I’m so happy to be hosting Rebecca Serle on the blog today! You may remember when I read When You Were Mine a couple of years ago I was a little unsure about it at first. Then Rebecca Serle worked her authorly voodoo and made me loooove it. Now she has a new book! The Edge of Falling releases March 18th and it sounds fabulous.
Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.
Thanks so much to Pure Imagination for hosting me today- I’m so excited to share more about The Edge of Falling with all of you!
“Most great works of literature have a hero at their core, but this story is an exception.”
That’s the first line of The Edge of Falling, and with those words, our protagonist, Caggie, introduces herself. That sentence says a great deal about how she views herself: she’s not a hero, in fact, she’s very far from one. Caggie sees herself as a failure, and a fraud, and her journey in this book is one of uncovering her own inherent heroism—her ability to save herself.
When we think of the word hero, we usually think of two things. First: mythic tales of people who achieved great feats, saved lives, and exhibited a great deal of athleticism while doing so. (With their six packs.) Second: personal icons. If I were to ask you “Who is your hero?” some standard answers would be: your parents, your teachers, an author you admire, a mentor, athlete, or a historical figure. Very rarely do we consider OURSELVES to be the heroes of our own stories. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t slayed a dragon or saved the world from a dystopian totalitarian government recently…and the most athletic I can get is doing a yoga inversion (which totally counts, but isn’t exactly on the same level as one of the figure skaters from Sochi.)
So why don’t we consider ourselves to be heroes? When bad things happen (like dragons or dystopian governments…or in all seriousness, the loss of a loved one, or a family in crisis) we seek comfort from outside sources. Caggie is suffering a great deal of guilt due to losing her sister, and she can’t picture herself as a hero because she wasn’t able to save her. But we are our own heroes, every day, for things that may seem small to those who don’t know what we are going through, but for us, they are astronomical.
You are a hero when you challenge yourself. You are a hero when you are kind (especially to someone who is an outsider- or even better, to someone who may not deserve kindness.) You are a hero when you choose to be happy despite horrible tragedy. You are a hero when you are there for a friend, or when you learn a new skill. Whatever you do, however small, it is important to be your own hero, even when you’re at The Edge of Falling.