Author: Megan Hart
Publication date: December 27th 2011
Publisher: MiraBooks (an imprint of Harlequin)
Age group: Adult
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Cover rating: 3/5
Content rating: 4/5
Description via Goodreads:
Liesel Albright always dreamed of starting a family. She never bargained on getting one already in progress. Or one so deeply damaged. When police foil a planned mass suicide at a nearby cult compound, Liesel and her husband, Chris, are transfixed by the evening news. Led by a dangerously charismatic man called Joyful, the Family of Superior Bliss plotted their own deaths to thwart a long-foretold apocalypse. Among the survivors is Sunshine, the daughter stolen from Chris’s life years before. His tragic secret… now his legal charge.My thoughts:
Now, instead of raising a baby of her own, Liesel must play mother to Sunshine and Sunshine’s three small children while Chris retreats into guilt and denial. But a lifetime’s twisted teachings are not easily unlearned—Sunshine hears Joyful’s ominous catechism like a malignant drumbeat in her troubled mind: devastation without salvation. It’s a powerful mantra that’s drowning out Liesel’s loving overtures, and driving her new stepdaughter to finally save them all... in Joyful fashion.
I was very torn about how many stars to give this one. Four seems too little but it doesn't quite reach five for me. All Fall Down is a stunning story about cults, religion, family and choice. I was drawn into this lovely book from the first page and could hardly force myself to look away.
This book follows the lives of Sunshine (and her children, Happy, Peace and Bliss), Christopher and Liesel. Sunshine and her kids have just escaped from a cult, moments before the rest of the members commit suicide. Sunshine turns up at the door of her father's house, and he and his wife don't hesitate in taking her in. She is scared and vulnerable and it shows so well. The emotions in this book are so well written I had no problem empathising with the characters. By the end of this book, I was completely invested emotionally and willing everything to go right for the characters.
There are many heart-racing moments in this book. Naturally, Sunshine and her children have a difficult time adjusting to the world outside and being around ''blemished'' people. They have to relearn social norms and forget everything they've been told before. I thought Christopher and Liesel did a wonderful job of being supportive and caring even though it clearly would not have been easy.
This book really makes you think about the dangerous situations people find themselves drawn into it. There are some crazy ideas in that sanctuary that Sunshine came from and it was fascinating watching her trying to separate what was real from what she had been lied to about. I would certainly recommend this to anyone who enjoys adult literature with a focus on family and I look forward to reading more from this author!