Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
This is a multi-generational saga that begins before World War I. It is the story of the Piper family on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. This is a dysfunctional family.
The head of the family, James Piper, marries his wife, Materia, when she is only 12. He is 18. Six years is not a big difference when both people are adults but when one is only 12, the differences are stark.
A huge lack of communication plagues this family through the generations. Only at the end of the book when only two Piper family members remain do the stories all get told in one place and time.
This book contains two wars, race relations between blacks, whites and people who are somewhere in between. It contains physical abuse, verbal and emotional abuse, incest and pedophilia. It contains straight couples, prostitution of a sort and lesbianism. It also covers the illegal liquor trade during Prohibition and the Catholic Church.
This book was very frustrating and tedious at times and lovely and fluid to read at other times. I hated some characters and loved others. Many of the characters drove me crazy with their stupidity - much like people.
The book only has 512 pages but it took me a while to get through it. There were times I didn't want to read just because the subject matter was tough to get through. It was well worth the read though. I recommend this book if you are looking for a dramatic saga.