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Catherine M. (Mankato, MN)
Amy Falls Down
Jincy Willett's new book, Amy Falls Down, is an interesting read about a random accident that changes the life of a reclusive author. I must admit that I was challenged by Amy's complex, paradoxical nature: she's cloistered, yet gregarious; fearless in her writing, but fearful of life's obstacles; principled and opinionated, although and at times, halfhearted or apathetic. Even the book's synopsis describes her as "endearingly bitter." While reading, I was never quite sure which Amy would appear -- for an interview, during a phone conversation, or in her own thoughts. Having said this, I must admit that I liked her very much, incongruities, eccentricities, and all and I would love to have her for a friend. (Yes, I'm aware of the irony here!).
Lauren T. (Orlando, FL)
Amy Falls Down
I loved this book. When I learned that Amy Falls Down is about the same character, Amy Gallup, as Jincy Willett's earlier novel, The Writing Class, I read The Writing Class first. You don't have to read it before you read Amy falls down, but I'm glad I did. I felt I knew Amy already and liked her. She's a normal person, with a normal person's faults, and she's not afraid to tell the reader about them. This book is smart and fun and a great read. I wanted it to go on forever. I hope Ms. Willett writes more about Amy. I want to know what happens to her next.
Darlene C. (Simpsonville, SC)
Amy Falls Down
As I continued to read, I became more engrossed in the story. In a way it's similar to the movie "Being There" with Peter Sellers. A series of ridiculous events are misconstrued by others as brilliance! ....and no one is more surprised than the main character.
Jeff S. (Murfreesboro, TN)
Amy Falls Down
I don't think this book would appeal to younger readers because you need to have some life experience to appreciate it. It would be a GREAT book for discussion as so many comparisons can be made between the character and the readers own lives. The ending leaves you considering the story long after you've finished the book.
Amy Falls Down is the story of Amy Gallup, who falls down, hits her head on a birdbath and then comes awake just in time to give an interview while concussed. The interview is very peculiar and sets off a firestorm of interest in Amy and her writing, but mostly in Amy and her way of stating, what to her, is obvious. This is a very funny book. It is all about writing and the publishing industry, but is also about a person who lived like a hermit for 30 years suddenly rediscovering the human race, and liking it....for the most part. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy and have a fairly odd sense of humor. I think, if people look close, they can learn a lot from this book and not just about writing.
Joan V. (Miller Place, NY)
Amy Falls Down...and Gets Up Again
It's very hard to describe this book and make it sound interesting. Trust me, if you love books, and love to read, this is for you. Like the characters in the book that discover (or re-discover) "Amy Gallup" I want to read everything that Jincy Willett has written. This book is very entertaining and at times laugh out loud funny – which I find rarely happens while reading. Her description of the business of publishing is very interesting. Keep a dictionary handy because her vocabulary is amazing.
Becky H. (Chicago, IL)
A "good" read
After a slow start I really found myself enjoying the witty (though very dry) humor in this book. Amy grows on you as you discover more of her character and background. I especially enjoyed the names of the chapters, trying to see if I could find the relationship as I read. Another part I liked was the "topics" Amy lists as story ideas/titles. They give another clue to Amy's persona. Amy's students are delightful, clearly and carefully drawn.
Grace W. (Corona del Mar, CA)
While the entire book is a put down of pretentious authors, it is also the story of a very human woman who has great sorrows to surmount. As is true with all good humor, there is also tragedy to provide contrast. Willett deals well with both. (spoiler alert – Maxine's recovery is the one deviation from realistic outcomes in an otherwise well-paced and plotted tale.)
Anyone who enjoys a "good read" and, equally, a "bad read," will enjoy this writer's delight. If you are a potential novelist, there is much food for thought.
Book groups will have a field day with a variety of topics – truth vs fiction, honest criticism, how you see yourself as opposed to how others see you, marriage of convenience, dealing with rude/stupid/ignorant people (and being rude/stupid/ignorant yourself), personal growth and change, phobias and others.
Is it a cheap shot for a writer to write about a writer? Maybe. Yet Jincy Willett in Amy Falls Down crafts a fascinating story from beginning to end. Is a reader a sponge, sandglass or a strainer or does an author create a story that a reader wants to absorb like a sponge? From the first page I was fully engaged with Amy Gallup, her basset hound, Alphonse, and the literary and media crowd. Scenes and character descriptions were so vivid that I felt like I was right there with them. Amy Gallup's riffs about publishers and the pseudo mystic of writing were classic irony without the klaxon. Amy Falls Down is a thoroughly entertaining, yet highly thought-provoking story. I could not put this book down and will definitely recommend it to friends.
Sue J. (Wauwatosa, WI)
Amy Falls Down
The book starts out with author Amy Gallup tripping over her raised garden in the back yard which causes her to fall and knock herself out on a birdbath. After an interview that she doesn't remember, her bizarre behavior (from a mild concussion) sets off a series of events that puts her on the verge of being rediscovered. Her outlook on life was refreshing - she was quoted as saying "Feelings Are Not News". She said she remembers a time when competent reporters and editors were bright enough to figure out for themselves how catastrophic events feel. They feel bad. I really enjoyed this quirky book, it was a fun read. Highly recommended!