Alone in the world after her mother perished in a horrific accident, Jill Wagner is doing her best to forge a life on her own. When she meets handsome, ambitious Cade Olmstead at college, he seems to be everything she could want in a man. Driven to succeed, Cade dreams of a career in Washington, D.C. and maybe even a seat in Congress one day.
Although Jill would rather be in the country than the city and enjoys a more peaceful way of life, she supports Cade in his political ambitions and looks forward to being at his side as he strives to reach his goals. Unfortunately, Jill's unplanned pregnancy necessitates a detour from the road that leads straight to success and takes them down a path that leads to a place to which Cade would rather not return --- his boyhood home.
"It's practically guaranteed that readers will find it impossible to outguess the twists and turns that author Rebecca Coleman's mind takes, as various characters tell their stories from their points of view."
Even though Cade and Jill have been together for a while, Cade has always refused to take Jill with him when he's returned home. Now, broke and unemployed, Cade finds that he has no choice but to take his fiancée and unborn baby to his family home in backwoods New Hampshire to seek refuge for the summer before returning to classes in the fall. Before meeting Cade's family, Jill assumed they were no different in their foibles than any other mildly dysfunctional family. But once she gets acquainted with the Olmsteads, she begins to realize that perhaps Cade had significant reasons for avoiding his family after all.
During the course of her pregnancy, Jill gets to know Cade's downtrodden mother, Leela; his invalid father, Eddy; his fanatically religious sister, Candy; and his brother-in-law, Dodge, who's ready to rise up against the government when and if circumstances dictate. The one member of the family with whom Jill seems to have a connection is Cade's brother, Elias, recently home from combat service in Afghanistan and trying his best to readjust to normal life. Although circumstances are depressing and drab at the Olmstead homestead, Jill puts a good-faith effort into getting to know and love this strange family into whose midst she's been thrust. Unfortunately, she is not shown the same consideration in return.
When Cade's plan to return to college in the autumn falls through and tragedy strikes the family, it upsets the delicate balance that allowed the psychologically disturbed group to function as near normal as they were able, and the idiosyncrasies of each individual rise to the surface. Will Jill be able to maintain her sanity and identity in the midst of the dark emotions and intrigue that swirl around her? Or will it be necessary for her to fight her way out of the circumstances in which she has found herself and flee with her baby in order to make a new, safe life for them both?
HEAVEN SHOULD FALL begins with two lonely individuals who find solace with each other in an insecure world. While their love should be enough to help them reach the pinnacle of the success that they envision, life steps in and changes their plans irrevocably. As readers turn the pages, they'll encounter a cast of characters who are deep, dark and disturbed, each trying to survive in the best way they know how. It's practically guaranteed that readers will find it impossible to outguess the twists and turns that author Rebecca Coleman's mind takes, as various characters tell their stories from their points of view.
Reviewed by Amie Taylor on September 27, 2012