Reading and reviewing Falling Under, Canadian playwright, stage actress, and novelist Danielle Younge-Ullman's debut novel, was a far more personal experience than any other review thus far. As someone who has struggled with agoraphobia in the past, I found myself all too easily identifying with Mara. Given her interpersonal struggles in dealing with friends, partners, and parents alike, the empathic comparisons didn't end there.
One aspect of the story which hit particularly close to home was Mara's role as an artist. Though her efforts to develop her talents in the backstory portions of the novel were fascinating, it was her work in the present that really stuck. Mara's story is a playing out of the age-old dilemma between creating works that sell versus creating works that satisfy one's artistic passions. I believe this is something with which creatives of any milieu can relate.
In facing and overcoming both these artistic challenges, as well as the emotional obstacles which bar her path to happiness, Mara becomes a truly inspirational example to any young adults striving to find themselves, and their way, in an increasingly troubling world.
The experience of having read Falling Under, and watching Mara's fears and heartache wreak havoc on every ounce of her being, will no doubt stay with me for years to come, as I imagine it will for anyone who ventures to read it. It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to review the novel, and an honor to have had the chance to interview its author.
My review of Falling Under
My interview with author Danielle Younge-Ullman