A core of sadness runs through It All Falls Down (Morrow), Sheena Kamal’s dark and thoughtful followup to her debut novel, 2017’s The Lost Ones (published in the UK as Eyes Like Mine). It All Falls Down continues the back story sketched out in that first book, while introducing some new challenges and keeping us in touch with some of the characters we encountered in The Last Ones.
This time out, we spend some time in the Motor City, where protagonist Nora Watts is trying to connect the dots on the suicide of her father with his troubled past: he was one of the thousands of Native Canadian children adopted to the United States in the Sixties Scoop, as it is now known, a culturally bruising move by various provincial and federal Canadian government authorities and agencies. Many of the children were abused and misused in addition to being alienated from their own heritage.
In Detroit, and also in Vancouver, Nora looks for answers while ensnaring herself every more deeply in a series of events that she begins to understand have less to do with her father’s identity and more with her own history as well as current safety.
Like Kamal’s stunning debut, It All Falls Down is dark, edgy and utterly compelling.