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3.42  ·  Rating details ·  435 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Fallen by Lia Mills - a remarkable love story amidst the ruins of the First World War and the Easter Rising

Spring, 1915. Katie Crilly gets the news she dreaded: her beloved twin brother, Liam, has been killed on the Western Front.

A year later, when her home city of Dublin is suddenly engulfed in violence, Katie finds herself torn by conflicting emotions. Taking refuge in t
Paperback, 280 pages
Published June 5th 2014 by Penguin Ireland
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3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  435 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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switterbug (Betsey)
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thank-you to Goodreads First and Penguin Ireland for supplying me with this luminous new novel to review before publication.

"Grief made fools of us all."

Lia Mills has written an evocative novel, her sentences as delicate as lace. Rarely do I read what is considered an historical novel that is written with such intimacy, and with a voice that is both individual and universal. Katie Crilly lives in Dublin with her large family. Her twin brother, Liam, forgoes medical school to fight in the Great W
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Fallen by Lia Mills was our May read in my book club. It was a fitting choice as 2016 marks the centenary anniversary of the 1916 rising and the Irish struggle for independence. Further information at
It's also the Dublin: One City One Book choice for 2016

Unfortunately I was very disappointed with this book, which was a real shame because initially I was so eager to read it based very much on my interest in both historical events t
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
I think that it may have been me rather than the book, but despite my interest in this period of Irish history, and counting books like Strumpet City and At Swim Two Boys, which are set in the same period as this one, among my all time favourite Irish novels, I found myself struggling with this book.

I couldn't empathise with the main character, Katie Crilly, and found it hard to warm to either her or any of the other characters. Her 'adventures' during the Rising were, to my find, improbable an
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads, netgalley
This book was a very interesting read. Set during the first world war, in a view of a by-stander, you would somewhat understand how people live during war. Also, because she is a woman, you would know how women during those times were treated, like in education.
Emma Flanagan
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish-lit-read
Set against the backdrop of World War 1 and the 1916 Easter Rising, when Ireland was experiencing a period of huge social and political upheaval which would have ramifications for generations to come, is the story of Katie. Katie is a well educated middle class girl, struggling to figure out who she is and what she wants from life, in the aftermath of her beloved twins death in the war.

In this decade of commerations, this is the first of many books I suspect set during the period of 1916 - 1922
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was between 3 and 4 stars. It is set in 1916 Dublin, and much of the story takes place during the Easter Uprising. This book takes a view I've not come across before in telling the story of the uprising. Ordinary citizens didn't know initially what was happening, and in this novel, as historical records tell us, most were not supportive of the revolt. They were trapped in their homes, or fled at great risk to their safety. They had little food, and their homes were damaged or destroye ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I really enjoyed this story. It is a historical novel set in Dublin during the Easter Rising. It was very interesting. The story is told from the perspective of a bystander that is not directly involved in the conflict itself, but finds ways to help others. She often puts the safety of others before herself. Ireland wants its independence from the British Empire, but what costs are they willing to pay for that freedom? The comparison made between the rising and the Great War are also rather enli ...more
Margaret Madden
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Penguin Ireland for the review copy of this book........

Dublin 1915. Katie Crilly is at a crossroads in her life. Finished university and undecided about her future, she takes on a job with an elderly academic who needs some help documenting her work. Here she finds friendship and shelter away from the tension of her own family home. Her twin brother, Liam, has signed up to fight on the Western Front and she is heartbroken. She fears for his safety and struggles to wish him well. Bad n
I received a free copy of this book.

I guess normally I wouldn't go for this kind of book as I usually avoid books that deal with the two world wars. I needed to read a lot of them for school and I didn't really wanted to pick them up again. However, this book really surprised me and the intriguing story might make me reconsider my position.

