Hannibal Free Public Library
March 27, 2012
When Mikaela Campbell, beloved wife and mother, falls into a coma, it is up to her husband, Liam, to hold the family together and care for their grieving, frightened children. Doctors tell him not to expect a recovery, but he believes that love can accomplish what medical science cannot. Daily he sits at her bedside, telling her stories of the precious life they have built. When Mikaela Campbell, beloved wife and mother, falls into a coma, it is up to her husband, Liam, to hold the family together and care for their grieving, frightened children. Doctors tell him not to expect a recovery, but he believes that love can accomplish what medical science cannot. Daily he sits at her bedside, telling her stories of the precious life they have built together, hoping against hope that she will wake up. But then he discovers evidence of his wifeís secret past: a hidden first marriage to movie star Julian True.
Desperate to bring Mikaela back at any cost, Liam knows he must turn to Julian for help. But will that choice cost Liam his wife, his family, and everything he holds dear? One of Kristin Hannahís most moving novels, Angel Falls is a poignant and unforgettable portrait of marriage and commitment, of an ordinary man who dares to risk everything in the name of love.
1. Angel Falls begins with a flashback about Ian and Fiona, Liamís grandparents. Why do you think Kristin Hannah chose to start the book in this way? What tone does it set for the novel as a whole?
2. How do Liamís
grandfather and father both motivate and
3. The novel unfolds from the points of view of four distinctive narrative voicesóBret, Liam, Julian, and Mikaela. How is this narrative technique effective in propelling the novel forward? Did you identify with one voice more than another, or consider the novel to be the story of one particular character? Which one?
4. After Bret sees his motherís accident, how does he cope with the ensuing trauma? How do his reactions differ from those of Jacey? How does each of them grow up within the course of the book?
5. What do Mikaela and Liam consider the most important elements of parenthood? How does their approach to child-rearing differ from that of their parents? How does Liam deal with winning Jacey over when he comes into her life and becoming a single dad after Mikeís accident?
6. How does Rosaís "bad love" influence her daughter? What do you think motivated both Rosa and Mikaela to choose the inappropriate men that they did? Have you or a friend ever been in a similar situation? How did you resolve it?
7. Why do you think Mikaela saved the remnants of her former life in a pillowcase? What about that time did she cling to? Were you surprised by Liamís response to the discovery? Why do you think that he behaves as he does? How might you have reacted?
8. Why wonít Mikaela tell Liam about her previous marriage to Julian? Why doesnít Liam press her? What would you have done on either side of the same situation?
9. Why does Liam involve Julian in his quest to awaken Mikaela? What are Liamís initial feelings about Julian, and do they change over time? Why do you think that Mikaela murmurs Julianís name and then responds to it while sheís in the coma? What about his memory haunts her?
10. Why canít Liam turn to music after Mikaelaís accident? What does he turn to instead to combat his anxiety and worry?
Adapted from http://goodreads.com