The Sky Is Falling
A NovelBook - 2010
From the winner of the 2006 Marian Engel Award comes a funny, absorbing and timely novel about fear in our time.
On a spring day in 2004, Jane Z. a physician's wife and mother of a teenage son, opens her morning newspaper and is shocked to see a familiar face on the front page. Sonia, a lost friend accused of terrorism, has just been released after twenty years in prison. It all comes flooding back to Jane, how twenty years before her life took a very different 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, her radical housemates quickly draw Jane into NAG!, a non-violent, anti-nuclear direct action group.
To Jane, who is studying Russian and Russian literature, her compatriots, with their utopian dreams and youthful pathos, soon seem Chekhovian to her.
Meanwhile, NAG! plans its most ambitious action, crossing the border into the United States to chain themselves to the Boeing factory fence. Tension increases as the group mounts each successive protest, until a bomb explodes and changes everything.
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 witty, accomplished novel returns the reader to another fearful era, when the world teetered on the brink of nuclear annihilation and the end of world seemed inevitable.