Fall on your knees elicits some pretty uncomfortable feelings. It can get you thinking that an incestuous pedophile who mistreats his wife maybe isn't so bad after all. And that a little girl who was abused and mistreated is a little shit.
At the start of the 20th century, James Piper moves to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to build a life for himself. He elopes with and marries a child-woman (13 years old) from a wealth Lebanese family. They have children and life happens. Only this life isn't a happy one. James quickly becomes repulsed by his wife whom he barely knows, and poor Materia operates in a haze of confusion.
The book is a long family epic telling the story of three generations of the Piper family. THere are, of course, secrets. Dark ones. There is incest, prostitution, abuse, and death. It takes us from the coal mining town in Cape Breton to the jazz crazy streets of New York.
The book deals with some uncomfortable questions about love, sexual abuse, pedophilia and forgiveness. It is a dark book and it puts its characters through hell. While the book was a page turner, I did not enjoy it very much because I absolutely detested one of the characters, one of Piper's daughters. I mean, sure she became that way because of the shit she want through, but she was so fucking annoying and basically hurt people who never did anything to her. I mean, I know its supposed to be some deep psychological things and the effects of her battered psyche or whatever. But just NO.