The book is about a family in Dublin and how they deal with the impact the First World War has on them. They have to deal with a family member's death as wel
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I hadn't read any books by this author before but when I saw the content I thought I'd give it a go. For anyone interested in history, the Irish Rising of 1916, ( we're celebrating it's centenary this month), and the Irish who fought in WW1 then this is a read for you.
It's nothing about the leaders of the Rising or battles or any of that. It's a bout an ordinary girl, Katie, who lives through this momentous week and we see it all through her eyes. It's about feelings and living without someone w
Paula Dembeck
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written story about a relationship that evolves during the Easter Uprising in Dublin in August of 1916. It is the story of a young seventeen year old woman growing up under the stringent expectations of an overbearing mother, struggling to find a place in the world and decide what she will do with her life besides fill society’s expectations that she marry and have a family. Her mother Mildred is making life difficult for her, keeping a close rein on her behavior and trying ...more
Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on Between My Lines

This is book that brings history to life. It immersed me into the 1916 Dublin Easter Rising and I came away not only having really enjoyed the book but also feeling liked I gained some fresh perspective on the events. Plus there is a love story but it’s not the usual fairytale love story instead it’s more like an anti-fairytale. It’s gritty, contradictory and complicated as life so often is.

First Line of Fallen by Lia Mills:
 That August was
Karen Klein
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel. It took place in Ireland during the beginning of WWI. What made it even more interesting was the fact that the story contained a "war within a war" - the Easter Rising (a revolt that took place in Ireland at the same time). I had to do a little research because I don't know much about Irish history. This author blended fiction and history wonderfully and she ev
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
4.5 stars. This was a beautifully written book about a subject that I honestly didn't know much about and don't think there is an awful lot out there with the Easter Rebellion as the background.

The love story didn't come out until very far into the book, but when it happened, it was very sudden. Not insta-love, but close to it.

I loved the dynamics between Katie and her family members. I felt so sad for them and their loss, compounded by Eva's bad health and Matt's running away to live his life
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
I won this book as a part of the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. The story is about Katie Crilly a twin who has lost her brother in Verdun during WWI. On the anniversary of his death, Dublin is faced with the Easter Rising. This story is about how Katie traverses this event, as well as her grief for her brother, both of which has her caught in the middle. During this time she meets Hubie, and these two broken souls grow and rise together beyond the ugliness of war and loss.

I like the boo
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway - thanks very much to Penguin Ireland and Goodreads.

I'm a huge fan of novels set during World Wars I and II - Timothy Findley's The Wars and Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong are favourites. As it is set during the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin, I was very keen to read Fallen and was not disappointed. I loved Katie - I found her very genuine and was so touched by her strong desire to guard the privacy of her dead brother's returned letters. Lia Mills is a
Gracie Mastic
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a page turner

I'm so happy that I paid attention to the ad for this book. I couldn't put it down. It was a very well written story about a very hard topic to bring alive. But bring it to life the author did. I highly recommend this book.
May 20, 2014 marked it as to-read
After reading only a few sentences about the book im already on the edge of my seat to read it! Thank god theres a giveaway!
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
*copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I want mooooore! Though probably not for the reasons you’re imagining. There’s only one reason, really. The Katie-Hubie love-line is just what I need in my life right now. I think I might be going through withdrawals as I’m writing this review, actually.

I’m not a history enthusiast, and I don’t know much about early 20th century Ireland (yes, I am ashamed of myself), and for this reason I can’t even dare to comment on the history a
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Fallen by Lia Mills was published on 5 June by Penguin Ireland - looking at Amazon here in the UK, I see it's already available for Kindle, but that the paperback isn't due for release until February 2015. So my timing for this review might be a little off, but there's never really such a thing as bad timing when you're making everyone aware of a book that's so compelling and superbly written.

This is the story of Katie, living in Dublin at the start of the First World War, educated to degree lev
May 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
This was a giveaway from Goodreads First Reads - thanks Penguin Ireland and Goodreads.

