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Windfallen Paperback – July 30, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Moyes, a young Brit, again proves herself a worthy successor to Maeve Binchy and Rosamund Pilcher with her second novel (after Sheltering Rain), a warmhearted drama. A magnificent art deco house called Arcadia, built on a seaside cliff in the stuffy English village of Merham, stands at the center of her tale. Lottie Swift was born in London's East End but evacuated during WWII to Merham as a child; she's eventually taken in permanently by the Holden family and brought up in their bustling household just down the road from Arcadia. When Lottie is in her late teens, an exotic clan of bohemians move into Arcadia, and Lottie takes to visiting, sometimes with Celia Holden, her best friend, but more often on her own. Then Celia goes away to school in London and comes back with a fiance-a man Lottie believes is her destiny. Her love is doomed, but Arcadia provides unexpected solace. Half a century later, interior designer Daisy Parsons comes to Arcadia, hired by a successful but prickly London developer who has bought the house with plans for making it into a fashionable tourist destination. Daisy's longtime lover and design partner has just departed after their baby is born, but she conquers self-pity and determines to honor the contract by herself. She's befriended by Lottie, now an acerbic matron who scorns her village contemporaries but is charmed by the baby and volunteers to act as nanny. Moyes deftly handles her involved plot, skillfully exploring the different family dynamics; her thoughtful tone and light touch make this a delightful read.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

For more than 50 years, Arcadia, an art-deco house set precariously and imperiously atop Merham's seaside cliffs, has been simultaneously ruling and ruining Lottie's life. From the day she was first inexplicably drawn to it as a teenager, Lottie's fate and fortune have been inextricably linked with that of the compelling mansion. Once a retreat for bohemian artists and actors whose very presence threatened the rigid morality of this sleepy British village, Arcadia promises to once again become a haven for a new generation of undesirable visitors when it's transformed into a luxury hotel. Along with the Louis Vuitton travel cases, emotional baggage comes attached to the new venture, mostly in the form of its insecure interior designer, Daisy, who has been charged with returning the estate, and, she hopes, her love life to their original glory. When she discovers a neglected mural depicting scenes from Arcadia's scandalous past, Daisy unleashes a torrent of painful emotions that undermines the life Lottie has so painstakingly built. Intricately and intimately weaving the story of Lottie's tumultuous past with Daisy's tempestuous present, Moyes richly evokes a spellbinding intergenerational saga of loves lost and opportunities missed, of families in transition and friendships in turmoil. With accomplished polish and alluring perfection, Moyes' second novel is a stunning successor to her acclaimed debut, Sheltering Rain [BKL My 1 02], deservedly earning her a reputation as a first-rate storyteller in the best tradition of popular British fiction's reigning doyennes. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062297708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062297709
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By FictionAddiction.NET on June 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When Daisy comes to the town of Merham, England, she hopes to reshape her life. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a controversy with someone else's history.
Lottie Bernham came to Merham as a war refugee and became such fast friends with Celia, the daughter of her host family, that she rarely returned to her home in England. The two remain close until Celia falls in love and brings her fiancé, Guy, to meet her family.
From the moment she sees Guy, Lottie cannot take her eyes off of him. Although she tries to avoid him, they seem to be thrown together. He even enjoys the company of the residents of Arcadia House when the rest of the town is scandalized at the behavior of the artists who purchased it. When one of the artists paints a mural depicting Guy and Lottie in love with one another, they must decide between passion and propriety.
Fast forward 50 years, when the new owner of Arcadia House decides to turn the place into a fancy hotel. Daisy takes on the job of remodeling the building, moving into the hotel during its renovation in order to provide a home for herself and her daughter.
When the carpenters come across the mural hidden behind years of growth and decay, she decides to have it restored to its former glory. Now Daisy must come to terms with her future and Lottie must come to terms with her past.
Jojo Moyes has a way of drawing the reader into the story, of making the reader turn the page to find out what happens next. The characters, with all of their flaws and the hardships they face, ring true for the reader. Although part one focuses on Lottie, part two focuses on Daisy so that we see the changes in the people and the town of Merham from an outsider's perspective. The stories of the two women parallel each other, in more subtle ways than often seen in novels.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Theresa J. on September 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I always feel like I have found buried treasure when I read a book from an author that I had not discovered yet. Jojo Moyes is one of those authors
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barbara C. Gonzalez on January 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book and Jojo Moyes writing.

I like her style that somehow begins slow and sort of disconnected but still you are unable to stop reading. Then it builds and you can't stop reading. This book messed up my sleeping habits.

Wonderfule author!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jo Arsenault on May 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked her other books much more than this one. While the story line was good, it just got too much towards the end, that everyone in the story was so messed up and had so many problems. Also a little unbelievable that someone could live 30 years in total unhappiness only to see what she had was right in front of her.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Teenage Londoner Lottie Swift finds the seaside village of Merham quite delightful as no one dare break the rules of morality less they prefer exile or being ostracized. However, the conversion of Arcadia mansion into a retreat for bohemian artists causes monumental conflict, as the locals detest the nonconformist outsiders. Lottie relishes the new infusion of excitement that the avant-garde crowd brings.
Five decades later, Daisy Parsons arrives at the small back to sleep village to renovate Arcadia into a luxury hotel. The villagers once again abhor the thought of amoral outsiders descending on their hamlet. Insecure from a failed relationship, Daisy discovers a mural that portrays scenes from the mansion's ignominious past. Daisy's work begins destroying the emotional cocoon that Lottie has resided since her teen days.
WINDFALLEN is a well-written comparative character study that interweaves the past and the present into a cohesive tale. The story line enables the audience to see deep inside the two women so that everyone understands what motivates both and the tenuous relationship and bond which forms between them. Though limited in action, Jojo Moyes provides readers with a deep drama that focuses on the long-term impact of personal opportunity costs.
Harriet Klausner
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Genevieve on June 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jojo Moyes is one of my favourite authors and I love her later books eg Me before you. I didn't enjoy this one so much and found it hard to get into. I think she has definitely improved with age.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sucheta Potnis on November 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good book, with excellent characters and a storyline that encompasses two generations seamlessly. Genuine emotions and amazing observations of the human mind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cwlasvegas on May 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved how Jojo mixed the generations in this story, from a time innocence to the modern world of money and betrayal, but in the end the stories were very similar. Her characters were so real, it was easy to get caught up in their emotions and really have a connection with the old house. I recommend it for summer reading!
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