Summary and book reviews of In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl

In Falling Snow

by Mary-Rose MacColl

In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl X
In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Aug 2013, 464 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A bestselling Australian writer's American debut and a heart-wrenching novel of World War I, painting a portrait of the changing role of women in medicine and the powerful legacy of love.

Iris Crane's tranquil life is shattered when a letter summons memories from her bittersweet past: her first love, her best friend, and the tragedy that changed everything. Iris, a young Australian nurse, travels to France during World War I to bring home her fifteen-year-old brother, who ran away to enlist. But in Paris she meets the charismatic Dr. Frances Ivens, who convinces Iris to help establish a field hospital in the old abbey at Royaumont, staffed entirely by women - a decision that will change her life. Seamlessly interwoven is the story of Grace, Iris's granddaughter in 1970s Australia. Together their narratives paint a portrait of the changing role of women in medicine and the powerful legacy of love.

Excerpt
In Falling Snow

At first it was the summers I remembered, long warm days under the palest blue skies, the cornflowers and irises and forget-me-nots lining the road through the Lys forest, the buzz of insects going about their work, Violet telling me lies. He loves you, he loves you not, she'd recite, skipping along the road until all the petals were gone. She'd finish with "he loves you" no matter what the flower told her. I'd seen her cheat like that. Violet showed me an iris and told me what it was. Beautiful like you, she said. She couldn't believe I'd never seen one. They're common as weeds, she said. No offence. None taken.

But now in my mind's eye, it's winter, that first winter we arrived, Miss Ivens and me alighting from the train in Viarmes, the darkness descending, no one to meet us. And there's Miss Ivens herself, charging ahead to walk, not a thought for our luggage, abandoned on the station platform when we'd failed ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Caught up by Dr. Ivens' personality and vision, Iris postpones her original mission. Although she later comes to question her decision to stay at Royaumont, do you believe Tom would have returned with Iris to Australia had she found him earlier?

  2. Have you ever met someone like Dr. Ivens? Why is charisma as crucial a part of her job as talent?

  3. How does Cicely's story about her mentally ill mother add to the novel?

  4. Did Violet take Tom as a lover for her own sake or for Iris's? How did learning that Violet received the scholarship to study medicine affect your opinion of her?

  5. At the beginning of the book, Grace thinks of Iris as unerringly proper. It's only later that she discovers the many secrets her grandmother kept. ...
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!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

While those seeking a good WWI historical fiction novel may find In Falling Snow a bit of a disappointment, readers looking for an emotional, character-driven story will likely find it one of the best books they’ve come across recently. MacColl’s ability to realistically convey the experience of loss will undoubtedly win her many new fans.   (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Full Review (746 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

MacColl's novel will appeal to a wide audience including those who enjoy historical fiction and medical drama.

Booklist

This satisfying saga from an award-winning Australian author takes the reader across continents and time...Women as healers, family secrets, medical mysteries, historical setting - call the producers of Call the Midwife.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. MacColl's narrative is fortified by impeccable research and her innate ability to create a powerful bond between readers and characters. Well done.

Author Blurb Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Cleopatra's Daughter
An epic tale of love, heartache, and a sisterhood created by nursing in a time of war, In Falling Snow is one of those novels you will want to read again. If you liked The Aviator's Wife, you will love this book!

Author Blurb Robin Oliveira, New York Times bestselling author of My Name Is Mary Sutter
This is a story of love, ultimately, and a woman whose life has sought to atone for a mistake she hardly knew she made ... At once perceptive and sympathetic, In Falling Snow beguiles, a tale of selflessness and youthful indiscretion as singular and seductive as one could hope for.

Author Blurb Sarah McCoy, author of the international bestseller and 2012 Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Best Historical Fiction The Baker's Daughter
In Falling Snow is expertly researched and written with a keen eye to the complexities of wartime and the mighty role of women therein. From past to present, Australia to France, MacColl guides readers through unknown lands abroad and territories of the heart. For readers, like me, who love to see history's forgotten heroes given powerful voice, you will delight in this novel.

Reader Reviews

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!

Beyond the Book

The Royaumont Abbey, France's Treasure

The Royaumont Abbey, where much of In Falling Snow is set, is located approximately 18 miles (30 kilometers) north of Paris in Val-d'Oise.

Dedicated in 1228 CE, the structure was commissioned by King Louis IX as a Cistercian abbey. The Cistercian order was established by a group of Benedictine monks in the Cîteaux Abbey around the year 1098. Their intent was to return to a strict observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict, and their order was known for its austerity and seclusion as well as a return to manual labor, particularly fieldwork. Cistercian architecture reflects these values, being simple and utilitarian and lacking adornment (elaborate architecture was considered a distraction). The abbeys are in remote valleys for ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

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!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked In Falling Snow, try these:

  • The Other Side of the World jacket

    The Other Side of the World

    by Stephanie Bishop

    Published 2017

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    In the tradition of The Hours and Revolutionary Road comes a novel set in the 1960s about marriage, motherhood, identity, nostalgia, and the fantasy of home.

  • Wake jacket

    Wake

    by Anna Hope

    Published 2016

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Anna Hope's brilliant debut unfolds over the course of five days, as three women must deal with the aftershocks of World War I and its impact on the men in their lives.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: To Siri with Love
    To Siri with Love
    by Judith Newman
    It is likely that you know someone who is impacted by autism: In 2017, the U.S. Centers for Disease ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Arthur Truluv
    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg
    Elizabeth Berg's heartwarming novel scored an an impressive 4.4 average rating from the 48 members ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Ballad
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    Ella May WigginsA hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Strangers in Budapest
    by Jessica Keener

    Strong characters and a riveting plot combine in this psychological thriller set in Budapest.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.