Fallen Skies

Fallen Skies

3.5 37
by Philippa Gregory
     
 

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Can a family's mannered traditions and cool emotions erase the horrors of war from a young couple's past?

Now back in print from New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory, Fallen Skies takes readers to post-World War I England in a suspenseful story about the marriage of a wealthy war hero and an aspiring singer he barely

Overview

Can a family's mannered traditions and cool emotions erase the horrors of war from a young couple's past?

Now back in print from New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory, Fallen Skies takes readers to post-World War I England in a suspenseful story about the marriage of a wealthy war hero and an aspiring singer he barely knows.

Lily Valance is determined to forget the horrors of the war by throwing herself into the decadent pleasures of the 1920s and pursuing her career as a music hall singer. When she meets Captain Stephen Winters, a decorated veteran, she's immediately drawn to his wealth and status. And Stephen, burdened by his guilt over surviving the Flanders battlefields where so many soldiers perished, sees the possibility of forgetting his anguish in Lily, but his family does not approve.

Lily marries Stephen, only to discover that his family's façade of respectability conceals a terrifying combination of repression, jealousy and violence. When Stephen's terrors merge dangerously close with reality, the truth of what took place in the mud and darkness brings him and all who love him to a terrible reckoning.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

After losing her father in the Great War, working-class girl Lily Pears becomes chorus girl Lily Valance to help support her widowed mother in Gregory's moody 1920s historical. When her dreams of being a featured singer in a dance-hall revue are interrupted by her mother's death, Lily accepts a marriage proposal from Stephen Winters, a regular at the stage door. Stephen, a reluctant but decorated WWI enlistee still wakes up screaming from the horrors he witnessed in the war and hopes marriage to the bubbly Lily will dispel his terror. But Lily's entrée into the gloomy Winters family home saps her cheer, and singing onstage becomes her only joy. Predating her popular Tudor series, this novel (originally published in the U.K. in 1994 and being released for the first time stateside) attempts to give equal time to both halves of its unhappy couple with mixed results; the domestic misery and foiled longings will be familiar to fans of Gregory's Boleyn work, but even if this is narrower in scope, it still has plenty of power. (Dec.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416593140
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
12/02/2008
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
217,071
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels are the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen. Her most recent novel is Three Sisters, Three Queens. She graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent. She holds an honorary degree from Teesside University, and is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Yorkshire, England
Date of Birth:
January 9, 1954
Place of Birth:
Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
Education:
B.A. in history, Sussex University, 1982; Ph.D., 18th-century popular fiction, Edinburgh, 1984
Website:
http://www.PhilippaGregory.com

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3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
a2744 More than 1 year ago
The overall development of the characters was well played out. I felt like I knew how each and every character was thinking in certain situations. However, the plot and pace of the book was rather slow. Compared to the other Gregory books, Fallen Skies did not have the riveting speed as the others. Definately worth the read though.
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BibliophileHS More than 1 year ago
Normally, I enjoy any tale written by Philippa Gregory, and fly through the pages while enjoying her storycraft and tale weaving. I haven't made it through more than a couple of chapters in this book, although it is a historical period I have normally enjoyed. I abhor the language used by the WWI veterans as they refer to women--it may be historically correct in the view of those, especially in what was considered the aristocracy--but I found the storyline and dialogue very misogenistic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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J34E34S34S More than 1 year ago
Fallen Skies is different from some of Ms. Gregory's other books about the royals that I have read. I have really enjoyed this author and shes actually becoming one of my favorites. This story moves at a very steady, but slow pace and has wonderful character development and depth. Many parts in the book are disturbing but I thought it was all relevant to the characters, time and place when this was all happening. Overall a great read, I would have liked a little more information towards the end, but it was enough to satisfy my curiosity. Ms. Gregory does not disappoint.
ImmortalBeloved More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I love this author. I loved the time period in which it's set and the author's ability to paint such a vivid picture of these characters and their lives. I finished it very quickly because it was such an engrossing story.
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Luvs2read03 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was very good, and the ending took me by surprise. There were some parts of the story that were slow moving, and took a while to get into, but once in it I couldn't stop reading. Phillipa Gregory is one of the best historical writers I have ever read. Her stories make it seem like you are there with the characters.
Profe More than 1 year ago
I love Philippa Gregory's historical fiction so bought this book based on that. It was work to continue reading all the way to the end; it just didn't engage me like her other books have. I finished it, but had already figured out what was going to happen at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ENGfreak More than 1 year ago
It may have just been me, however the beginning of the book seemed slightly slow in the "get go". However, once i was fully immersed in the wonderful writing style of Ms. Gregory i was genuinely hooked! Fallen Skies had so many dramatic twists and turns and heartbreaking moments that i couldn't wait until i had reached the final pages where everything would be perfectly and harmoniously dealt with. I had fantasies of how this person would do this and the climatic moment would be so perfect because Gregory had written it and I have always loved her writing, but soon i was paying attention to the lack of character confrontation paired with the dwindling pages. The climax was spectacularly dramatic as i had hoped however when I had expected all the other strings that had stemmed from that momentous conclusion to be tied I unfairly turned the last page to the story. It ended so abruptly i felt cheated and hurt by that emotional rollercoaster only to be left wondering where my lunch went.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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MrsMCYD More than 1 year ago
Like the other reviewer, this book did not grab me like her others. Other than this one, I havent yet ventured beyond the boleyn/ elizabethan books. I read 300 pgs one night, and then never touched it again. It was an extremely touching book, and I even cried at a few moments. I suppose I never finished it because the love story was painful to read. Perhaps it was just a hormonal week, but I couldnt bring myself to finish it. Although beautifully written, its very VERY slow. I suppose I kept reading that one night because I was waiting for SOMETHING to happen... and it seemed on the brink of occurring for 200 pgs. Its not an exciting book, but now that I think about it, id like to finish it. However, I think for now, im too hooked on Gregory's 16th and 17th century England novels.
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nancycol More than 1 year ago
I like reading Phillipa Gregory's books for the slice of life they offer, a picture of what a person's life may have been like during historical periods. This book is set in the 1920s, post WWI, so the details of life during the Roaring 20s are the best part of this story in my opinion. The main character, Lily, is highly likable and innocent and fun-loving, a large contrast to Stephen Winters, the man she marries. The contrast makes the book interesting, though the ending is somewhat predictable. The characters are well-developed and the relationships Lily has with the various people in her life help create a character you root for. I liked this book, but I've enjoyed Miss Gregory's other stories more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago