A sprawling saga about five generations of a family from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Fall on Your Knees is the impressive first fiction from Canadian playwright and actor Ann-Marie MacDonald. This epic tale of family history, family secrets, and music centers on four sisters and their relationships with each other and with their father. Set in the coal-mining communities of Nova Scotia in the early part of this century, the story also shifts to the battlefields of World War I and the jazz scene of New York City in the 1920s.
Bri (Australia) (2007/05/03): This book is a true epic saga! Its a long one, nearly 700 pages, but so enthralling that I couldnt put it down! Fall on Your Knees is like one of those movie scenes where you cover your eyes with your hands but peek through the slits because you HAVE to know what happens. You know you probably arent going to like what you see (read) but you know you have to keep going regardless. The story stretches from the early 20th century in the coal mining communities of Nova Scotia to the 1960s in New York City, and all that fell in between. It focuses on four sisters and their relationships with each other and their father. The reader is taken backward and forward in time and this narrative device enables the author to slowly reveal the dark secrets of the family bit by bit rather than in one foul sweep. While reading you might sometimes feel a bit confused as to what is going on but hang in there as it will all fall into place and you are bound to have several "a-ha!" moments as realisations dawn. Fall on Your Knees is definitely a dark book and shocking in many many ways, but at the same time it is genteel and has a mystical quality to it. I will remember these characters for a long time to come simply because of their depth, intensity and color. It is a compelling story, unbelievable yet with a stark reality to it. If the copy I read had been one I bought rather than borrowed, I would definitely be keeping it on my shelf and not parting with it!
Lisa (USA: PA) (2011/02/10): One of my favorite books. Have two copies so putting one up for mooch :)