Customer Reviews for

Fall on Your Knees

Average Rating 4.5
( 163 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(104)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

It is not often that I am so moved by a novel...

This novel shook me to the very core of my being. The twists and turns, smatterings of cultural revelations, use of setting as a character in and of itself, and the musings on family (what makes a family and what isn't a family) all merged together to make for an extra...
This novel shook me to the very core of my being. The twists and turns, smatterings of cultural revelations, use of setting as a character in and of itself, and the musings on family (what makes a family and what isn't a family) all merged together to make for an extraordinary novel. The book is really lyrical and dark at the same time. I recommend this book to readers who are ready for heavy content that causes you to think very deeply about the human condition.

posted by Anonymous on May 26, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Almost a masterpiece that ends up being pretentious rubbish!

Incest, rape, racism, violence, forbidden homosexuality coupled with religious fanaticism and ridiculous allegory! The story is fascinating at first, and then dissolves into a tragically bleak portrait of the darker side of an unsympathetic group of people that have th...
Incest, rape, racism, violence, forbidden homosexuality coupled with religious fanaticism and ridiculous allegory! The story is fascinating at first, and then dissolves into a tragically bleak portrait of the darker side of an unsympathetic group of people that have the misfortune to be related to one another. There is no doubt that the author is a compelling writer; the prose is often beautiful and brilliant but interactions between the characters are derivative and pretentious; those stories have been done more effectively before. Mostly, it seems as though MacDonald feverishly vomited every "bad" thought she ever had on to the page so that she could exorcise her own demons or come to terms with her own terrifyingly violent battles with horribly dysfunctional family relationships and religion. Granted, that can make for a powerful story, but in this case, it is simply a lurid, unoriginal mess that you are painfully embarrassed upon which to intrude. WARNING: it is likely that once you start the book, you will be unable to put it down. After a while you will keep reading because you have to know how it ends. Then you will shut the book, disappointed and furious that you invested so much time to read the whole silly thing. Despite the often lyrical prose, the book is simply not worth the time and emotional investment the author unsuccessfully attempts to evoke from the reader.

posted by WishICouldWrite on February 17, 2010

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  • Posted February 17, 2010

    Almost a masterpiece that ends up being pretentious rubbish!

    Incest, rape, racism, violence, forbidden homosexuality coupled with religious fanaticism and ridiculous allegory! The story is fascinating at first, and then dissolves into a tragically bleak portrait of the darker side of an unsympathetic group of people that have the misfortune to be related to one another. There is no doubt that the author is a compelling writer; the prose is often beautiful and brilliant but interactions between the characters are derivative and pretentious; those stories have been done more effectively before. Mostly, it seems as though MacDonald feverishly vomited every "bad" thought she ever had on to the page so that she could exorcise her own demons or come to terms with her own terrifyingly violent battles with horribly dysfunctional family relationships and religion. Granted, that can make for a powerful story, but in this case, it is simply a lurid, unoriginal mess that you are painfully embarrassed upon which to intrude. WARNING: it is likely that once you start the book, you will be unable to put it down. After a while you will keep reading because you have to know how it ends. Then you will shut the book, disappointed and furious that you invested so much time to read the whole silly thing. Despite the often lyrical prose, the book is simply not worth the time and emotional investment the author unsuccessfully attempts to evoke from the reader.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2002

    Disappointing

    If you want a redemptive story featuring characters that are 'real' but not consumed by incest or rapists (i.e. a challenging, yet ultimately uplifting, inspiring story), skip Fall on Your Knees and instead pick up 'In the Fall' by Jeffrey Lent or 'Shade of the Maple' by Kirk Martin. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am by Oprah's pick - a dark, depressing, unwieldy story.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    It is not often that I am so moved by a novel...

    This novel shook me to the very core of my being. The twists and turns, smatterings of cultural revelations, use of setting as a character in and of itself, and the musings on family (what makes a family and what isn't a family) all merged together to make for an extraordinary novel. The book is really lyrical and dark at the same time. I recommend this book to readers who are ready for heavy content that causes you to think very deeply about the human condition.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 29, 2009

    Beautifully written, but very disturbing

    I found this book to be extremely well written, but dark and very disturbing. It left a pit in my stomach and kept me thinking of the messed up characters well after putting it down. There were points in the novel where I simply HAD to stop reading because I was so disgusted by the storyline and wasn't sure I could finish it. Though Im a firm believer that all stories should be told, (not just light fluffy ones), I would be hard pressed to recommended this book to anyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Extremely twisted.. but kept my interest.

