The Sky Is Falling
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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.
at Pete. Pete took advantage of the moment to jam a fourth biscuit in, the one that had ricocheted off him. “Do I go too far, Zed?” he asked when he had finally choked it down. I didn’t reply. I didn’t think he cared what I thought. When he left, he took another biscuit with him. I cleared the table and put the dishes in the sink, though cleanup was the cook’s job. I could hear Pete talking in a funny voice and Sonia begging him to stop. When he wouldn’t let up, I went down the hall to see if
already knew she was from 100 Mile House, that both her parents were high school teachers. Her mother taught Home Ec and her father Math. She had a younger brother, Jared, and a Sheltie named Skipper. They lived on an acreage where they raised sheep. But the clogs allowed me to imagine her slipping them on in spring and running out to the barn to greet the lambs that had been born in the night. Kicked in the corner were Pete’s Birkenstocks, the cork soles crumbling, plastic bread bags stuffed
probably going to Nicaragua next summer. Are you in NAG!?” “In what?” I said. “Non-violent Action Group! I thought everyone who lived there was.” An older couple approached the counter and Ruth finally handed over my ticket. Sonia was standing with her back to me, an arm around a much taller person’s waist. I bought popcorn and a Coke and waited in the corner until the theatre doors opened and people started filing in. Sonia looked around then, smiling when she saw me. We sat at the very
“Just don’t answer it. Is it fun, having twins?” “It’s fun now, but in the beginning—oh, my God. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.” “Jock? Jock?” “Can you put any weight on it?” “I’ll try. Ow! Ow! Just a sec.” She sank back on the stair and filled the sock with ice. It actually looked sore then. Using the railing, she hoisted herself to her feet. The grimace was real. “This should be interesting,” she said, hopping down a step. “I think we can use the elevator.” “No,” said Sonia. “I don’t
part of town with his mistress.” “Men!” expleted the ponytailed girl at the end of the table and everyone laughed, except Mohawked Keith who generally limited himself to expressions of contempt. “Laptev proposes. At first Julia refuses because she doesn’t love him. Then she agrees. Because Laptev’s rich and she doesn’t see any other opportunities for herself. The story basically relates the first three years of their marriage.” Michael swept his bang away again. “Their unhappy marriage. It’s