The best thing about this novel is the quality of the writing. The reader is taken deep into the thoughts of the protagonist - grief, fatigue, irritation and love are all revealed gradually, like peeling layers away to see the real depth of the person within. This produces a realistic characterisation, while allowing some aspects of the story to remain ambiguous or unclear, even as Katie gains her own self-awar
Mary Lou
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is 1915 and Katie Crilly and her twin brother have finished their degrees in history. Liam takes up a position in the family firm of solicitors, but then makes a decision to join the British army and is killed in action at Verdun.
One year later, still overcome with grief and unable to reconcile the loss of her brother, Katie witnesses at first hand the carnage on the streets of Dublin during the 1916 rebellion. During this troubled week she meets Hubie, a career officer, who served alongside
My thanks goes to Penguin Ireland for the ARC inviation via NetGalley.

I'll start off with a confession - I'm not at all big on romances, but the historical element always helps make the book more appealing than it would otherwise be, and that historical element is handled to great satisfaction here.

It's impressive how thorough the author's research appears to have been, for the setting and atmosphere are immensely credible from the very start, so much so that I was honestly pulled in before I kn
Susan Lanigan
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Starts at its own pace, but once I got into it I found it utterly absorbing. Set in the period 1914-1916, it follows the life of Kate Crilly, a young girl whose brother Liam has just gone to war. His death in battle (not a spoiler, it’s on the blurb!) haunts her so badly that she wears his long coat all over Dublin, while her termagant of a mother harasses Liam’s fiancee, Isabel, to give back her engagement ring. This loss, which is beautifully described, binds Kate to Liam’s comrade in arms, Hu ...more
Dublin is one of my favorite cities and the Easter Rising is high on my list of adored historical topics, (in fact I purchased Fallen while in Dublin for the Easter Rising Centenary when I saw it was chosen for the Two Cities, One Book campaign) so I was quite looking forward to this book. Yet, what greeted me was so thin in terms of character development that I twice found myself forgetting the narrator's name. Katie had absolutely no personality and the characters around her fared just as poor ...more
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
War stories have always been a topic of interest to me, but WWI is new territory. What makes this story so enjoyable is that it interests you in a way that you want to learn more of the subject. The historical elements are touched upon in the novel, but the focus of the novel was the characters. It is being told from Katie’s perspective, a normal person who was merely a spectator. It relays to us, the feelings of uncertainty and fear that the people felt, the ones who might not have been fully a ...more
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a first reads giveaway.

Set in Dublin during the First World War, Lia Mills’ Fallen follows the story of Katie Crilly who lost her twin brother to the war. The novel deals with social constraints in a changing world, the affect the war had on the home front and the Easter Uprising.

I really enjoyed this book and read through it pretty fast, it had interesting characters with complicated relationships but mostly I enjoyed it so much because I learned something new. Growing up i
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Katie Crilly lost her twin brother to the first world war in 1915, living on Rutland Square (now Parnell Square) and trying to find a place for herself in the world. Her mother has forbidden further study but that's where she finds the most joy. She finds a research post with a woman who is doing research on the statues of Dublin; there she meets with an injured comrade of her brother's.

Then a year after she loses her brother to the war chaos breaks out in the 1916 rising. Living just beside Sac
Kayla Tornello
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Katie's twin brother, Liam, volunteers to fight in the Great War while she stays behind in Ireland trying to figure out how she will live without him. He was always the leader and she was the follower. While Katie is in the midst of her struggle, the Easter Rising disrupts life for everyone in Dublin. Within the chaos of the rebellion, Katie is forced to examine her feelings about the war and life in general.

I really enjoyed the setting of this book. The descriptions are vivid and the characters
Sheena Lambert
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed this book. After a few months of reading lots of heavy thrillers, this was a breath of fresh literature. You could define this book as being about the 1st World War, the 1916 Rising, Dublin, family, love, and in reality it is about all of these things, but none so much to be off-putting; I could see my romance-loving mother enjoying this book as much as my history-loving father. I myself especially loved the interesting and surprising references to parts of Dublin, my home city. ...more
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