Fall on Your Knees

Fall on Your Knees

by Ann-Marie MacDonald

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743237185
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 01/24/2002
Series: Oprah's Book Club Series
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 174,847
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Coming soon...

Coming soon...

Hometown:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date of Birth:

October 29, 1958

Place of Birth:

Baden Baden, West Germany

Education:

Graduate, National Theatre School of Canada Acting Program, 1980

Read an Excerpt

Silent Pictures

THEY'RE ALL DEAD NOW.

Here's a picture of the town where they lived. New Waterford. It's a night bright with the moon. Imagine you are looking down from the height of a church steeple, onto the vivid gradations of light and shadow that make the picture. A small mining town near cutaway cliffs that curve over narrow rock beaches below, where the silver sea rolls and rolls, flattering the moon. Not many trees, thin grass. The silhouette of a colliery, iron tower against a slim pewter sky with cables and supports sloping at forty-five-degree angles to the ground. Railway tracks that stretch only a short distance from the base of a gorgeous high slant of glinting coal, toward an archway in the earth where the tracks slope in and down and disappear. And spreading away from the collieries and coal heaps are the peaked roofs of the miners' houses built row on row by the coal company. Company houses. Company town.

Look down over the street where they lived. Water Street. An avenue of packed dust and scattered stones that leads out past the edge of town to where the wide, keeling graveyard overlooks the ocean. That sighing sound is just the sea.

Here's a picture of their house as it was then. White, wood frame with the covered veranda. It's big compared to the miners' houses. There's a piano in the front room. In the back is the kitchen where Mumma died.

Here's a picture of her the day she died. She had a stroke while cleaning the oven. Which is how the doctor put it. Of course you can't see her face for the oven, but you can see where she had her stockings rolled down for housework and, although this is a black and white picture, her housedress actually is black since she was in mourning for Kathleen at the time, as well as Ambrose. You can't tell from this picture, but Mumma couldn't speak English very well. Mercedes found her like that, half in half out of the oven like the witch in Hansel and Gretel. What did she plan to cook that day? When Mumma died, all the eggs in the pantry went bad — they must have because you could smell that sulphur smell all the way down Water Street.

So that's the house at 191 Water Street, New Waterford, Cape Breton Island, in the far eastern province of Nova Scotia, Canada. And that's Ma on the day she died, June 23, 1919.

Here's a picture of Daddy. He's not dead, he's asleep. You see that armchair he's in? That's the pale green wingback. His hair is braided. That's not an ethnic custom. They were only ethnic on Mumma's side. Those are braids that Lily put in his hair while he was asleep.

There are no pictures of Ambrose, there wasn't time for that. Here's a picture of his crib still warm.

Other Lily is in limbo. She lived a day, then died before she could be baptized, and went straight to limbo along with all the other unbaptized babies and the good heathens. They don't suffer, they just sort of hang there effortlessly and unaware. Jesus is known to have gone into limbo occasionally and taken a particularly good heathen out of it and up to heaven. So it is possible. Otherwise....That's why this picture of Other Lily is a white blank.

Don't worry. Ambrose was baptized.

Here's one of Mercedes. That opal rosary of hers was basically priceless. An opal rosary, can you imagine? She kept it pinned to the inside of her brassiere, over her heart, at all times when she wasn't using it. Partly for divine protection, partly out of the convenience of never being without the means to say a quick decade of the beads when the spirit moved her, which was often. Although, as Mercedes liked to point out, you can say the rosary with any objects at hand if you find yourself in need of a prayer but without your beads. For example, you can say it with pebbles or breadcrumbs. Frances wanted to know, could you say the rosary with cigarette butts? The answer was yes, if you're pure at heart. With mouse turds? With someone's freckles? The dots in a newspaper photograph of Harry Houdini? That's enough, Frances. In any case, this is a picture of Mercedes, holding her opal rosary, with one finger raised and pressed against her lips. She's saying, "Shshsh."

And this is Frances. But wait, she's not in it yet. This one is a moving picture. It was taken at night, behind the house. There's the creek, flowing black and shiny between its narrow banks. And there's the garden on the other side. Imagine you can hear the creek trickling. Like a girl telling a secret in a language so much like our own. A still night, a midnight clear. It's only fair to tell you that a neighbor once saw the dismembered image of his son in this creek, only to learn upon his arrival home for supper that his son had been crushed to death by a fall of stone in Number 12 Mine.

