When the English Fall: A Novel (Paperback)
An Amish community finds itself under threat from the societal chaos unleashed in the wake of a massive solar storm. For farmer Jacob, who has been keeping a diary, the catastrophe has a personal aspect -- his troubled young daughter appears to have foretold the coming of the "skies bright with angel wings". This poignant story is, at heart, a meditation on the meaning of faith and devotion to family and community when truly put to the test. Jacob's voice resonates long after one turns the last page.— From Peter
July 2017 Indie Next List
“When the English Fall will have you holding your breath as you await impending tragedy. The story unfolds through the diary of an Amish farmer, whose young daughter has visions of the future - but what she sees does not bode well. She talks of the English falling from the sky. When a solar storm causes destruction to the power grid, the world is left in the dark. While the Amish are not immediately affected, once things start to fall apart, they are not safe from desperation. A thought-provoking read. Well done.”
— Maxwell Gregory (W), Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, IL
Again, all are asleep, but I am not. I need sleep, but though I read and I pray, I feel too awake. My mind paces the floor.
There are shots now and again, bursts here and there, far away, and I cannot sleep. I think of this man in his hunger, shot like a rabbit raiding a garden. For what, Lord? For stealing corn intended for pigs and cattle, like the hungry prodigal helpless in a strange land.
I can hear his voice.
When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community is caught up in the devastating aftermath. 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) in the cities become increasingly desperate, they begin to invade nearby farms, taking whatever they want and unleashing unthinkable violence on the gentle communities.
Written as the diary of an Amish farmer named Jacob who 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 do, 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 how we live today and what remains if the center cannot hold.
About the Author
“An apt and original spin on the genre of ‘prepper fiction.’”
—New York Times Book Review
“It’s rare to find a debut novel as finely crafted as When the English Fall.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Entrancing [and] deceptively simple, lulling, holding, at times, the power of prayer.”
“Williams’ use of tension, suspense, and compression is masterful, calling to mind the distilled prose of Ron Rash. In the past decade, pop culture may have become oversaturated with post-apocalyptic stories, but this one is fresh, unique and unforgettable . . . A quiet, brilliant little novel.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“An unusually good post-apocalyptic novel.”
—Christian Science Monitor
“A quirky addition to the growing volume of novels that imagine the repercussions of climate change . . . Williams is brilliant at creating a plausible Amish narrator in Jacob.”
“Clever . . . the totality of When the English Fall is surprisingly moving, and Jacob a sympathetic and compelling guide to a world that feels closer every day.”
“A standout among post-apocalyptic novels, as simply and perfectly crafted as an Amish quilt or table. Lyrical and weirdly believable.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A quiet, ideas-focused dystopian novel that will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page.”
—Library Journal, starred review
“[A] satisfying post-apocalyptic novel . . . The unique spin draws readers into an alarmingly plausible story of contemporary civilization’s demise.”
“Told in the quiet, simple prose of a quiet, pious man, this is an intriguing take on the dystopian novel.”
—Seira Wilson for Omnivoracious: TheAmazon Book Review
“A fascinating debut.”