Falling Angels

Poor Norma, Sandy and Louise. The three Field sisters growing up in 1960s suburban Toronto live in a gloomy, comfortless world. Their father is demanding, difficult, and has dalliances on the side, and their mother, who dropped her baby son over the Niagara Falls many years ago, seeks solace in alcohol. The girls are the ones who take care of her and the house, going for groceries, cooking and cleaning, and trying to stop her from heading for the roof. But one day, one early morning, she does, and they cannot stop her.
Barbara Gowdy seems to like the weird, the eccentric, the crazies. Falling Angels is a tale of a dysfunctional family, with weird and unexpected events that lurk around every corner. It is a sad life these girls lead, and they each have their own coping mechanisms to deal with their family’s problems, resulting in a book that is dark, honest, brutal, a little bizarre and funny at the same time.


  1. “Poor Norma, Sandy and Louise.” Yah, that’s it exactly. I kind of wanted to apologize up-front, when I realized that this was the novel of hers that you’d been able to find where you are. But I’m hugely relieved that you’ve been able to appreciate the layers of the story, even though, as you’ve said, some of it is just brutal. Brilliantly done, but still hard.


    1. Ah I forgot to credit you for this find! I think it was good to start out with this one, and build my way up to more Gowdy. I’m still rather intrigued by the premise of White Bone and hope to get to that soon.


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