But tonight the surface of the creek is merely as Nature made it. And certainly it's odd but not at all supernatural to see the surface break, and a real live soaked and shivering girl rise up from the water and stare straight at us. Or at someone just behind us. Frances. What's she doing in the middle of the creek, in the middle of the night? And what's she hugging to her chest with her chicken-skinny arms? A dark wet bundle. Did it stir just now? What are you doing, Frances?

But even if she were to answer, we wouldn't know what she was saying, because, although this is a moving picture, it is also a silent one.

All the pictures of Kathleen were destroyed. All except one. And it's been put away.

Kathleen sang so beautifully that God wanted her to sing for Him in heaven with His choir of angels. So He took her.

Copyright © 1996 by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

Rita Mae Brown

Fall on Your Knees proves that sisterhood is powerful—but not exactly as we thought it would be. It's a bit like performing the station of the cross to rock music.

Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide for Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
1) In the Prologue "Silent Pictures", the author sets the scene through a narrator's voice and drops you into the middle of the Piper family's tangled relationships. Did the tale unfold as you expected? Who did you first believe the original narrator was? Think about how the narrator's voice changes throughout the novel. How does the shifting point of view affect the telling of the story?
2) When Materia runs away with James at 13, Mr. Mahmoud makes her marry James but then gives them a house and disowns his daughter. Were you surprised by the apparent contradiction? What kind of message did this send to Materia, her mother and her siblings? And, what role do you think this abandonment plays in her unraveling?
3) James is a complex character. In some ways we feel compassion for him but in others we grow to hate him. Discuss what you think drove him at times to protect his family and at times to destroy them? What do you think his motives were for the choices that he made?
4) Religion and skin color play a large role in separating and defining the characters in this novel. For example, Mrs. Luvovitz, Materia's only friend, is Jewish and married to the kosher butcher. James is Protestant and married to the Catholic Materia. Materia's father was Catholic but claims he took the name Mahmoud in honor of the Muslim woman who protected him from death. Also, Materia is Lebanese and dark. James is Gaelic and pale. James doesn't even realize that Albert, his best friend in the mine, is black because of the soot and dim lighting. Jameel who is Lebanese and married to Materia's sister Camille is "shit-scared of being seen as colored" (p.335). What role do you think all these differences play in the interactions of the characters? And, how do you think these differences would be seen today as opposed to 100 years ago?
5) Cape Breton Island is a landscape of forlorn beauty enveloped in a new-found poverty due to the Depression. How does the setting affect or mirror the people in it? Why do you think the author chose an island to set the scene, and what is the role of the surrounding sea? Do you think the community's isolation is a factor in it becoming an accepting "melting pot"? And, what role does wealth play in social position and status for families like the Mahmouds, the Pipers and the Taylors?
6) The author uses foreshadowing skillfully throughout her novel. For example, Materia uses scissors to snip the kidneys for the kidney pie then uses them to perform a Cesarian on her illegitimately pregnant daughter. What are some examples of foreshadowing you thought were most effective or haunting? Did the author take you where you expected? Or were there plot twists that surprised you?
7) Incest is a recurrent theme throughout the novel. James enlists in the army during WWI in part due to his sexual feelings for his daughter Kathleen and later acts on these urges with Frances. Did you realize what Mercedes witnessed with James and Frances on the "rocking chair" before or after she did? And, what role do you think that incest plays in Frances becoming a bawdy "little girl" stripper who performs sexual favors for cash?
8) During her mother's funeral, Frances begins to convulse with laughter. She expects punishment yet receives compassion. They think she's crying. And, she realizes, "The facts of the situation don't necessarily indicate anything about the truth of the situation. In this moment, fact and truth become separated and commence to wander like twins in a fairy tale, waiting to be united by that special someone who possesses the secret of telling them apart" (page 137). Cite some examples of how this statement rang true throughout the book and how some things aren't what they seem when you dig away at the surface.
9) Though concerned about the possibility of a mixed marriage, Mercedes promises her heart to Ralph. He breaks his promise not because of religion but because he falls in love with another women at college. Were you surprised at how easily Ralph's parents accepted his new Catholic wife especially in the early part of the 20th century? Do you think Mercedes ever moves past this heartache?
10) Mercedes believes that Lily is a candidate for sainthood in part due to her incredible compassion and ability to cure but also in part due to the voices Mercedes believes she hears and the things she senses. Do you believe that Lily is exceptional? Do you think Ambrose really visits her? How could Lily remember things that happened as early as her infancy? What role do the spirits play throughout the novel?
11) On page 334, MacDonald writes "The thief you fear the most is not the one who steals mere things." She's referring to Teresa who knows that Frances stole Mrs. Mahmoud's jewelry but fears more what Frances is up to next with regard to Ginger and their family. What are other examples of things stolen (both tangible and intangible) in the book?
12) Why does Frances take Ginger to the mine? What is it about him that makes her want to bear his child so badly? How do you think the pregnancy survived the bullet? And, do you believe Frances knew what really happened to her child? How much do you think race had to do with Mercedes' decision?
13) Friendship doesn't come easily for the Pipers. Most of their relationships are strained or taboo. Discuss how Rose and Kathleen's relationship develops and how music ties them together. They also share an unusual and ironic tie — Rose, who is black, has a white, blond mother and Kathleen, who is fair, has a dark-skinned mother of Middle Eastern descent. Why do you think Kathleen is drawn to Rose in the way that she is? And, what do you think of the way James ends the union?
14) Throughout the book, you're never quite sure who fathered Kathleen's twins. Did you ever think that James might actually be Lily's father? Who did you think it was and did your opinion change over time? The author doesn't make the lineage absolutely clear until the family tree is delivered to Lily in New York at the very end of the book. Were you surprised by what you learned? Do you think Lily is surprised by all the connections?
15) On the surface, the Pipers could seem like a "normal family" but when you peel back the layers, a very different picture is revealed. Did you ever meet a person or family with unusual circumstances and connections that you accidentally uncovered? Could you identify with any of the characters? And, if so, why? If the story continued, what do you think would become of Lily in New York?
16) At the end of the novel, many of the characters have died and Lily is living far from "home". Do you see this as a new beginning or as the sad close of a tale? Do you think the novel has a redemptive ending? What constitutes redemption?

