Publication Date: 1st October 2012 (1st published 25th Sept 2012)
Book Source: ARC courtesy Harlequin Australia
Synopsis: Alone since her mother's death, Jill Wagner wants to eat, sleep and breathe Cade Olmstead when he bursts upon her life—golden, handsome and ambitious. Even putting college on hold feels like a minor sacrifice when she discovers she's pregnant with Cade's baby. But it won't be the last sacrifice she'll have to make.
Retreating to the Olmsteads' New England farm seems sensible, if not ideal—they'll regroup and welcome the baby, surrounded by Cade's family. But the remote, ramshackle place already feels crowded. Cade's mother tends to his ailing father, while Cade's pious sister, her bigoted husband and their rowdy sons overrun the house. Only Cade's brother, Elias, a combat veteran with a damaged spirit, gives Jill an ally amidst the chaos, along with a glimpse into his disturbing childhood. But his burden is heavy, and she alone cannot kindle his will to live.
The tragedy of Elias is like a killing frost, withering Cade in particular, transforming his idealism into bitterness and paranoia. Taking solace in caring for her newborn son, Jill looks up to find her golden boy is gone. In Cade's place is a desperate man willing to endanger them all in the name of vengeance unless Jill can find a way out.
Rebecca Coleman won me as a fan with her debut novel The Kingdom of Childhood hence my jumping at the chance to read Heaven Should Fall. It's another intense, thought provoking read tackling difficult subject matter, something Ms Coleman doesn't shy away from, but I did have a little trouble getting into it.
Heaven Should Fall is an intimate look at the slow erosion of a family, the trauma of PTSD not only for sufferer Elias, an Afghanistan veteran but his family and the aftermath of grief and blame fueled by inflammatory extremist views.
I didn't really connect with the characters, apart from Elias and I'm not one that has to like a character to connect, so that was unexpected. What breaks your heart is the lack of support and follow-up for returned soldiers and that being a sad reality in these so called enlightened times is a terrible thing.
While this wasn't the absorbing, emotionally challenging read of The Kingdom of Childhood, the author's insight and attention to an issue I feel strongly about kept me reading & thinking and I'll definitely pick up whatever Rebecca Coleman turns her hand to next.
Want to know more about Rebecca Coleman? Check out her website or blog.