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Falling to Heaven

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  53 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
FALLING TO HEAVEN is the story of two American Quakers who trek into Tibet in 1954. In this work of historical fiction, Emma and Gerald Kittredge leave their secure Quaker community and travel to the Tibetan city of Shigatse where they soon find companionship with their neighbors, Dorje and Rinchen, and their small family. But the arrival of Maoist soldiers into their quie ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and the similarities between Tibetan Buddhism and the Quakers. I also liked the how the book explored what makes people keep their faith and events that can happen which make people doubt things they always believed. I learned quite a bit about the Cultural Revolution and how the Chinese have treated Tibet as a country.
Cristina Hutchinson
I thought this book was slow to start and it petered out at the end; but the middle was fantastic.

Dorje was easily my favorite character and the most interesting of the POVs. Emma could get on my nerves. She seemed very flighty and naive. I hated how she always had to cling to someone. She couldn't really stand on her own. Perhaps a reflection on the time that the novel was set in.

I found the historical part about Tibet and the communist invasion informative. It was definitely not something th
Apr 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
HOt off the press, this is Jeanne's first novel. I thought it was beautiful. A Quaker couple from New England becomes entwined with a Buddhist family in Tibet. The story is riviting and sweet at the same time. A wonderful character study. It would be great for a book club.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 6th-book-project
The writing and/or editing were a bit sloppy in spots, but the story was excellent. Highlighting the parallels between Quakerism and Tibetan Buddhism, portraying the struggle of maintaining faith is the face of human ugliness, calling attention to China's brutal oppression of was all well done, if painfully so.
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt the writing was a little slip-shod but it was a gripping story that kept me reading start to finish because I wanted to know what would happen. In the end, though, I enjoyed it but I felt there wasn't a whole lot of substance to the story. I enjoyed the setting, but if you already knew about the history of Tibet I feel this story would not offer much. The characters (apart from Gerald) do not change or evolve much, and I felt several of the chapters dragged a bit, particularly Dorje's cha ...more
Carol Silver
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was completely enthralled with Ms. Peterson's book Falling to Heaven. I'm not entirely sure how it entered my home, but when I needed a book to read the other day it came to the forefront of my stash of books to read. Well, right from the start I found my interest piqued and it continued right on through to the end. I am now VERY interested in learning more about Tibet and the people of that culture thanks to Ms. Peterson. Thank you, ma'am, I am now going to find your website and look to read ...more
A could have been true novel about a Quaker couple who go to live in Tibet after walking a month over the mountains on foot from Nepal. Just as they are settling in, the Maoist soldiers arrive and capture and imprison the husband. The story is told from three different viewpoints: the wife, the husband, their native Tibetan neighbor, Dorje. It is the story of how Tibet was taken over by Maoist China and the terrible things that happened. But also the story of the wonderful Tibetan people and of ...more
Christoph Fischer
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a Quaker couple in Tibet before and after the Chinese invasion unfolds from three different perspectives, giving the reader a great insight into the struggles both locals and outsiders have to brave with their ideals of peaceful ways of living and a harsh imperialistic reality. Informative, emotional and philosophical.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked that it takes you into the suffering of the people in Tibet under the Chinese control. Using an American character as one who is being tortured brings it closer to home for those who have a hard time relating to other cultures and how they have been exploited.
It felt like a real experience to me.
It also explains a lot of the religious habits and beliefs of the people.
Jan 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first couple of pages of this book was excellent but it went rapidly downhill from there. I gave up after a while. Unfortunately, I just didn't like the writing. In many ways it seemed a bit juvenile and the phrases just didn't flow nicely. The prologue shows that this author has some promise.
For book club. I read the first 50 pages, started skipping the gory Gerald chapters, then started skimming the bits in between, then skipped to the end.

On that basis, I didn't think it was that well-written and I found the characters of Gerald and Emma thin and unconvincing, but maybe they were filled out in the chapters I didn't read!
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking, insightful, compelling. This book captures the Tibetan peace and the turmoil that came after the Chinese invasion as it looks at the individual lives affected by events. Loved this book!
Heidi Strybos
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this one for book club. it wouldn't have been a book I chose on my own but I enjoyed it. the ought the fiction I learned about the conquering of Tibet in the 1950's. it was an interesting read on faith and different beliefs.
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gripping story, nicely told. The voices of the characters seemed spot on to me.
Anita Lyons
This book was not good. I had to stop after about 50 pages b/c the writing just wasn't that good and the story didn't make any sense. Not recommended.
Claire d
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Karen Labonte
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