"Many years ago, I awkwardly chased my girlish dreams of love; but when those dreams re-surfaced, they weren’t girlish anymore. They had developed into the panoramic and imposing dreams of a woman." Gina Gates, Falling in October
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Falling in October is a unique perspective on "second time around" romance, based on the author’s own experience after a difficult divorce. The premise is a woman in the autumn of life candidly sharing about her reinvention and new assessment of love--but with a twist. It is written directly to the man she hopes to meet, which makes this book truly different from other "mid-life love" subject matter. The vulnerable, journal-type tone creates an intimate reflection of lessons learned and a woman's dreams for the future.
This book spans both romantic fiction and non-fiction genres. The first-person format will fascinate idealistic, love story enthusiasts while enlightening baby boomers who are struggling with expressing their romantic identity and mid-life passion. Falling in October is tastefully targeted to a wide adult market by avoiding sexually overt language and focusing instead on intimacy within a purely romantic vein. Female readers will identify with the feminine, incurable romantic and admire the intelligent woman who clearly knows what she wants. Men who would not normally be interested in a romantic book will be intrigued by Falling in October because it is specifically addressed to a man and gives ever-needed insights on how women think.
From the Introduction:
I shared a washed-out stare in the mirror with an unexpected, contradictory likeness. She was new and free, yet old and weighed down. Solitary was an identity I never planned to claim again—nor had I wanted to. Once upon a time, I joyfully vowed till death do us part, and threw out all thoughts of just me, by myself. Until now.
As the gloomy aftermath became more of a resident dark cloud, I was compelled to conduct a long and soulful assessment of who I had become as a woman. Between the bookends of virginity and grandmother-hood, I couldn’t remember the last time I had given myself permission to consider the woman I had slowly become. But when I got pensive and quiet enough to hear my own heart beating, long-forgotten burning needs rose to the surface. I had pushed them down for years while I attended to my so-called admirable pursuits. Many days of my life had consisted of both the mundane and the noble. They were equally important, so the tug-of-war had taken center stage—not to mention all of my energy. In that nesting instinct to cover the needs of everyone around me, I rarely had time to entertain my own desires. Any fleeting thoughts of whimsy were mostly smothered in a laundry basket.
When it finally settled in that reinvention was in order, a barrage of epiphanies tumbled in my brain. A theme resounded that was finally heard in my consciousness, but had long resided in my heart. There was still so much of love and romance that I wanted—more than I had allowed myself to admit. I was startled by the involuntary, unrelenting demand inside of me that insisted I wasn’t willing to leave this life without experiencing it.
It wasn’t a fists-up reaction to any regret in my past and I had no score to settle. It wasn’t even about the painful realization of lost time. It was just that this darkest before the dawn but new beginning showed me the expanse of the sky and all the possibilities. As I looked up, I knew that just being able to stand, walk, or even run on crumbly earth was not enough anymore. I knew if I could find a way to soar above the grief, there would be no limitations or restrictions, and it made me want to fly.
I simply craved more. Not in quantity or even quality, but in an indescribable fulfillment that I still longed for. A portion of my life experience was just plain missing, like a proverbial lost puzzle piece. The empty jagged space was smack in the middle of the picture, and I couldn’t call my life complete without it—no matter how lovely some of the other pieces were. And, no matter that the picture was mostly finished. It wasn’t finished. I acknowledged that it had gnawed at me for years, and it was finally safe to give credence to that space. I needed to expose the hidden dilemma to full light so I could understand it myself.