    I was amazed at how well this put was put together and written for it being her first book. I found it very interesting. I loved how it was written in many different perspectives. The book kept my mind at work with thinking of the possibilities and I was always wrong until of course the very end where everything unravels. I enjoyed this book very much and have loaned it to my cousin who can't put it down. I have just started reading her 2nd novel, The Way The Crows Fly, and I hope it doesn't disappoint me since she set the standard very high with Fall On Your Knees. : )

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2002

    Fall On Your Knees Falls Short...

    I laud Anne-Marie MacDonald for a beautifully woven, finely crafted novel. I could read her prose forever. But what I cannot get past is the fact that this is typical of an Oprah pick: 500 pages of dysfunction with the requisite rape, incest and misery void of redemption. It seems the modern benchmark for literary greatness is who can pack the most suffering into one long story. Truly great novels leave me wanting more and are marked not by the suffering of the characters, but the degree to which they rise above their circumstances. There are writers who combine well-written novels (which includes careful editing that respects readers' own intelligence) with fully-developed characters in stories that are moving, but ultimately hopeful and inspiring.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Unlike anything

    Fall On Your Knees was unlike anything I've ever read as far as the storyline goes. Just when you think you know, you realize you don't. Some parts were slow going, especially in the beginning but if you stick with it, you won't be disappointed. This book takes you through just about every emotion. Some areas were a little confusing but everything comes brilliantly together in the end. If you enjoy stories about the complicated (and in this book, downright grotesque) relationships within a family, you will really enjoy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Like staring at a crash scene

    Utterly engrossing, engaging, horrifying, memorable, sympathetic .. hmm, maybe emotionally manipulative of the readers? Loved it, couldn't put it down - but felt guilty about that, like rubbernecking a car crash.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2004

    Beautiful, painful, wonderful book

    After I finished this book, I went right back and started it from the beginning again. It was painful and poignant, but just wonderfully written. The characters come alive. It reminded me of She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb, the same rich reading. It does deal with some rough stuff, so if you are not up for that beware. Otherwise, you must read this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2002

    An Amazing Book

    Long after you're finished reading this book, the characters resonate in your mind. You think of them and their situations and discuss their foibles, human weaknesses and strengths with everybody else you know who's read the book. The plot, character, conflict and settings are meticulously developed and a joy to read. Excellent work for a first novel! All the students I've recommended this book to, who have used it for Independent Study, have loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2013

    Finally read this one!

    So I have heard of this book but just never got around to reading it. Take the time it is worth it! The writing style is different but keeps you alert. The story is compelling, mixing so many different human weaknesses and prejudices covering several generations.
    Another one of those cant put down books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Coal

    He ran throught the willow grove. He was still crying from what glimmer said. He then pad off to his den.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    Sveta

    "Great catch!" she said in a cheerful voice.
    \•Sveta•/

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    Willow Grove

    A huge grove of willows always swathed in mist and cloudy skies, which makes it permanently dim.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    I LOVE this book!!! I was originally drawn by the fact that it

    I LOVE this book!!! I was originally drawn by the fact that it was an International Bestseller, but then also by the fact that Oprah had chosen it as one of her book club recommendations. In addition, I love period pieces, so it struck a chord with me that this book would begin in the late 1800's and span a period of five generations. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and, honestly, I'm not a HUGE reader!! This book captivated me, tugged at my heart strings, and even made me cry. I would have preferred a slightly different ending (felt let down a just a tad), but am glad I read it and it's definitely one of my faves!!

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  • Posted July 3, 2012

    This book is absolutely amazing!

    This book is absolutely amazing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Read it twice!

    Great book and great author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Amazing!

    This book is simply breathtaking! Every character described so richly and each scene colorful and emotional in its own way...I could not put this novel down. In essence, this book is beautiful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2011

    A great book but very dark.

    I'm a very sensitive reader and although this book is great, it's also dark and somewhat disturbing. I do most of my reading at bedtime and several times I've had to choose something lighter so that I can sleep. I will plow through and read it to the end but if I'd know what I was getting into I might not have started it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    I couldn't put this down!!

    This book was recommended by a dear friend. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down!!! Parts of it are a bit on the dark side but it is a riveting family saga with interesting twists and turns. The characters are memorable. Ann MacDonald writes beautifully!!! I won't recommend it to just anyone, but I know that those I do pass it on to will be enthralled.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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