Fall Down Seven
WinePress Publishing (2013)
Reviewed by Sheri Bebee for Reader Views (12/13)
“Fall Down Seven” by C.E. Edmonson is a historical fiction novel that begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The story is written through the eyes of Emiko Arrington, a thirteen year old Japanese-American girl, whose life changed forever on that fatal day in history. The Arrington’s were living in Hawaii and saw the attack first-hand from their lanai. Charles Arrington, Emiko’s dad, and a Lieutenant Commander for the US Navy must report to duty immediately so he makes arrangements for his family to move to Connecticut to live with his sister, Aunt Ellen. Emiko is charged by her dad to take care of her mother, Ariko, and little brother, Charlie the “Whizz”. This is a story about how the Arrington’s endure through tragedy and victory.
“Fall Down Seven” is eloquently written. Each paragraph was thoughtfully crafted, not just words to fill up a page. Edmondson draws you into the story from the first page with a captivating writing style. Descriptions of the surroundings make it easy to imagine being right there as the events unfold. The characters are all very well-developed, I felt like I knew all of the characters, even the minor players, and my reactions to every single character were very strong. Emiko is quite the young miss with her no-nonsense approach, her wit and intelligence. She had me laughing and crying and being scared for her and wanting to protect her all at the same time! I really got into Emiko’s character- she is an old soul much wiser than her years. She faces her challenges with strength, courage and often times sheer determination, as she remembers her father’s words: “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
Edmondson writes very emotionally about the behavior of America as a country after the initial attack on Pearl Harbor, the way fear took hold of the country, and the atrocities committed against its very own citizens. Historical elements were pensively interlaced, keeping me totally absorbed page after page. I loved this book and look forward to reading other works by C.E. Edmonson.