Interviews

1) Can you tell us how you became a writer?
I became a writer through the theatre. As an actor I started collaborating–writing shows collectively until I started writing plays on my own. Then I wrote a book. I started writing it as a play until I got stuck and realized a play was the wrong form.

2) What inspired you to write this particular book? Is there a story about the writing of this novel that begs to be told?
No, I like stories.

3) What is the major theme in this book?
One theme is diversity and truth struggling its way to the surface.

4) Who is your favourite character in this book, and why?
I love them all equally.

5) Are there any tips you would give a book club to better navigate their discussion of your book?
Have a drink. Enjoy. Yell.

6) Do you have a favourite story to tell about being interviewed about your book?
There was a Vietnam veteran in a suburb of Minneapolis who had not read the book. But then he agreed informally to be interviewed by me about his war time experiences.

7) Which authors have been most influential to your own writing?
Charlotte Bronte, The Beatles, Northrop Frye. I love authors and books but I get influenced by life.

Foreword

1. A cedar box, a diary, a green dress, a scarecrow — examine MacDonald's use of repeated imagery in her exploration of family history. Are her interpretations of memory intended to be naturalistic? How does this square with her use of the spiritual life in this novel? What, for example, does Ambrose 'mean' to Lily and Francis, and why does Pete haunt Kathleen?

2. Examine your sympathies with the family members of this book. Does the author manipulate or confuse the alliances of the reader? How does she handle revelation? Try to define the way in which the narrator relates to the reader. The internal logic of the book is also defined by the ways in which the characters 'decide' to interpret each others' behaviour — are you surprised by the shifts in allegiance throughout the book — where does the force for these changes come from?

