Fall on Your Knees

Fall on Your Knees

Ann-Marie MacDonald's first novel, published in 1996, brought her international attention and acclaim for its riveting depiction of a family beset by hidden desires and secrets.

Fall on Your Knees begins in a small mining community in Nova Scotia in the early 1900s and moves to the battlefields of the First World War and then to Harlem during the Jazz Age and the Depression.

It all begins when James elopes with his 13-year-old bride, Materia Mahmoud, whose Lebanese father then casts her out and curses her.

Four sisters are born into the family: beautiful Kathleen, who sings like an angel, self-sacrificing and obedient Mercedes, naughty, rebellious Frances and pure-hearted Lily. There is hope, talent and passion in each of them, but each is affected in her own way by their father's hold on their lives.

Fall on Your Knees has been translated into more than 20 languages and has won numerous awards and accolades, including the Canadian Authors' Association Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book and the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award. It was also a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was selected for Oprah's Book Club in 2002.