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Before The Fall: A Novel (An Irish Trilogy Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Orna Ross
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
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Book Description

EDITORIAL REVIEWS:

SUNDAY INDEPENDENT: "A highly ambitious, engaging and evocative novel and a hauntingly captivating read."
IRISH INDEPENDENT: "The sort of massive book you could happily curl up with for the entire winter, an impressive canvas interweaving a contemporary story of love, emigration and loss with the complex world of civil war politics, emerging women's rights and buried secrets. It explores the influence of our families on who we later become, in literary, lyrical language, while still being a captivating read."
EVENING HERALD: "The writer has taken on a tough job - interweaving past and present and making them strike fire off each other... [and] has made brilliant use of original sources, including local historians in Wexford, adding the icing on the cake."
SUNDAY TRIBUNE: "Epic sweep...ambitious scope... an intelligent book".
EMIGRANT ONLINE: "A riveting story...vividly brought to life."
AMAZON.COM: "Lyrical prose, mystery, family love and obligation, the love between sisters. I was surprised by the strength and quality of the writing."
BIBLIOFEMME: "An incredible literary debut that will have the reader absolutely enthralled."

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A historical murder mystery of love and revenge against the background of intimate war.

It's August in the long, hot summer of 1995 and Jo Devereux can't believe that she still hasn't returned home to San Francisco, though the time for her to have her baby draws near. Why is she staying on in Ireland, in this crumbling shed at the edge of the ocean?

Jo has spent months writing about her great-uncle death at the hands of Dan O'Donovan -- but now she is brought to consider just who led Dan to his grisly murder, by suffocation in Mucknamore's notorious sinking sands.

Was her beloved Granny Peg really capable of luring him out there in revenge for the killing of her brother?

Or perhaps for more intimate reasons? Or was her grandmother, as Jo would like to believe, innocent of all?

Combing family letters and diaries for what has gone unsaid, Jo is unprepared for her reaction, as Civil War reaches its peak and she comes to realise the price she, and her people, had to pay for freedom.

But what does it mean for her relationship with Rory, Dan’s great-nephew, as he draws ever closer? Will her mission to redeem the past turn out to be the key to her future?

Or is she about to lose out, all over again?

BEFORE THE FALL (sequel to AFTER THE RISING) is a sweeping, multigenerational tale set in 1920s and 1990s Ireland and 1980s San Francisco. The second book in Orna's Ross's Irish trilogy, this acclaimed, bestselling novel has now been reissued by the author.


Editorial Reviews

Review

SUNDAY INDEPENDENT: "A highly ambitious, engaging and evocative novel and a hauntingly captivating read."
IRISH INDEPENDENT: "The sort of massive book you could happily curl up with for the entire winter, an impressive canvas interweaving a contemporary story of love, emigration and loss with the complex world of civil war politics, emerging women's rights and buried secrets. It explores the influence of our families on who we later become, in literary, lyrical language, while still being a captivating read."
EVENING HERALD:  "The writer has taken on a tough job - interweaving past and present and making them strike fire off each other... [and] has made brilliant use of original sources, including local historians in Wexford, adding the icing on the cake."
SUNDAY TRIBUNE: "Epic sweep...ambitious scope... an intelligent book".
EMIGRANT ONLINE: "A riveting story...vividly brought to life."
AMAZON.COM: "Lyrical prose, mystery, family love and obligation, the love between sisters. I was surprised by the strength and quality of the writing."
BIBLIOFEMME: "An incredible literary debut that will have the reader absolutely enthralled."

From the Author

Isabel Allende once said, 'Write what should not be forgotten'. That's my guiding principle as a writer. 
My father's uncle was shot during the Irish civil war of 1922/3, though nobody was able to say by whom, or why. And I grew up, fifty years later, in the village where this had happened.
So when I came to write fiction, it was natural to turn to this event, and its consequences, that summed up so much of what I wanted to say about silence and the struggle every human being experiences between belonging and freedom. 
I very much wanted to include the female experience during that war -- called 'The War of The Brothers' though women were more involved in it than the earlier independence struggle -- and draw parallels between that and other sorts of private, more intimate and personal wars, around sexuality, and family, and love. 
So it turned into a family saga, with a contemporary (1990s) narrator tracing her family history back to a similar event and coming to terms with what the silence around this event has created in her own life. Who did the killing? Was the official line a cover-up? What were the real motives? And what does it have to do with the young man that she loves?
I ended up with a story that was very different to what really happened. Imagination came in and filled the blanks, answered the questions I couldn't find 'real' answers for, and make a pattern that was reflective of, but very different to, what actually happened.
This was my first novel, originally published (together with its prequel AFTER THE RISING) by Penguin Ireland in 2006, as Lovers' Hollow.