3. 'That night, the Virgin Mary tells her what to do.' (p.561) Could you have predicted the course of Mercedes' life? What do you take MacDonald to mean in her use of religion to shape Mercedes, and what do you understand about Mercedes from the ways in which she chooses to respond to events? How closely do the sisters mirror each others' behaviour?

4. 'The knowledge that it is to be a coloured child is most useful in determining its future. First of all, there is now no question of keeping it. Illegitimacy is a terrible but invisible blot, whereas miscegenation cannot be concealed.' (p.393) The book addresses several major themes of conflict in the 20th Century — racial strife and inequality, sexuality, religious oppression and belief, poverty. Is MacDonald successful in her integration of such powerful topicsinto this intimate family history? What methods does she use to sustain the pace of the narrative throughout the 560-odd pages of the book? Some of the revelations of the character make for uncomfortable reading — is the author consciously trying to alienate the reader, shock them? If so, is she successful, and why do you think she adopted this approach?

5. 'Frances's eyes burst open. She had a dream about Trixie just now.' (p.373) As a plot device, what function does Trixie serve?

6. Frances manifests a particularly brittle variety of humour and resilience. Compare her responses to 'damage' with those of her sisters, mother and father. What do you consider Frances's principal motivations to be, and to what use has the author put these, in her construction of this book? What do you consider the author intends us to understand from her use of illness and affliction in this book?

7. How do you interpret the 'visions' and 'intuition' of the sisters towards each other? What do you consider MacDonald is interested in exploring by this added dimension to the story? Do you think our understanding of the personal histories is intended to change our perception of the 'public' record of War history in Fall On Your Knees? Which characters constitute the most obvious links between the private and public?

8. 'The cave mind has entered into a creative collaboration with the voluntary mind, and soon the two of them will cocoon memory in a spinning wealth of dreams and yarns and fingerpaintings.' (p.151) Memory and its reinvention are central to the sisters' survival techniques in the book; how does the structure of the book assist in our understanding of this?

9. Do the histories, for example, of prohibition, or the miners strikes, serve as functional plot devices or as a metaphor?

10. How precisely imagined is this book? How important is this in the revelation of plot? Consider the book in relation to linear time. How much is this book about Kathleen's history, and how does our understanding of the circumstances of her life reflect on our reading of other characters?

11. Compare the symbolism of this book with the magic realism of Rushdie or Márquez. How does your understanding of 'magic realism' inform your reading of this work, if at all?

12. Consider the roles of Mrs. and Ralph Luvovitz, Leo Taylor, Theresa, Hector and Adelaide, and what light their interior life sheds on that of the Pipers. How does Frances compare with Theresa? Attempt to describe the relationship between the two. Which characters do you consider to be least successful in the story?

13. What do you take the meaning of the title of the book to be? How do the chapter headings, along with the quotes and passages that preface each section of the book serve to enhance your reading?

14. 'Frances has recently revealed a natural talent in the kitchen. She cooks and cooks. Roasts and curries, stews and casseroles. It's mystifying. Frances is like one of those strange persons who awake one morning and play the complete works of Bach with never a lesson.' (p.429) Discuss the roles of books, clothes, music and food in Fall On Your Knees. How many central themes are explored using these symbols?

15. Do you think that the 'real' aspects of the novel — MacDonald's powerful evocation of the trenches, for example — change the way in which we view the fictional lives she explores? Does the juxtaposition of 'known' history give more weight to the author's intent?

