On Your Knees
By some sparkling shape-shift, MacDonald has been transformed into a novelist, the only clues to her dramatic heritage being a fervent use of rising action, reversals, and Shakespearean gender overlaps. When the wash of symbols threatens to flood the narrative field, MacDonald transports the story to higher ground. And MacDonald has used the skill of a method actor to develop characters — including many children — far beyond stereotype. While Atwood has been criticized for her mistreatment of male characters, the same cannot be said about MacDonald.
The principle patriarch, James, may be despicable, but MacDonald does not allow him to remain in the dull purgatory of masculine evil. This is a reasonable name for a stretch of contested ground that has yet to be won by either side. It is possible to become a man once more if you make it back behind your line again, but you suspend your humanity for your sojourn between. While MacDonald rejoices that humans are good and bad, she recognizes these same qualities in Cape Breton.
The town of New Waterford, with its stunning landscape, murderous coal mines, and troubled ethnicities, is also characterized as a limbo that reflects and motivates the hearts of its residents. Along with the saga comes a history of New Waterford and, no less significantly, a map of the evolution of music at the turn of the century: from Victorian ditty through Puccini opera, speakeasy honky tonk, and Harlem gospel and blues.
Exact: Elapsed time: 85 ms. Word index: , , , More Expression index: , , , More Phrase index: , , , More Developed by Prompsit Language Engineering for Softissimo. Join Reverso, it's free and fast! Register Login. These examples may contain rude words based on your search. These examples may contain colloquial words based on your search. Try again, but this time on your knees.
Get on your knees next to your boyfriend. It is you who should be on your knees.
Down On Your Knees
Choppy, metaphoric, sensational; the author was very effective in putting me inside the characters' heads. The father was a dispicable man, and there is no getting around that. The forgiveness between him and Frances at the end was somewhat redeeming -- sort of. The way Frances sent Lilly out into the world was weird. And the ending was unsatisfying regarding every character, except for Frances's son. I think I'll be puzzling over this one for awhile, and maybe that was the author's goal. If so, then I give her 5 stars.
I guess the best way to describe this book is mostly interesting, and extremely unsettling. Read at your own risk. Jun 21, Becky rated it did not like it. This book left me wanting to slash my wrists-- especially when I think about the time I spent reading it that I can never get back. Many people loved this book. I am not one of them. The characters are shallow,self-involved and just plain crazy and while I realize that this is just like the people you meet in your everyday I life, it doesn't necessarily mean I want to read about them unless they are delivered in a well-written story that makes them shine a little.
This is not that kind of story. Reading this book and I persisted because I am an open-minded reader was like trudging through mud. And as open-minded as I am, I just could not take the rather graphic descriptions of molestation and incest. MacDonald, some times less is more. About pages before the end I was ready to quit. I'd had all I could take of the simpering, whining, craziness and frequent spinelessness of the Piper family.
I only kept reading because I was actually interested in the story of what happened to Kathleen in New York. View 2 comments. Mar 05, Mimi rated it did not like it. Although I am always interested in reading books that deal with sensitive and even shocking topics sometimes this makes a book more interesting! There's one thing I don't get - in the description on the back cover, the story is called "menacingly dark and hilariously funny" and it is also called "darkly humorous". Maybe I'm missing something or perhaps I'm not sophisticated enough, but I just don't see any humor at all in this distressing tale - and, like I said, I'm a very open-minded reader!
Mar 20, Melissa Madrid rated it it was amazing. She hooked me instantly with her ability to get inside childhood, and her searingly real portraits of life in the s, with the bonus of superb storytelling acumen and writing that is a pleasure to read. I read Fall on Your Knee second and had that wonderful enjoyment of a second shot of a writer who you liked so much the first time you didn't think you could have th I discovered Ann-Marie MacDonald by accident, when I bought The Way the Crow Flies in a used bookstore during a biblioemergency.
On Your Knees (Halloween Special)
I read Fall on Your Knee second and had that wonderful enjoyment of a second shot of a writer who you liked so much the first time you didn't think you could have that pleasure again. Not only was Fall On Your Knees similarly satisfying, but it was uniquely satisfying for AMM's ability to create a nearly perfect gothic novel, along with all her other amazing traits. If I had to compare her to another writer, it would be Annie Proulx for her ability to give great reading plasure from the darkest of stories. Dec 30, jo rated it liked it Shelves: mama-is-crazy , queer , canadian , disability.