Product Details

  • File Size: 416 KB
  • Print Length: 231 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0954875664
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Font Publications (February 27, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ELZ3KU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,437 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift for the taking...open it and enjoy! March 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Orna Ross' novel "Before The Fall" is a story that spans three generations and three countries with sweeping grandeur. It is a story of love won and lost, hate, secrets kept and secrets revealed, war, birth and death, family dysfunction, and fierce independence. I was compelled to read far into the night for want of knowing what was to come next. I highly recommend Ms. Ross' novel, set in Ireland, the U.K., and the United States. Her use of the Irish language is genuine and intriguing which helps promote bonds with each of the characters. They literally come alive as they speak! As a Registered Nurse, I am delighted to say that Ms. Ross accurately describes the medical procedures performed during childbirth as well as the thoughts and feelings of the new mother-to-be, Jo Devereaux. I am anxious to read "After the Rising," the prequel to "Before the Fall," although stand alone books in their own right. Ms. Ross has a gift...it's yours for the taking...open it and enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating read April 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
a wonderful view into an irish community and how the mystery unravels. Must read both books loved them couldnt put either dwn until the very end
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Past and Present March 8, 2012
By Cphe
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is multi layered and is primarily about the strength of women and the threads that can hold a family together and tear it apart in times of crisis.
I had no idea when I started this book that I would enjoy it so much. This book has a lot to offer a reader, lyrical prose, mystery, family love and obligation,the love between sisters. I was surprised at the strength and quality of the writing.I very much appreciated how skilfully the secrets/mystery of the past was slowly revealed through letters that had been passed down from generation to generation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot left to the imagination. June 25, 2012
By Elaina
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So, a couple of pages into this book, I almost put it down -- figuratively, since I'm on my Kindle. It's so hard, for me, to begin a book and then stop reading it; I've never understood how people can get bored and toss a book over their shoulder, without so much as a smidgen of regret or curiosity. I wasn't that blown away by the style of writing; I kept playing grammar nazi and not really focusing on the story; I kept getting lost with the characters (who is who.) I just wanted to delete and pretend that I never read what I already had.

Then I came on here and read some reviews. Coincidentally enough, that pushed me to continue reading. It may have been the review about the "homo" or the naked old woman, I don't know, but that seemed to entertaining to pass up. So I kept reading. Not a moment too soon, I met Richard. Probably one of my favorite characters in the book; a very flamboyant homosexual man that epitomizes the "best friend" that a lot of women fantasize about. Orna Ross does a fabulous job building up characters, avoiding too much predictability and luring you to continue reading with all the loops and turns. However, some of the expectations, of mine, that were 'built up' never climaxed. For instance, she's very pregnant throughout the whole book. She is certain it's a girl -- which, come to find out, wasn't very relevant of a foreshadowing at all. Who is the dad? It's not Rory!? *Gasp* Then who can it be?!

I still don't know. It may be redundant to the moral of the story, but things like that, things that I have invested some feeling and anticipation for weren't resolved. Did Mrs. D really hate her? Who knows. So, maybe that isn't a very good example, because I didn't care for Mrs. D...Matter of fact, I figured she was referred to as Mrs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many Layers November 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story moved from distant past to past to present, linking the lives of several generations of women in an Irish family. It all comes together at the end. Nicely written and imagined. The shifts between the different story lines kept my on my toes. It was a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read It December 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Quite an interesting story about the old sod - full of character relationships and redemption. It is written in a manner to suggest it is a true story.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time May 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a huge disappointment. After reading the other reviews I expected a great read. The characters from 1920's Ireland were quite interesting. However, there were diatribes several pages long involving a homosexual character in California with AIDS who was outraged that someone dared to give him a Bible. Didn't need or want God in his life. Then there was the alleged "consciousness raising" meeting of women where they sat around naked and a 63 year old woman was overjoyed that she had her first experience with masturbatiion. Please. Mercifully the author didn't provide the gory details. The time came to make a decision if it was worth the trouble to skip past the rants to get back to the plot. It wasn't.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love and grief intertwined with mystery. August 23, 2014
Format:Paperback
It worked well reading this immediately after finishing 'After The Rising' 'After the Rising' as it follows on with events in Mucknamore seamlessly continuing the modern day (1995) story of Jo Devereux, who is still in Ireland researching into the family history and trying to deal with her feelings for her old love Rory O'Donovan.

