Monday, February 16, 2009

Fall On Your Knees

They're all dead now.

Here's a picture of the town where they lived. New Waterford. It's a night bright with the moon. Imagine you are looking down from the height of a church steeple, onto the vivid gradations of light and shadow that make the picture. A small mining town near cutaway cliffs that curve over narrow rock beaches below, where the silver sea rolls and rolls, flattering the moon. Not many trees, thin grass. The silhouette of a colliery, iron tower against a slim pewter sky with cables and supports sloping at forty-five-degree angles to the ground. Railway tracks that stretch only a short distance from the base of a gorgeous high slant of glinting coal, toward an archway in the earth where the tracks slope in and down and disappear. And spreading away from the collieries and coal heaps are the peaked roofs of the miners' houses built row on row by the coal company. Company houses. Company town.

Look down over the street where they lived. Water Street. An avenue of packed dust and scattered stones that leads out past the edge of town to where the wide, keeling graveyard overlooks the ocean. That sighing sound is just the sea.

These are the first few paragraphs of the incredible novel Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I've had this book on my shelf for a while now and pulled it off to fit the "body part" category of the What's In a Name Challenge and so glad I did.

Dark and disturbing, but so well written and so real. I loved the multi generational part as you get to know the characters so well. There are so many different view points in this book that change the story and how the reader sees things as you look through the different characters eyes. The family drama and abuse are so real that I found myself almost reading with my hand over my eyes at times, just like watching a scary movie through your fingers, but this book isn't scary, only horrifying.
Even now, after I have turned the last page, I find myself still immersed in this family and thinking about these character. Haunting~

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blessed Are the Cheesemakers

'The Princess Grace Memorial Blue sat on the table in front of Abbey, screaming to be eaten.'
This is the first paragraph of Blessed Are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch.

Yolanda from The Mermaids Bookshelf sent me this book and I completely enjoyed it. Funny and quirky, it's a quick read and a lot of fun. The story is set in Ireland at a farm of two old Irish cheesemakers who employ singing milkmaids. The cows give their best milk to these young pregnant girls to the sounds of The Sound of Music. As in all good stories, there are some family secrets and mysteries that unravel as the story moves along. Corrie's granddaughter, Abby, has been gone from the family farm for way to many years and what really happened to her grandmother? The story also takes us to New York City to meet Kit, a stockbroker who has had his share of tragedy as well. A little bit of magic, mystery, romance, cheesemaking and a whole lot of quirkiness make this one an enchanting read.