Excerpt from The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Falls

By Joyce Carol Oates

The Falls
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Sep 2004,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2005,
    512 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Ariah had tried. Ariah was determined to be an ideal bride, and an ideal daughter-in-law.

A clamor of church bells. Sunday morning!

In a strange bed, in a strange city, and lost.

A female voice chiding in her ear, and a smell of Mother Erskine’s talcumy bosom. If you’ve never drunk anything stronger than sweet cider, Ariah, do you think it’s wise to have a second glass of champagne—so soon after the first?

Possibly it hadn’t been Gilbert’s mother but Ariah’s own mother. Or possibly it had been both mothers at separate times.

A giggly-shivery bride. In satin and Chantilly lace, fussy little mother-of-pearl buttons, a gossamer veil and lace gloves to the elbow that, peeled off after the luncheon, left small diamond-shaped indentations in her sensitive skin like an exotic rash. At the luncheon, held in the Littrells’ big, gloomy brick residence adjacent to the church, the bride was observed nervously lifting her champagne glass to her lips numerous times. She ate little, and her hand so trembled she dropped a forkful of wedding cake. Her rather small, almond-shaped pebbly-green eyes were continually misting over, as with an allergy.

From The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  115Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson
  2.  20The Arsonist:
    Sue Miller

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.