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Fall on Your Knees

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Details of Fall on Your Knees Book

Fall on Your Knees PDF is a novel written by Ann-Marie MacDonald and published by Vintage Canada in 1996. The book is a family saga that spans several generations and explores themes of love, betrayal, family secrets, and redemption. It has been praised for its complex characters, vivid descriptions, and historical accuracy.

BookFall on Your Knees
AuthorAnn-Marie MacDonald
Original languageEnglish
Originally published1996
CategoryDomestic Fiction
PublisherKnopf Canada, Simon & Schuster
Total Pages566
FormatPDF, ePub

The book received critical acclaim upon its release, with many reviewers praising MacDonald’s writing style and ability to create fully realized characters. The novel was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 1996 and was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1997. It has been translated into several languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide.

One of the key themes of the book is the impact of family secrets and the toll they can take on individuals and their relationships. The novel also explores themes of identity, power dynamics, and the complex nature of love. MacDonald skillfully weaves together historical events, such as World War I and II, with the personal stories of her characters, adding depth and complexity to the narrative. Fall on Your Knees is available in several formats, including paperback, hardcover, audiobook, and ebook.

Plot Summary

The novel begins with the family living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. James is a piano tuner and Materia is a housewife. Kathleen, the oldest daughter, is a talented singer, while Mercedes dreams of becoming a nun. Frances, the middle daughter, is headstrong and rebellious, while Lily, the youngest, is innocent and curious.

As the story unfolds, the family’s secrets and dark past come to light. James has a troubled history with his father, who was abusive and violent. Materia’s father, who was a priest, also has a dark secret that haunts her. Kathleen’s dreams of becoming a singer are shattered when she is forced to marry a wealthy man named David.

As the years go by, the sisters experience love, loss, and betrayal. Mercedes becomes a nun but struggles with her faith, Frances falls in love with a married man and has a child out of wedlock, and Lily discovers the truth about her family’s past. The story also touches on historical events, such as World War I and II, and the impact they have on the family.

Best Quotes

  • “The past never remains in the past. It is always present in the future, hovering like a specter over all that will be.”
  • “We are all searching for someone to kiss us and make it better; we’re all guilty of kissing and making it worse.”


“Fall on Your Knees” by Ann-Marie MacDonald has received generally positive reviews. The novel was a critical and commercial success, receiving numerous accolades and nominations for literary awards.

The New York Times Book Review praised the novel, calling it “a sprawling family saga that spans decades and continents.” The review went on to say that the book is “a powerful meditation on the nature of family, faith, and forgiveness.”

The Chicago Tribune also gave the book a positive review, calling it “an engrossing and deeply satisfying novel.” The review praised MacDonald’s “ability to create vivid, complex characters who inhabit a fully realized world.”

The novel has also been praised for its lyrical writing style and its exploration of complex themes such as identity, family, and the legacy of trauma.

However, some critics have also noted that the novel’s graphic depictions of violence and abuse may be disturbing to some readers. Overall, “Fall on Your Knees” has been well-received by both readers and critics alike.

Multiple Languages Editions of Fall on Your Knees Book

“Fall on Your Knees” has been translated into several languages, including French, German, Spanish, Dutch, and Italian. It is widely available in these translated editions, as well as the original English version.

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About Ann-Marie MacDonald

Ann-Marie MacDonald is a Canadian author, playwright, and actress. She was born in 1958 in Germany, to a Canadian military family, and grew up in various parts of Canada. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts degree in drama from the University of Alberta.

Fall on Your Knees

MacDonald is best known for her novel “Fall on Your Knees”, which was published in 1996 and became an international bestseller. The novel has been translated into multiple languages and has won several awards. MacDonald has also written other novels, including “The Way the Crow Flies” and “Adult Onset”, as well as plays, such as “Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)”.

In addition to her writing, MacDonald has had a successful career in acting. She has appeared in several films and television shows, including “The Five Senses” and “Boardwalk Empire”. MacDonald has also been a radio host and has worked as a theatre director.

MacDonald has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including the Governor General’s Award for English language fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction. She has also been inducted into the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honors. MacDonald continues to write and contribute to Canadian arts and culture.

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