Falling Uphill by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga
Falling Uphill by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga follows main character Candace Grey, an anthropology teacher at a small college in Michigan, as she receives an alarming message on her phone from San Francisco stating that “Ruth Fenton is dead.” Ironically, she is set to leave for California (Los Angeles) to conduct research on 1960′s TV star Pamela Parrish for her thesis at the same time. Instead she heads off to San Francisco after she discovers that Ruth Fenton is a long lost relative … only to meet a woman at the memorial service who claims that the subject of her thesis (Pamela Parrish) didn’t die quite like everyone claims, and that she was murdered instead of supposedly commiting suicide. This news invokes the inner mystery solver in Candace, and she knows that she must get to the bottom of it, plus, it would be a break through for her paper. While attempting to get to the bottom of the mystery, Candance begins to suspect her boyfriend back home of cheating, and also begins a small romance with a painter. What will happen with Candace? Will she be able to solve the mystery? Or will her life go up in flames?
Light hearted and moving, Falling Uphill is the perfect mix of romance and mystery. The whole time I felt like I was right there with Candace trying to solve the mystery, as well as live vicariously through her as she struggles in the romance department. Wendy Nelson Tokunaga does a good job at creating honest characters that go through the real ups and downs of love and life, whilst also uncovering a few shadows in the closet and solving a pretty big mystery. My biggest complaint is that the book starts off a slow in the beginning. I almost gave up, but kept with it, and am glad that I did. Overall, a pretty good read.