When the English Fall by David Williams
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

Yet one message of this imperfect and intriguing book registers with terrible clarity. “When the English Fall” is, slyly, a parable for climate change and for the horrifying threats it poses to the global order.
-NY Times

Synopsis

A riveting and unexpected novel that questions whether a peaceful and nonviolent community can survive when civilization falls apart.
 
When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community in Pennsylvania is caught up in the devastating aftermath. Once-bright skies are now dark. Planes have plummeted to the ground. The systems of modern life have crumbled. With their stocked larders and stores of supplies, the Amish are unaffected at first. But as the English (the Amish name for all non-Amish people) become more and more desperate, they begin to invade Amish farms, taking whatever they want and unleashing unthinkable violence on the peaceable community.

Seen through the diary of an Amish farmer named Jacob as he tries to protect his family and his way of life, When the English Fall examines the idea of peace in the face of deadly chaos: Should members of a nonviolent society defy their beliefs and take up arms to defend themselves? And if they don’t, can they survive?

David Williams’s debut novel is a thoroughly engrossing look into the closed world of the Amish, as well as a thought-provoking examination of “civilization” and what remains if the center cannot hold.

 
 

About David Williams

See more books from this Author
David Williams is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church. He lives in Annandale, Virginia. When the English Fall is his first novel.
 
Published July 11, 2017 by Algonquin Books. 255 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for When the English Fall
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 02 2017

Mike’s original problems...are dwarfed by what he faces after the collapse, and Jacob’s comment about him proves prophetic: “The sorrows are planted, and they grow strong in the earth of his life, and they rise up, and there is harvest.” A standout among post-apocalyptic novels, as simply and perfectly crafted as an Amish quilt.

Read Full Review of When the English Fall: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by ADAM MORGAN on Jul 21 2017

I never realized I wanted a postapocalyptic Amish novel, but the premise is so perfect I can’t believe that it’s never been done before — or that someone did it so well on the first try.

Read Full Review of When the English Fall: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Jul 28 2017

It’s rare to find a debut novel as finely crafted as “When the English Fall.” This book drew me in with its first line...

Read Full Review of When the English Fall: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Abigail Deutsch on Aug 31 2017

Yet one message of this imperfect and intriguing book registers with terrible clarity. “When the English Fall” is, slyly, a parable for climate change and for the horrifying threats it poses to the global order.

Read Full Review of When the English Fall: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Reader Rating for When the English Fall
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×