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The Sun Hasn't Fallen from the Sky: A Memoir
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The Sun Hasn't Fallen from the Sky: A Memoir

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  52 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Seven-year-old Ailsa Dunn's Ma is prettier than all the other mothers, her Da is the most handsome man in the world. They're made for each other. But the grown-up world is more complicated than that, and when alcohol intrudes, violence becomes the norm and unpredictability reigns - and the ground shifts beneath Ailsa's small feet.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 5th 2011 by Bloomsbury UK (first published January 4th 2011)
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32nd out of 36 books — 22 voters

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Jan 15, 2016 Laura rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
Seven year old Ailsa Dunn's Ma is prettier than all the other mothers and her Da is the most handsome man in the world but when alcohol intrudes unpredictability reigns and when the man with the briefcase comes to call she senses the family is in trouble.

2/5: Seven year old Ailsa Dunn adores her handsome Da and her pretty Ma but when alcohol intrudes chaos reigns and she and her sister are removed from home and taken to an orphanage. This is the Glasgow of the
Jan 16, 2016 Kelly rated it really liked it
I listened to this on Radio 4 over five days.
Set in 1970's Glasgow Ailsa is taken from her alcoholic parents and put in to an orphanage.
But a teacher notices her musical talent and inspires and encourages her to aim higher than she could ever have imagined. The narrator choice was just perfect reading in the heavy accent and using dialect even if the language was rather colourful in parts some of it was used humorously.
Although this book could be labeled a misery memoir it's more than that. It'
Joe Constantine
Jan 17, 2016 Joe Constantine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is not a book I would naturally gravitate towards; in fact I've never read a book in this genre before. Then one day I was lucky enough to hear this narrated by Maureen Beattie on BBC Radio 4's 'Book of The Week'. It was heavily abridged, but expertly so; none of the emotion, the tragedy, or triumph were lost.

Following this excellent introduction I purchased the unabridged book and enjoyed it as much as I expected. It's an emotional ride, punctuated by anecdotes that seem harrowing to the a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Di Castle
Jul 15, 2013 Di Castle rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this book. I can understand though why some reviewers were sceptical about the bad language used in the book especially as it could be read by younger readers. Alison Gangel deals with a difficult subject in a sensitive way and brings to life her childhood recollections of being taken into care. She and her sister are removed from their parents and taken to live in a children's home where life is not always easy. However, an inspirational teacher spots her musical talent and ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Holly rated it really liked it
I thoroughly "enjoyed" reading this book, although I'm not sure that's the best word to use concerning this deeply personal, gut-wrenching and extremely honest autobiography. The author wrote from a child's vantage point and allowed the reader to judge, what it felt like to be raised by alcoholic parents who simply could not get their act together and parent their two daughters. It was a look inside of a certain class and culture of 1970's Glasgow and, at times, really painful to read. With that ...more
Sally Seymore
Jul 29, 2015 Sally Seymore rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. Towards the end I cried...for a young girl who had so much talent and was given a chance, yet had such a drawback in life. For a type of teacher who is a rarity these days...who really reaches out and brings out the best in his pupils. If it wasn't for Mr Shaunessy where would Ailsa have ended up? It also made me realize what a huge responsibility parents have, as it doesn't matter how ill you treat your child, they will always love you. A ...more
Aileen Ng
May 10, 2015 Aileen Ng rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
The author tells the story about her childhood growing up in an orphan home with her elder sister. Both parents are alcoholic. The father eventually died of cancer due to his drinking and the mother runs off with another man (apparently another alcoholic who drinks more worst than their father). Sad and sometimes can be quite disturbing but when you get to the end of the story, you will be happy that the author succeeded in her life.
Inge Hulsker
Mar 06, 2014 Inge Hulsker rated it liked it
This book is hard to read with all the dialog written in dialect. Also the crazy amount of swearwords really annoyed me.
It's still a pretty good story, Ailsa is a lovable character, and the relationship with her sister is interesting. I missed her sister at the end, it feld unfinished.
The entire book felt a bit unfocused, like there were a lot of different stories in there, all worked out to a certain degree. It might have worked better if it focused more on one aspect.
Jamie Brannen
Jun 13, 2012 Jamie Brannen rated it really liked it
Overall a very good book, written by my English teacher. this book recalls her life growing up in Glasgow and the difficulties that she and her sister faced. the book packs excitement and emotion in very well. a brilliant read, would definitely recommend
Bev Diamond
Nov 02, 2011 Bev Diamond rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, although it was sad and harrowing at times, it was also inspirational and uplifting. Very easy to read. I want to know what happened to her sister in real life and what she's doing now.
It was mainly a sequence of events about a Glasgow upbringing & in a childrens carehome, but very little information about about the feelings it engendered
Carey Combe
Misery memoir - par excellence. I'm just waiting for the moment when she discovers she's really bright.....
Nov 06, 2016 Bernie rated it liked it
Touching and impossible to put down story of two sisters in the orphanage of Ireland 1950's.
You will read it in one sitting.
Cynthia Sinsap
Mar 10, 2013 Cynthia Sinsap rated it really liked it
I like memoirs-- not just people telling their bad luck stories, but ones in which the writer tells stories that have a richer meaning. This one made the list.
Moira Mcinnes
Moira Mcinnes rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2012
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