Synopses & Reviews
They are the Pipers of Cape Breton Island a family steeped in lies and unspoken truths that reach out from the past, forever mindful of the tragic secret that could shatter the family to its foundations.
Chronicling five generations of the eccentric Piper clan, Fall on Your Knees follows four remarkable sisters whose lives are filled with driving ambition, inescapable family bonds, and forbidden love. Their experiences will take them from their storm-swept homeland, across the battlefields of World War I, to the freedom and independence of Jazz-era New York City.
Fall on Your Knees is an epic saga of one family's trials and triumphs in a world of sin, guilt, and redemption.
this big, bold, epic shocker of a novel reads as if John Irving met Joyce Carol Oates. It is history told with a thumping, complex narrative
a host of colourful characters and a great big bow to psychology
Fall On Your Knees is the work of a big talent. It's a wild ride." Chicago Tribune
"MacDonald is a master of exciting story-telling, of suspense and surprise." The Montreal Gazette
"Ann-Marie MacDonald — one of Canada's most talented actors and playwrights — has provided us with yet another aspect of a talent that has no limits." — Timothy Findley
"[MacDonald is] a first-rate novelist....[She] paints a Cape Breton landscape steeped in human emotion ...She has found the language of the heart that runs below everyday discourse....There is no resisting this story." The Globe and Mail
"Brilliant...Profoundly and refreshingly different....MacDonald has constructed a plot worthy of Victor Hugo...A standout." Vancouver Sun
About the Author
Ann-Marie MacDonald was born in West Germany and spent the first few years of her life on a Canadian air force station near Baden Baden. Her father was an officer in the RCAF and the family was posted numerous times.
She attended one year at Carleton University, Ottawa, studying languages and Classics. She went to the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal where she trained as an actor, graduating from the program in 1980. She moved to Toronto where she began an acting career. She soon became involved in creating original Canadian work in a number of contexts: collective creation, collaboration and solo writing. The work always combined theatrical innovation, politics and entertainment. She worked as an independent artist, with Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille as her principal theatre “homes.” Her seminal works include the collective creation This is For You, Anna, and the multi-episodic Nancy Drew: Clue in the Fast Lane. Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) was MacDonalds first solo-authored work.
She continued to work as an actor in theatres across the country and in many independent films, including Ive Heard the Mermaids Singing, Where the Spirit Lives and Better Than Chocolate. As well, she guest-starred on numerous television series, most recently Made in Canada. MacDonald was last on stage in the spring of 2001 when she starred in a sold-out production of Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) at the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto. Currently, MacDonald is host of the CBC series Life and Times.
Her more recent work for theatre includes the play The Arabs Mouth, the libretto for the chamber opera Nigredo Hotel, the collectively created The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls in which she also performed, and, most recently, the book and lyrics for the musical comedy Anything That Moves.
MacDonalds work as an actor and writer has been honoured with a number of awards, including the Governor Generals Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Canadian Authors Association Award, the Dartmouth Award, the Gemini Award, the Chalmers Award and the Dora Mavor Moore Award.
Fall on Your Knees was MacDonalds first novel and is available from Vintage Canada. She lives in Toronto with her partner, her daughter and two dogs.