, and although they made me dislike him at first, he won me over in the end.
Seeing how Hannah’s family supported her and gave her advice about Marco truly warmed my heart, especially when Ellie tells her pointedly, “Marco is your Adam,” since Ellie can speak from experience thanks to the emotional wringer Adam put her through with his mixed signals until they finally got together.
I suggest not reading this book on public transportation for two reasons. The first is the heartwrenching scenes between Hannah and Marco when they break up. The one that affected me most, causing my eyes to tear up, was when he calls her on New Year’s Eve just after the clock strikes midnight. Completely stunned into silence, he tells her over the phone in a raspy voice,
“I’m sitting here and for the millionth time I’m wondering what the fuck went wrong. I want to know what’s going on, Hannah. What’s really going on? I keep going over it and over it in my head, and no matter what my brain tells me happened that day I refuse to believe the person that broke up with me was you. There’s something you’re not telling me. There’s got to be something you’re not telling me.”
The second reason is that you will burst into uncontrollable laughter when one of the Dublin Street couple’s children curses at Sunday lunch, sending everyone into waves of convulsive laughter, including myself. Thankfully, I was home at the time I read it. I won’t spoil whose child lets the expletive loose, but for loyal readers of the series, I think you can guess.
What I love most about FALL FROM INDIA PLACE and this entire series is how Young always follows up with the couples from the previous books. They’re the moments that turn my heart into total mush because of how sweet and funny they are. Each couple gets their turn in FALL FROM INDIA PLACE, particularly Liv and Nate, who are my favorite Dublin Street couple du jour (it’s a rotating cycle with me.) There are a TON of these couple moments. And babies. Lots and lots of babies. For those who love this series as much as I do, you will not be disappointed. And Hannah and Marco make a lovely addition to this group of fictional friends.
FALL FROM INDIA PLACE (On Dublin Street #4) by Samantha Young/NAL/June 3