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The Sky is Falling by Caroline Adderson

The Sky is Falling by Caroline AddersonThe Sky is Falling, by Caroline Adderson
Thomas Allen & Son, 2010. 320 pp.

On a spring day in 2004, Jane Z., a physician’s wife and mother of a teenage son, opens her newspaper and is shocked to see a familiar face on the front page.  Sonia, a long-lost friend charged with terrorism, has just been released after twenty years in prison. Two decades ago Jane’s own life had been on a similar crash course.

At nineteen, Jane rents a room in a shared student house with a mismatched trio of idealists: Sonia, who yearns to save the world’s children from nuclear war; the Marxist-leaning Dieter; and the anarcho-feminist-pacifist Pete.  A bookish misfit, Jane studies Russian and Russian literature, though her particular passion and lens on the world is the work of Anton Chekhov.  It does not take long before her radical housemates, Chekhovian in their utopian dreams and youthful pathos, , draw Jane into NAG!, a non-violent, anti-nuclear direct action group. Then Pascal, a teenage runaway, shows up and finagles his way into the already complicated household.  Sonia and Jane, so obsessed with hypothetical death, are  finally confronted with it in the flesh

The Sky Is Falling deftly intertwines themes of first love, sexual confusion, and the dread of nuclear disaster with the comical infighting of a cast of well-meaning political activists, and the timelessness of the great Russian classics.  A story for our own age of paranoia and terror, Caroline Adderson’s searing, funny novel returns the reader to another fearful era, when the world teetered on the brink of nuclear annihilation and the end of world seemed nigh.

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Posted by Pearl on Sep 28 2010. Filed under Fiction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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