One of Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels of 2013

Falling to Earth Book Cover

March 18, 1925. The day begins as any other rainy spring day in the small town 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 it in ruins. By nightfall, hundreds will be homeless and hundreds more will lie dead or injured in the streets.

Only one man, Paul Graves, will still have everything he started the day with –– his family, his home, and his business all miraculously intact. Based on the historic Tri-State Tornado, Falling to Earth follows Paul Graves and his young family in the year after the storm as they struggle to comprehend their own fate and the fate of the devastated town around them, as they watch the town resurrect itself from the ruins, and as they miscalculate the growing resentment and hostility around them with tragic results.

Beginning with its electrifying opening pages, Falling to Earth is at once an arresting portrayal of survivor’s guilt and disorientation following upon disaster, a meditation on family, and a striking depiction of Midwestern life in the 1920s.

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