* Since I mentioned it in my last post, here is my take on Fall on your Knees from my other blog on 3/12/08
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Usually, I copy the synopsis from the back of the book, or inside flap here, but I already returned this book to the library, so what I have can be found at Oprah’s book club site:
By turns dark and hilariously funny, this stunning fiction debut by an award-winning writer and actor takes readers on a mystically charged journey spanning five generations of one family’s sin, guilt and redemption—a narrative feast of racial strife, miracles, terrible secrets and a passionate, enduring love.
Following the curves of history during the first half of the twentieth century, Fall on Your Knees takes us from haunted Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, through the battlefields of World War I, to the emerging jazz scene in New York City, and into the lives of four unforgettable sisters. The mythically charged family—James, a father of intelligence and immense ambition; Materia, his Lebanese child-bride; and their daughters. Kathleen is the eldest, a beautiful talent preparing for a career as an opera diva. Frances is an incorrigible liar and hell-bent bad girl. Mercedes, the obsessive Catholic is the protector of the flock. Lily, the adored invalid, takes us on a quest for truth and redemption.
Fall on Your Knees is a story of inescapable family bonds, of terrible secrets, of miracles, racial strife, attempted murder, birth and death, and forbidden love.
First off, I’m not so sure I would call this book “hilariously funny” as stated above. I found it, quite like one of the reviewers at Amazon.com, like a car accident…you want to look away, but you just can’t. The author does a good job sucking you in and stringing you along, but really it’s just one big long unhappy book. I kept hoping, reading for something good and wonderful, but everything you don’t want to happen seems to happen in one way shape or form. I would never have thought to have written such a book. I can honestly say, I’m not going to excitedly go and pick up another of Ann-Marie’s books – and not because she isn’t a good author, it was very well written, but mainly because I don’t look forward to seeing car accidents, so I’m not going to go look for them.