Customer Reviews

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Fall On Your Knees 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 178 reviews.
WishICouldWrite More than 1 year ago
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.
leeshaAB More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
AlliePooh More than 1 year ago
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. : )
lizj22 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
dfc19 More than 1 year ago
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!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
lberriman on LibraryThing 2 days ago
I found this book very disturbing.
whirled on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Fall On Your Knees is a big, messy car wreck of a novel, and it has a car wreck's macabre pull. The book touches on many nasty subjects, including incest and suicide, yet it held my interest throughout its significant length. The key to its power lies largely in the girls at the centre of the narrative, the four unlucky daughters of James Piper. The characters were each distinctive and well-drawn, carrying between them many moments of heartbreak and dark humour. MacDonald did go over the top with the 'quirkiness' at times, making this a book I would not recommend to others but which I did, despite everything, enjoy.
PerfictionistBibliophile 8 days ago
Fall on Your Knees is a heavy drama that explores friendship, racial tension, varying religious views, isolation, domestic abuse, and forbidden love in a brilliantly crafted complex plot that includes incest, death and murder. The plot follows the Piper family; a father, James Piper, and four children, Kathleen, Frances, Lily and Mercedes, from before World War I, through the roaring 20s, and the great depression. The four sisters gradually grow from children into fully developed characters with different personalities and their own individual stories. Each sister's story is filled with intrigue and dark secrets which are gradually revealed. Their stories all weave together in an extremely unsettling way. Ann-Marie MacDonald combines rapid mixing of tenses and points-of-view using combinations of journal, memory, dialogue and narrative. This can sometimes lead to confusion, but it ultimately allows the offer to tell the story from multiple vantage points, gradually revealing more clues as the same scene takes place from a subsequent view-point. The depth of the characters draws you into their lives and the cleverly written and sublime metaphorical words put you straight in their heads.
sgk on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Great bookclub pick, had a great discussion. A hard book to put down, while at the sametime a very difficult read in someparts.
judelbug on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Anne - Marie McDonald's novel about family, secrets, and revenge is a must read. I must admit it is a story so compelling, it is akin to watching an impending train wreck - you desperately want to cover your eyes, run away, or somehow sound the alarm, yet you continue to standby, silently watching it all unfold before you.
adawn on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I picked up Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald from a friend. I have tickets to go see the author give an informal interview at the NAC at the end of the month and thought that I should at least read her most popular book.Turns out I¿ve already read it. I read it again anyway, because I only remembered two parts of the book, and by the time I did I was at least a third of the way through.I have no idea how I forgot reading this book, because it¿s certainly a story that sticks with you. The Pipers are one tragic family. Tragedy seems to flow through the very blood that connects them to each other. Every character is flawed, but mostly sympathetic (although I can¿t seem to drag up any sympathy for James. By the end of the book I think he¿s revolting), but they certainly makes some very bad choices.It makes me sad that most of them never had a better end for themselves. Except for Lily and Anthony. But I suppose they deserve the ending since the way they came into the world was terrible.
dryfly on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Perhaps has the worst last chapter on any book I've ever written. It's as if the author died and someone else came in to finish the book to meet a publisher's deadline. For this reason alone this book should be avoided.
Terosauras on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Wow, an amazing but dark book. Don't read this book if you are currently depressed! However, don't go to your grave without reading it at least once.
helensdatter on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I have just finished this book and would put it amongst my top 10 ever read! I thought the plotting was so clever, I want to say lurid without being sensational. So sad in places = the poor mother. The wicked father but never black and white bad. The wonderful girls. I have started re-reading bits again to pick up hints I missed the first time. Unforgettable.
pamplemousse on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Wonderful celebration of the human spirit (really!) This has to be the best book I've read in 1997. The story of a family progressing (badly) through the early decades of this century in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, it covers just about every conceivable tragedy which might befall a family of that time and place, from disease to child abuse and suicide. And yet, told as it is with great good humour and without judgment by the author, this ends up being a thoroughly satisfying, enlightening and heartening book. You'll laugh and you'll cry, and you won't be able to put it down. What more could you want?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laced with Catholic practices and themes that besiege the everyday, common person who has been drenched in this religion, whether practicing or not. The author draws you in to the frailties of the human condition, without casting judgement on the perpetrator or the atrociously ,heinous act itself . Simultaneously you are left speechlessly , aghast , seeing through the eyes of both the perpetrator and victim .
TheLoon More than 1 year ago
I too found this book to be very well written but seriously shallow. I was eventually worn out by the running litany of modern "causes" that the author introduces into her story. As is almost required of the modern female feminist, there are the "evil white men" driving tragedy after tragedy, plunky women of all races and ethnicities trying to survive and love each other, racial issues by the score and "love" as only true response. By the time I got to the "shocking" climax that anyone could have seen by the middle of the book I was asking myself why I was still reading this book. And, of coarse, sexual identity issues had to be thrown in to boot. Yikes. If you want to read a liberal Bible of modern society this book is for you. Victimhood enshrined.