View all 16 comments. I read this book because my partner and I have an agreement. We both love wildly different styles of books, so we each choose one of our favourites and make the other person read it. This was her choice I made her read A game of thrones in case you're wondering. I hated this book for it's subject matter and content. The damn thing ended just when it started getting interesting and glossed over anything that was actually worth finding out more about.
I didn't give a damn about any of the characters, couldn't identify with the setting and felt like the last third of the book, with it's incredibly different tone, would have better stood as it's own book. That being said I love the author's turn of phrase. This for me is the literary equivalent of listening to someone with a beautiful voice read the phone book. The content is meaningless but damn it sounds good. MacDonald the Canadian actress and playwrite has truely shown the depth and beauty of her talent in her debut novel, Fall on Your Knees.
Her words flow with ease, allowing the story to unfold as though real and not on a page. The historical detail, layers of generations and depth of the characters draw you in as you live their lives with them. It is centered around four sisters and their relationships with each other and wi MacDonald the Canadian actress and playwrite has truely shown the depth and beauty of her talent in her debut novel, Fall on Your Knees. It is centered around four sisters and their relationships with each other and with their father.
Set in coal-mining community of Nova Scotia, FYK follows the sisters as they come across the hardships and roles they must have in that particular culture. This is a book I am excited to read a second or third time. It took me longer than I had anticipated to finish this book.
I savored her words as I cringed at the events. The hardships and lives her characters were born into broke my heart. I felt let down as every male character in the book was more than faulted. Each man had abandoned responsibility for a brief something Sex, Money, alcohol. Family values and true love among the men were not present.
A child's welfare did not matter. Perhaps MacDonald has been wronged by a number of men in her life Not quite sure how to end this This is a novel set in a coal mining community in Canada and spans from before World War I, through the roaring 20s, and the great depression, as it follows the story of the Piper family. It follows the characters of James Piper as he marries his child bride Materia, who comes from a conservative Catholic Lebonese family, and due to the scandal of their marriage, is disinherited.
They start to have children, and then everything starts to get twisted. It appears that Mr Piper has way too much of This is a novel set in a coal mining community in Canada and spans from before World War I, through the roaring 20s, and the great depression, as it follows the story of the Piper family. It appears that Mr Piper has way too much of a liking for young girls, and especially one of his own daughters. The book covers many dark themes: statutory rape, rape, suicide, incest, depression, prostitution.
But, even besides all of the above, I actually found myself to be bored while reading this. I really wanted to start skim reading at one point, and then really contemplated giving up on it altogether. But I did push through, and it was an intriguing story, just not something that really gripped me. Apr 25, salt rated it did not like it. I kept picking it up and putting it down in frustration. I know so many people loved it, but when I saw it come up on Oprah's book list I just wanted to die.
So much was happening, but being written about in the most boring way possible. It didn't hold my interest, which is rare since as a Canadian I was brought up on the typical Canadian novel diet. It amazes me how so many Canadian writers can write books where lots of big important things happen, yet do it in a way that just makes them so b. It also amazes me that this is what passes for a good Canadian novel. The content was interesting, but executed badly. Feb 18, Rowena rated it it was amazing Shelves: canadian-lit. I loved this book!
It was beautiful, witty, poignant, sad and educational. James was a sick,sick man. Families can really have so many dark secrets. Mar 17, Shane rated it really liked it. A novel full of dark secrets, revealed gradually over the course of its immense length. I had this book on my shelf for over three years before attempting to read it, wondering how the author would sustain my interest over its plus pages.
And, once making the bold attempt to finally pick-up the book, I had difficulty putting it down at times. The novel is visual, reminiscent of a screenplay.
Fall on Your Knees
MacDonald uses a variety of techniques to hook the reader: the rapid mixing of tenses and point-of-vie A novel full of dark secrets, revealed gradually over the course of its immense length. MacDonald uses a variety of techniques to hook the reader: the rapid mixing of tenses and point-of-view, anchoring the story along pivotal events and replaying those scenes from different vantage points like different camera angles applied for the same screen shot, hiding information in scenes and gradually revealing more clues in subsequent takes of the same scene, using combinations of journal, memory, snappy and irreverent dialogue and tight unconventional narrative that focuses on visual imagery rather than on syntactical propriety - yes, a masterful performance for a first novel, and great learning for emerging novelists.
