The Falconer by Dana Czapnik – Book Review

Title: The Falconer (review copy)

Author: Dana Czapnik

Genre/Themes: Historical Fiction, Coming of Age

Blurb from Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Lucy Adler, a street-smart, trash-talking baller, is often the only girl on the public courts. Lucy’s inner life is a contradiction. She’s by turns quixotic and cynical, insecure and self-possessed and, despite herself, is in unrequited love with her best friend and pick-up teammate Percy, son of a prominent New York family who is trying to resist his upper crust fate.

As Lucy questions accepted notions of success, bristling against her own hunger for male approval, she is drawn into the world of a pair of provocative female artists living in what remains of New York’s bohemia.

A new coming-of-age classic, an early ’90s New York-set novel of love, basketball, art and feminism

My Review

There’s something so life changing about being seventeen. Being both knowledgeable and naïve. Seeing the world as both beautiful and utterly screwed up.

The Falconer follows a year in the life of seventeen year old Lucy as she comes of age in 1993/4 in New York. I loved how Lucy was super smart and incisive about social issues but was pretty much a hopeless wreck when it came to figuring out her heart. It’s that juxtaposition of knowledge and innocence that makes this a captivating read.

Lucy is incredibly relatable and her story eminently readable. To me her voice felt authentic. I believed in her and rooted for her to make sense of life. Among the issues affecting her was her unrequited love for her best friend Percy and seeing her navigate this romantic mine-field really called to mind my own feelings and emotions from my teenage years. But Lucy’s true love was basketball. And it was through this that as a reader I really engaged with her story and her struggles to be taken seriously as a female in the very male dominated sport’s environment of the asphalt street courts of New York City.

An incredibly enjoyable coming of age tale that meandered at times but always felt honest and true.


An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Faber and Faber, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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4 thoughts on “The Falconer by Dana Czapnik – Book Review

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