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Friday, January 8, 2010

Fall On Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald, 2001 * * * *

A sprawling saga about five generations of a family from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Fall on Your Knees was the impressive first novel from Ann-Marie MacDonald, a Canadian playwright, actor, and broadcast journalist. It is an epic tale of family history, family secrets, and music which 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. Fall On Your Knees is a saga of one family's trials and triumphs in a world of sin, guilt, and redemption. The novel's structure weaves back and forth in time and tells multiple versions of the same events from multiple points of view, which can be confusing. However, as the story unfolds, answers are revealed and things are clarified. It is a wonderful read which is multifaceted with characters who will remain with you for a long time.

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