Falling Upwards feels a little like a cross between
Alice in Wonderland and Arthurian legends. At 228 pages, it's a shorter read than most books in this genre, and the romantic element is a fairly minor part of
an overall story which focuses very heavily on a quest that our heroine and hero undertake to free him from a geas.
Halfway through this book, I realized I still didn't have a clue what was going on. Neva Jones, a businesswoman from Mobile, Alabama, meets a strange young man on a business trip to Cardiff in Wales, and after that experience nothing is quite the same. She initially thinks she might be going mad, as do some of her family, and eventually she resigns herself to going along with her strangeness and jumps into a pond as she feels an
owl is instructing her. From that point on, the story is like Alice in Wonderland as Neva comes across stranger and stranger things (a talking crow, a stag that can speak in her mind, fairies, a princess, giants) along with the man she met in Wales, called March, now looking rather different. The author has a great turn of phrase in places, especially as Neva spends most of the book laughing at her experiences and thinking she's lost the plot. However for the reader it was sometimes hard going as it's never clear what's happening or where the story is going, and cryptic comments abound.
There is quite a lot of unexplained information in this book (who the women flocking around the Welsh man in the pub
are, for example) and the ending is left suitably vague in terms of the long-term prospects for hero and heroine rather than being nicely tied up.
It was well-written, and the descriptions of the strange places and people that Neva experienced
are interesting. Unfortunately for this reader, the impossibility of understanding the plot and the strange romance (more a result of propinquity than anything else)