March 18, 1925. The day begins as any other rainy, spring day in the small settlement of Marah, Illinois. But the town lies directly in the path of the worst tornado in US history, which will descend without warning midday and leave the community in ruins. By nightfall, hundreds will be homeless and hundreds more will lie in the streets, dead or grievously injured. Only one man, Paul Graves, will still have everything he started the day with--his family, his home, and his business, all miraculously intact.
Kate Southwood's entrancing novel follows Paul Graves and his young family in the year after the storm as they struggle to comprehend their own fate and that of their devastated town. They watch helplessly as Marah tries to resurrect itself from the ruins and as their friends and neighbors begin to wonder, then resent, how one family, and only one, could be exempt from terrible misfortune. As the town begins to recover, the family miscalculates the growing hostility around them with tragic results.
Beginning with its electrifying opening pages, Falling to Earth is a revealing portrayal of survivor's guilt and the frenzy of bereavement following a disaster. It is a heartfelt meditation on family and a striking depiction of Midwestern life in the 1920s. The writing is masterful. The story is unforgettable.
About the Author
Kate Southwood received an M.A. in French Medieval Art from the University of Illinois, and an M.F.A. in Fiction from the University of Massachusetts Program for Poets and Writers. Born and raised in Chicago, she now lives in Oslo, Norway with her husband and their two daughters. Falling to Earth is her first novel.