A quick rundown… Jill is having Cade’s baby. She moves with him to his family home, where she meets Elias, his ex-soldier brother. Elias is damaged, and his downfall will affect them all…
Strengths: Definitely a page turner at times.
Weaknesses: I can’t really place this in one genre- a little bit of romance, a little bit general fiction, a little bit thriller…
Why I read it: Sent by Harlequin – thank you!
Pages: 351 (ARC)
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Setting: Washington D.C. and New Hampshire, USA
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
I have thought and thought about how to describe this book to you. It contains so many different genres – some romance, some hard times, some suffering, some action and some thriller element. Possibly the best way to describe this is that it’s just like real life. You don’t always know where you’re going, and sometimes it’s a bumpy ride.
Why would you want to read a book that reflects real life? For starters, it’s a more dramatic turn of life events than I hope I’ll ever have plus it’s a darn compelling book. Rebecca Coleman has produced a book that towards the end, you just don’t want to put down.
The story of Heaven Should Fall starts innocently enough, describing the relationship between Jill and Cade, both university students. When Jill falls pregnant, they take some time out at Cade’s family farm in New Hampshire. There, Jill witnesses a string of odd events – Elias, Cade’s brother, haunted by his time in the army after returning to civilian life; Candy, Cade’s odd sister, who stores food for impending doom and the relationship breakdown between members of Cade’s family. What starts as a romantic fiction starts to turn darker with the departure of Elias. This unhinges Cade and he changes his plans for a political career for revenge…
The book is told from varying first person point of views – mainly Jill, but also Cade, Leela (Cade’s mother) and Elias (in the third person). Sometimes it was confusing remembering who was speaking. There wasn’t a great deal of difference in the language used by each of the characters, although Jill came across as the strongest character. Perhaps that’s because we learned more of her difficult backstory or the simple fact that she wasn’t ruffled by much. However, I was surprised by Jill repeatedly giving things ‘one more chance’ when it was obvious she’d been brought up to be a strong and independent woman.
I found that this book got more interesting as I progressed. The finale, although being hinted at earlier, is tense and gripping. The epilogue didn’t sort out all the issues though and the reader is left to wonder what happened to some of the characters. I would have preferred knowing exactly what happened to them all!
If you’re looking for a light romance, this is not for you. This is a taut thriller that makes some powerful statements about America. In particular, the lack of free/affordable health care is an issue at several times – it’s interesting that a first world country makes affordable prenatal care difficult. The treatment of returned soldiers and their physical and mental wellbeing is also explored, along with PTSD. Finally, it’s a story about dysfunctional families and when love isn’t enough.