Dreams of Falling Audiobook by Karen White (Review)

Posted by on Sep 27, 2018 in Reviews | 16 comments

Review of: Dreams of Falling Audiobook
Karen White

Reviewed by:
On September 27, 2018
Last modified:September 26, 2018


Dreams of Falling Audiobook

By: Karen White

Narrated by: Shannon McManusCassandra Campbell, and Susan Larkin

Penguin Audio 06/5/2018

Dreams of Falling Audiobook

4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

16 hrs and 30 mins

Dreams of Falling Audiobook Sample

Dreams of Falling Audiobook

4.0 Hearts

After being introduced to the author’s books through a few well-articulated reviews, I saw my chance to give her work a try while enjoying the work of not one, but three new to me audio narrators bringing the story to life.

The two-generational storyline, the focus on past and present friendships and family in the southern low country was a huge draw. The author’s way of laying out a story and peeling back the layers of secrets in a gently paced style was a good fit. I didn’t have the desire to devour the book in one listen so much as savor it over several days (which was good because it took me a long while to finish). I even found it was one I would put aside for others and come back to it. I struggle when I don’t entirely care for a character or characters and that was the case in this one. But, though I didn’t necessarily like some of these women with their flaws and weaknesses or self-absorption, I was not willing to let go of the story because the author wrote them well and I was tangled in their drama and mystery. I wanted Larkin to discover the truth of the past as she returned home when her mother was discovered in an old house where she shouldn’t have been and now lay in a coma. Someone wants the past to stay buried while Larkin needs the answers so she can get on with a real life instead of just marking time. I wasn’t particularly drawn to Larkin, but I loved seeing her face up to things and start setting things straight with her own childhood friends. And, the dark past was well worth it. That and Ivy’s earlier generation was what ultimately held. It loomed like a shadowy character just waiting to be revealed- though, truthfully, it wasn’t a big mystery, really. I was drawn in emotionally and vested in the outcome without even realizing it happened.

In the end, this one took me a while and I struggled a little, but it was worth it. I will definitely be going back for more.

Dreams of Falling Audiobook Narration

4 Hearts

The narration team were stellar. Their accents, age ranges, and portrayals gave this an added layer- a distinct flavor- and pulled me in even more with their separate styles that worked well together. I felt the additional voices to the story helped emphasize the larger cast of main characters and narrators better. They (Shannon McManus, Cassandra Campbell, and Susan Larkin) were all new to me, but I would definitely pick up more of their work.

With more than 1.8 million books in print in eight different languages, Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 23 novels, including the popular Charleston-set Tradd Street mystery series.

Raised in a house full of brothers, Karen’s love of books and strong female characters first began in the third grade when the local librarian issued her a library card and placed The Secret of the Old Clock, a Nancy Drew Mystery, in her hands.

Karen’s roots run deep in the South where many of her novels are set. Her intricate plot lines and compelling characters charm and captivate readers with just the right mix of family drama, mystery, intrigue and romance.

Not entirely convinced she wanted to be a writer, Karen first pursued a career in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, in a weak moment, she wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. Her books—referred to as “grit lit” (Southern Women’s Fiction)—have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Alliance) Fiction Book of the Year.

Karen’s latest novel, Dreams of Falling, was published in June, 2018 by Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing Group.

When not writing, Karen spends her time reading, scrapbooking, playing piano, and avoiding cooking. Karen and her husband have two grown children and currently live near Atlanta, Georgia with two spoiled Havanese dogs.

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I’m all about telling stories. I love it. I began my acting career at Hickory Community Theatre while still in high school. (Sliding down a fireman’s pole will always be my preferred way to the dressing room.) I earned a degree in Communications and the Performance of Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Yep, I’m a Tarheel.

My next adventure took me around the world as a flight attendant for World Airways. The years I spent traveling broadened my perspective, brought me lifelong friends and some crazy stories. My passion for acting grounded me in Washington D.C. where I attended the esteemed conservatory program at The Studio Theatre. That’s where it all came together for me.
My craft is founded in theatre, in realism, in the words.
After working in regional theatre and off-Broadway, my journey brought me to LA where I continued my professional training at Stan Kirsch Studios, UCB, Larry Moss Studio and with Jack Stehlin and Alfred Molina at New American Theatre.

Now I’m an Angeleno working on stage, in voiceover and, of course, audiobooks. I’m a total lit geek so it really is the perfect fit. Clients include Penguin Random House, MacMillan, Harper, Scholastic Audio, Brilliance, Recorded Books/Tantor and Audible. So far I’ve recorded over 150 audiobooks in genres ranging from literary fiction to memoir, mystery, young adult and romance.

When I’m not recording, I’m on stage or writing or chasing down the best cocktails in LA.

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Cassandra CampbellCassandra Campbell is an actress, director, and teacher who has performed in New York at the Public Theater, the Mint Theater, and the Clurman Theatre. She is an accomplished voice-over artist whose credits include numerous audiobooks, documentaries, and commercials in both Italian and English.

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My thanks to Penguin Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by

Sophia Rose Signature

  • 4
    editor rating
Sophia Rose
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.


  1. It’s great that you insisted and had a great time in a whole. I didn’t know about thisone

    • Yes, I was glad I kept coming back to it, too. It was not one that kept my attention for long, but it was still a good story.

  2. I am unsure whether I have read her or not…or always just meant to 🙂

    • LOL! I’ve been wanting to read her books for a while and finally got around to it. This one was probably not the best, but I do want to try a few others that I think might be better for me.

  3. What a great way to get to try a new author AND new narrators. I’m happy you were pleased with the experience. 🙂 The storyline and setting appeal to me as well but I understand having trouble being drawn into a story when you don’t necessarily like or connect with the characters. I’m happy you ended up liking the story overall. I’ve yet to read KWhite although she is on my physical shelf. *sigh* So many books…so little time.

    • Yes, I do love exploring the new to mes in authors and narrators, Brandee. I still want to pick up a couple more from the author because her writing was great. I get the time vs. book stack issue. 🙂

  4. It’s nice when a book turns out to be a good one even though it’s a struggle to read the entire thing.

    • For sure, Mary! Fortunately, my struggles were with the characters, but there was so much more in this book so I could enjoy much of it around the characters.

  5. I loved this novel Sophia Rose I think it was the last one I reviewed for RT before they closed up shop. Now I want it in audio too

    • Yes, you really do, Debbie. All three lady narrators were superb. 🙂

      Ah, bet you still feel the sad twinges from RT. You’ve been involved in some really neat things.

      • I have Sophia Rose and hopefully that will continue fingers crossed that I get to review for Mystery Scene Magazine X

        • I’ll be wishing you well on that one, too. What a cool review gig!

  6. I’ve never read this author or listened to any of these narrators. I bet that is great having so many more voices done so differently. I’m all for that! Sorry you didn’t connect with the characters that well. I know that feeling. I’m glad you ultimately enjoyed the listen though.

    • Yeah, it was really cool to have three different narrators especially with all the women in the past and in the present to keep sorted. It was a good move to do that. And, they were all great readers.

      The details of setting and situation plus the author’s writing style had me keep coming back even if the characters weren’t always my thing.

  7. I haven’t heard of this author. I’m glad you found the stories worthwhile. You don’t have to like the characters, they just have to be well-drawn. Anne – Books of My Heart

    • Yes, very good point, Anne. And, it worked for me in this one. 🙂

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