As in the first volume of the trilogy the storyline jumps between locations and generations. Continuing the family dramas, though this time concentrating more on the characters of Peg and Norah and what happens to them in the 1920's. Besides being set in Ireland the contemporary part of the story also takes the reader to the USA where AIDS was starting to take a hold when Jo first went to live there in the 1980's.
As Jo comes to understand exactly what freedom cost the families and how the past has haunted three generations, she realises that once can never truly break free from family.
There is so much love and grief intertwined with mystery, which if you have read the previous volume I do not think you can fail to be moved by.

Just like the first volume this is written in a flowing expressive style and left me knowing a little more about Irish history. Still looking forward to reading the third title in the trilogy, recommended to fans of historical fiction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I rushed to buy the second part of this trilogy the minute I had finished the first, After the Rising. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sharon Joan-Figuerola
5.0 out of 5 stars better than book I
I couldn't stop with book I and had to get book II. Now I will await book III with great anticipation!
Published 3 months ago by Jessica Stromske
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I enjoyed this, but I think my expectation were too high as I really, really loved the 1st book. To me it seemed rushed and maybe even a little unfinished (is there a 3rd in this... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Laura Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Before the Fall
Great insight into the Irish "troubles" . I now understand why my Dad left Ireland in 1929. He did not like to say why he left. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Margaret M. Long
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there a third?
I couldn't put this book down! I loved the all the history, drama, family dynamics that it explores and how they are all intertwined. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Stacy E Rowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I am glad that I read this book. I love Ireland and loved the history in it. It's a must read!
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Attention Holding historical novel
I enjoyed the books and teh author's style of jumping back and forth into the lives of three generations and how the decisions of one generation affect the future generations.
Published 21 months ago by Connye
5.0 out of 5 stars Another favorite
6.  [Before the Fall] by [[Orna Ross]]

This novel is part of a trilogy.  I read the first part [After the Rise] about two weeks before this one and immediately got this... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Buddha Baby
3.0 out of 5 stars Trilogy?
Before the Fall, After the Rising, and nothing more. No trilogy here, just two books that should have remained one. Read more
Published 21 months ago by L. Roach
4.0 out of 5 stars Where's the trilogy?
Great story line, interesting characters. I also read "After the Rising" which is the first book in the trilogy. This is the second, but I can't find the third!!
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Orna Ross writes novels, poems and the Go Creative! books and has been described as "one of the 100 most influential people in publishing" (The Bookseller) for her work with The Alliance of Independent Authors, an association of the world's best self-publishing authors and advisors. Born and raised in Wexford in the south-east of Ireland, she now lives, mostly, in London. Her website is www.ornaross.com, where you can sign up to her "Behind The Books" newsletter and for advance books and giveaways.

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Get an email when Orna launches a new book: http://www.ornaross.com/connect/new-book-out/
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ORNA SAYS:

"My NOVELS usually take the form of family-based dramas. Often they are historical fiction and usually there's a murder mystery or other buried secret from the past causing chaos in the present. I enjoy writing emotional twists and surprises around big themes -- identity, family loyalty, truth, the struggle between freedom and belonging, men and women, murder and procreation.

My POEMS are simple and accessible and tend towards the inspirational. I think everyone should read a poem a day (keep a poetry book in the bathroom!).

My NONFICTION is about applying the creative process to things in life that are not usually considered creative -- money, relationships, work. The same process that makes a novel makes everything. We've all been educated to neglect our creative capacities -- a big mistake, as the Creative Age overtakes the Information Age. Thankfully, creative skill is like any other muscle, you strengthen it by flexing it. Use it or lose it. The 'Go Creative!' books show the way.
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INSPIRATIONS:

#1: HISTORY: I agree with Mr Hartley that the past is, indeed, another country and it's my favourite place to travel. I'm especially drawn to writing about bohemian times and places where shackles are thrown off and creativity flourishes -- fin de siecle Paris (1890s); literary revival and revolutionary Ireland (1910/20s); hippy (1960s) and gay lib (1980s) California.

#2: GENDER: We are all seeded by man and born of woman and we all embody 'male' and 'female' characteristics and dimensions. How these play out, in an individual life, and in different societies, is endlessly fascinating to me.

#3: IRELAND: Ireland is a strong influence. Because so many millions have emigrated from there, its stories reach far beyond its shores. There is always a particular flavour to Irish writing that readers tell me they experience in my books too.

#4: THE SEA: Everything I really needed to know, I could have learned by watching the waves.

#5: THE SPACE BETWEEN THE WORDS. About which the less said, the better.

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Get an email when Orna launches a new book: http://www.ornaross.com/connect/new-book-out/
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