This story has a resemblance to the King Lear tale but is not as obvious as in recent re-takes such as Jane Smiley's "A Thousand Acres". The patriarch, James Piper, marries a Lebanese child-bride and begets daughters, some whose mothers are unclear until the end.
There is Kathleen the budding opera singer, Frances the evil one, Mercedes the pious one, and the crippled Lilly the saint. Incest is at the core, which hobbles and fractures the family over a time horizon spanning the dawn of the twentieth century to the 's Pivotal events such as Kathleen's tragic birthing of twins and its series of catastrophic aftershocks, Frances' shooting and the events that precede and follow, the unravelling of what happened to Kathleen in New York - are all launching points to move the story forward and grip the reader in a non-stop read.
The four sisters emerge gradually from their childhood as the indistinguishable offspring of James Piper, into fully flushed characters with different personalities and histories over the time span of this novel.
Unfortunately, Momma, or Materia their Lebanese mother, gets no accolades for the girls' destiny, apart from a few Arabic words they banter around, and the occasional Middle Eastern dish they prepare for James. Daddy, in his twisted, well meaning way, gets all the credit for the disasters that befell their lives.
A great read, I recommend it. Nov 01, Leslie rated it it was ok Shelves: reads , beyond-disturbing , coming-of-age , over-rated-books. One of those cases that I wonder if I read a different book than everyone else. Then it just dragged on and on until my eyes glazed over. View all 5 comments. What a fabulous year is turning out to be, as far as books are concerned. Fantastic novels, both of them, of course, and I had waited far too long. And now this.
I'm in love again. With a book. View all 7 comments. Where do I even start with this one? This is heavy, heavy stuff, full to the brim with family secrets. And some of these are some pretty hardcore secrets. When asked by a co-worker what I was reading lately, I barely knew what to say - "Well, this book about a family, and their gross father, and there's a lot of incest It's hard to give a high l Where do I even start with this one?
It's hard to give a high level summary of the plot without diving into all of the intricacies. Basically, it's a family saga about 4 sisters and their father living in Cape Breton that spans maybe years I'm too lazy to officially work out the timeline in my head! There are several main events that you learn about slowly, by jumping back and forth in time until all of the mysteries are finally revealed. This storytelling device works well here - it never feels disjointed, and makes it more exciting as well as, admittedly, icky.
None of the main characters are particularly likeable. They all have some redeeming qualities - Frances is bright and vivacious and fun before her rebellious behavior just becomes over the top, Mercedes really is just trying to take care of her family, even as she comes off as overly pious and condescending, and Lily is altogether innocent, but she does certain things that make you want to strangle her.
Even Materia, who is for the most part a victim forced into a strange and vaguely sadistic marriage at the age of 12, didn't elicit full sympathy from me.
Fall On Your Knees | Ann-Marie MacDonald
Often, not connecting with any of the characters on a personal level ruins a book for me, but in this case I was completely fascinated. Having had a very normal childhood with very normal parents and a sister, reading about a family like this was compelling and satisfyingly twisted. To me, this book was dark and sad, but there was a beautiful quality to it too. It wasn't necessarily the best time for me to read it, as the weather is finally becoming sunny and gorgeous - I feel this type of sordid book is more suited for the dark depths of winter.
The prose is hazy and wistful and sad, and it's just such a good story. I'm sorry that it took me so long to become aware of this book and to pick it up, and at pages it was an effort, but it was well, well worth it. Dec 23, Scooping it Up rated it did not like it Shelves: horrible. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I cannot recommend this book. I actually threw it away after finishing it. This tells you a few things. How's that for hypocritical and childish? There were some sexual images, specifically incest, that I could not shake from my brain for several days. I kept replaying the scenes over and over a I cannot recommend this book. I kept replaying the scenes over and over and over again. It really bothered me. I don't like artsy descriptions of horrible perversion. The husband was systematically, purposefully seduced by a rather messed-up younger woman.