Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guest Post: Author Rebecca Serle

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.

New York City!  "The concrete jungle where dreams are made of," according to Alicia Keys and Jay-Z.  In many ways, writing The Edge of Falling was like writing a love letter to this city - one that I love more than words could ever say and one that I admired from afar for so long.  I watched Gossip Girl and Sex and the City with a vicarious, emerald envy.  Eventually I found my way to New York, but it wasn't for another five years that I felt ready to tell a story here.  Then The Edge of Falling was born.

New York has an inner life that breathes.  When you live here, your relationship with New York is very much like your relationships with real people.  The city is a place of serendipity: the subway arriving at just the right time so that you get to Starbucks to see the cute guy you've been eyeing for the third straight day in a row; the dollar you find beneath your shoe just when you need a bit of kindness to brighten your day; the essence of possibility and change you feel when you know you are brushing shoulders with the likes of so many people, just like you, who have dreams and hopes all their own.

But like other relationships, New York isn't perfect.  The city can be callous and shallow: it rains when you're wearing suede shoes.  It shuts you out when you want to be let in: you miss the subway on the morning of an important meeting.  Compromising is difficult: the seasons are felt in extremes and it's either too hot or too cold.  One minute you can go from feeling like you are WINNING New think that New York has spat you out like a peanut shell at a Yankee Game.  Strike three.

In The Edge of Falling, the city comes alive to reflect Caggie's inner feelings, and her challenged relationship with herself.  Caggie is complex, like New York - and also like this always-changing city, she is full of possibility.  The Edge of Falling is her journey to discover that.

Many thanks to The Bookshelf Sophisticate for hosting me today!  If you're looking for a uniquely New York story, make sure to check out The Edge of Falling, and follow me on Twitter.
About the Author:
Rebecca Serle is the author of When You Were Mine and is an obsessive lover of all things pop culture. She blogs about The Vampire Diaries for New York magazine’s Vulture and can be found on Twitter: @RebeccaASerle. She, like Caggie, lives in Manhattan—just far from the Upper East Side.

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