A charismatic zealot.
A new start.
When Sunny flees the only home she’s ever known, her three small children in tow, she has no idea that the rest of the family she’s leaving behind will be following the orders of their religious leader to end their lives. When she ends up on the doorstep of her biological father, a man who has no idea she exists, all she can do is hope for his compassion.
Liesel Albright has always wanted children, even when her husband Christopher does not. When Sunny shows up with her three little ones, it seems as though all of Liesel’s prayers have been answered.
How can a young woman raised in a cult adapt to the “normal” world? How can a woman who desperately wants children of her own adopt and adapt to this brand-new family? Sunny’s past continues to haunt them all…until it seems as though it might finally also destroy them.
All Fall Down is an emotional story of love and motherhood…of what it means to be a family, and how even the most difficult circumstances can lead to the greatest rewards. For fans of Jodie Picoult and Kelly Rimmer.
Fans of melodrama will cleave to Hart's latest, which is inspired by the Jonestown massacre and the Peoples Temple cult. Sunshine ("Sunny"), 19, and her three children, who have spent their lives at the Family of Superior Bliss religious compound, are forced by Sunny's mother to leave. The four of them show up on the doorstep of Sunny's birth father Christopher, and soon learn that those remaining at the compound have died in a mass suicide. The world of the "Family" had questionable practices: male leaders had their pick of women as young as 15 to bear their children and vie for being "the true wife"; children and adults were often humiliated or brutally punished. Christopher, meanwhile, had no idea he had a daughter with his first wife, let alone three grandchildren. His current wife, Liesel, desperate to have children of her own, suddenly finds herself saddled ostensibly with four of them and now must confront the realities of parenthood. An interesting set-up, but unfortunately, the numerous iterations of Liesel's discontent prove predictable and whiny. Though Hart (Precious and Fragile Things) works with an unusual story line, the novel lacks the depth that could have yielded a thought-provoking read.