June 10, 2009

Receive Me Falling by Erika Robuck

Erika Robuck’s debut novel, Receive Me Falling, is an interesting mix of historical fiction, literary mystery, and a tad of mysticism. Robuck introduces us to two women living in two time periods. Present day, is narrated by Meg, who has just lost her parents suddenly. She finds a plantation, Eden, amongst her estate on the Island of Nevis, and eager to put some distance between herself and her life, she rashly decides to visit. When Meg arrives in Nevis, she finds Eden to be haunted and the backdrop for more then one tragic occurrence. As Meg explores Eden looking for clues to its past, we are also treated to the perspective of nineteen century plantation owner, Catherine. Catherine runs the plantation for her father, an alcoholic, and they own hundreds of slaves at a time when abolitionists were calling for an end to the slave system. Catherine struggles with the practice of slavery, fears Eden’s overseer, and is captivated by a newcomer to the Island, and yet she too has some family secrets to unbury.

Both women are searching for absolution from the sins of their fathers, and their stories play out with calculated symmetry. The narration is reminiscent of Geraldine Brook’s The People of the Book, or the recently released The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe. However, this book is victorious on its own accord mostly thanks to the strong and complex central characters that not only progress with in the story, but also develop through the generations. The plot is also terribly engaging. The note to detail of the setting of Nevis during both time periods credits the unfolding events.

This is the type of book that you could read many times and catch new and clever elements over each subsequent reading. Robuck pens a graceful story in a shameful past. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and can recommend it as an important addition to any library.

For more information: http://www.erikarobuck.com/


  1. You are so right about reading it over again. I have read it 3 times and learned something new each time. I thought it was a real fast read with a "couldn't put it down" factor.
    Wonderful first book!! Looking forward to her second.

  2. I too enjoyed reading this book. I have linked your review with mine.
    Please do check my review here. You too can link back if you wish.


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