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*Starred Review* Alone among the residents of Marah, Illinois, Paul Graves and his family emerge completely unscathed from the violent tornado that levels the town. Not a window broken, not a chair out of place; even his lumberyard remains utterly intact. As the toll of death and destruction begins to be tallied, the Graves are exemplars of salvation and sympathy. Their good deeds, however, are quickly diminished as resentment builds among the survivors. Why were the Graves spared? Did they deserve the largesse, or somehow orchestrate its occurrence? Like ominous drumbeats, insinuations prey on everyone’s minds, including Paul’s and his wife Mae’s. Once pillars of this tight-knit community, the family quickly become pariahs, and the tragedy that initially bypassed them eventually finds its way to their door in the storm’s wake. A tragedy such as this touches everyone, and Southwood explores the myriad ways lives are affected by disaster and its aftermath. All the big themes are here—chance, fate, loyalty, revenge, guilt, jealousy—and Southwood handles them deftly, with a nuanced but sure touch. Inspired by actual events surrounding the 1925 Tri-State tornado, the worst in U.S. history, Southwood’s poignantly penetrating examination of the psychic cost of survival is breathtaking in its depth of understanding, mesmerizing in its delicate handling of sensitive emotions. --Carol Haggas
"Absolutely gorgeous... Southwood's beautifully constructed novel, so psychologically acute, is a meditation on loss in every sense." (The New York Times)
This is one of the best books I've read in years. Yes, it's terribly painful to read but it is written so beautifully and with so much emotion that you are transported into their... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Lee Anne Embry
I kept going back and forth about giving it two or three stars. But I did finish and did not resort to skimming, like with other books which did not hook me... Read more
Falling to Earth is a remarkable book, and a surprising one, at that. What I expected was the story of a small town recovering from a devastating tornado, cheerfully rebuilding -... Read morePublished 2 months ago by jacque Masumian
Every word of Falling To Earth is well chosen in this profound look into the behavior of those who have suffered a great loss . Exactly what I crave in a novel... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
The date was March 18, 1925, when the worst storm in US history struck Marah, Ilinois, wreaking devastation through a small, once close knit community. Hundreds injured. Read morePublished 8 months ago by A. Miller, Florida
It is a wonderful read ! there is a fluidity and the words become paintings as you read!
Highly recommend it!
A beautifully written story about humanity and how the best of intentions sometimes don't matter when everyone is in pain. Read morePublished 9 months ago by I. Schreiner
An interesting look at how an at of G'd changed everyone's life regardless of the damage done.Published 10 months ago by shelley goodman