Following the curves of the twentieth century, FALL ON YOUR KNEES takes us from haunted Cape Breton island in Nova Scotia through the battlefields of World War I into the emerging jazz scene in New York City, and immerses us in the lives of four unforgettable sisters. The children of a driven and ambitious father, the sisters -Kathleen, the oldest, a beautiful talent intent on a career as an opera diva; Frances, the drunken rogue and child prostitute; Lily, the pseudo-saint cripple; and Mercedes, the fervent Catholic and protector of the flock - are swept along by the tumult of events and of their own desires. This is a story of family relationships, racial strife, miracles, attempted murder, birth and eath, and an extraordinary love affair.
Ann-Marie MacDonald is a writer and actress. Fall on Your Knees won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. Her play Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) won Canada's Governor General's Award and has had more than fifty productions world-wide. Other works for the theatre include The Arab's Mouth and the libretto for the internationally acclaimed chamber opera, Nigredo Hotel. She has acted in many plays, television dramas and feature films, including Where the Spirit Lives and I've Heard the Mermaids Singing. She lives in Toronto
"MacDonald skillfully shifts the story backward and forward in time, giving it a mythic quality that allows dark, half-buried secrets to be gracefully and chillingly revealed" New York Times "A whopper of a first novel... No fragmentation or contrived narrative devices confuse this hefty and engrossing tale" Guardian "Stunning...The story is riveting, the characters achingly human, and the writing will take your breath away...[MacDonald] has leapt into the first rank of fiction writers" Toronto Star