Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie Macdonald

Fall On Your Knees
by Ann -Marie Macdonald
Published January 1997 by Simon and Schuster
Source: checked out from my local library

Publisher's Summary:
The Piper family is steeped in secrets, lies, and unspoken truths. At the eye of the storm is one secret that threatens to shake their lives — even destroy them. 

Set on stormy Cape Breton Island off Nova Scotia, Fall on Your Knees is an internationally acclaimed multigenerational saga that chronicles the lives of four unforgettable sisters. Theirs is a world filled with driving ambition, inescapable family bonds, and forbidden love.

My Thoughts: 
When I was selecting books for my book club I was looking to find a book by a Canadian author set in Canada and came across this book. It sounded like just the kind of book we'd find a lot to talk about so I added it to our list and picked it up early to check it out. The verdict? It's definitely a book with a lot to talk about. But we won't be talking about it. 

Fall On Your Knees
is a beautifully written book, filled with vivid imagery of two vastly different islands - Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia and Manhattan - and the people who inhabited them in the early 1900's. Miners, immigrants, dreamers, survivors. It is the story of family, love, race, religion, ethnicity, abuse, death, obsession, mental illness, determination, addiction, forbidden love, dreams, and nightmares. Macdonald has created some characters that will stay with me for a long time - especially two sisters and their niece who must survive the incredible loss and life with the monster who caused all of their pain. 

As the story moves back and forth in time, some things become revealed to readers that are not revealed to the characters, other secrets are held back, leaving questions to be answered. Unfortunately, as the story came to the tipping point, Macdonald chose to tell the story in a new way that pulled all focus away from the characters that I'd become invested in. While that piece of the story was integral to getting Macdonald to where she wanted to go with her story, I wish she had found some other way to get there without breaking away from the other stories. Still, when I came to the final few dozen pages of the book, it was more than satisfied with the way Macdonald closed out her story of the Piper family. 

Now, back to why my book club won't be reading this book. In 2002 Oprah Winfrey chose this book for her book club. If you know anything about the kinds of books Oprah used to chose for her readers, you may begin to understand what's in this book that caused my reaction. Let's just say, we have members who have young children. As a mom myself, I couldn't have them reading this book. 

1 comment:

  1. Yep. I think I know what you are referencing. Oprah's books tend to have those kinds of topics.