Fall on Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald

Title: Fall on Your Knees
Author: Ann-Marie MacDonald
Pages: 512
Published: 2002 (first published 1996)
Challenges: Canadian, Chunkster, Historical Fiction, I Love Libraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description: They are the Pipers of Cape Breton Island -- a family steeped in lies and unspoken truths that reach out from the past, forever mindful of the tragic secret that could shatter the family to its foundations. 

Chronicling five generations of this eccentric clan, Fall On Your Knees follows four remarkable sisters whose lives are filled with driving ambition, inescapable family bonds, and forbidden love. Their experiences will take them from their stormswept homeland, across the battlefields of World War I, to the freedom and independence of Jazz-era New York City.  (from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This had been a book that had been on my TBR for at least 15 years, if not longer, due to talk I had heard about this book.  Mainly due to the content of the book, but I can't recall exactly what I heard and I think it was in the late 1990's when I heard the chatter, but it could have been a few years later when it came to the attention of Oprah and her book club.

I really liked how MacDonald created a sense of place from the outset; I really felt as though I was living the life of the Piper family during the first 30 years of the 20th century.  I could imagine seeing the Piper house and felt like I was trailing them as they moved from room to room and as they went and did things out in the community.  But on the other hand, I did feel as though the writing was choppy and like I was forcing myself at times to finish up the book.  I can see why people like this book and that it at some point could become a Canadian classic.

Bottom line: While I liked how the author crafted a sense of place and characters that you could picture, there were times I could not find a reading rhythm with the book, unlike what I found with Madame Picasso. Recommended.

Rating: 2.75/5


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