When the English Fall

When the English Fall

eBook - 2017
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Workman Press.
A riveting and unexpected novel that questions whether a peaceful and non- violent community can survive when civilization falls apart.

Again, all are asleep, but I am not. I need sleep, but though I read and I pray, I feel too awake. My mind paces the floor.

There are shots now and again, bursts here and there, far away, and I cannot sleep. I think of this man in his hunger, shot like a rabbit raiding a garden. For what, Lord? For stealing corn intended for pigs and cattle, like the hungry prodigal helpless in a strange land.

I can hear his voice.

When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community is caught up in the devastating aftermath. With their stocked larders and stores of supplies, the Amish are unaffected at first. But as the English (the Amish name for all non-Amish people) in the cities become increasingly desperate, they begin to invade nearby farms, taking whatever they want and unleashing unthinkable violence on the gentle communities.

Written as the diary of an Amish farmer named Jacob who tries to protect his family and his way of life, When the English Fall examines the idea of peace in the face of deadly chaos. Should members of a nonviolent society defy their beliefs and take up arms to defend themselves? And if they do, can they survive?

David Williams’s debut novel is a thoroughly engrossing look into the closed world of the Amish, as well as a thought-provoking examination of how we live today and what remains if the center cannot hold.

Publisher: Algonquin Books,, 2017
ISBN: 9781616207083
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


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DPLjennyp May 15, 2018

A fresh take on the post-apocalyptic novel...very quiet, yet moving and thoughtful told from an Amish perspective.

Dec 05, 2017

Wow! This book will make you think. First from a perspective of what could happen if all communications and travel come to a screeching halt and stays that way. How does one survive in a non-electric world where nothing works? What happens to society? Secondly, I was so impressed by the faith of the storyteller, an Amish family man, who is doing his best to carry on with family, friends and church in the face of a total breakdown of the "English" society. It is only a novel, but if this catastrophic event or similar one should ever really happen, I believe that it can and will be even worse than depicted.

Nov 06, 2017

I thought it was a very thought-provoking book, delving into the struggle to live by one's ideals while surrounded by a world that is not only different, but is collapsing. One can never really be completely separate from the world at large. I think this would be a good book for discussion.

SCL_Tricia Oct 31, 2017

I read the premise of this story and thought "Wow, what a great idea!" Unfortunately it didn't live up to what I was hoping it would be. Not a recommend for me.

Oct 16, 2017

With so many natural disasters in 2017, this book is very timely and helped open my eyes to what life has been for hurricane survivors and what it would be like to try to live without utilities. In "When the English Fall," I also see how survivors can turn against each other. A real eye opener. I found Sadie's foreknowledge to be an added mystical element which was honored.

alaude Sep 19, 2017

This book is one of the most thought provoking titles I have read in years. Narrated by an Amish man during a solar storm, when anything electric ceases to work, author David Williams begins to show us the worst of humanity through the lense of a community who strives for peace, with one major lesson: without electricity, humanity as it exists today would be unfit to survive.

Cynthia_N Sep 14, 2017

Why didn't someone think of this before? Of course the Amish people will be better prepared if the electrical grid goes down! This book is written in the format of a journal of Amish man. It's interesting because it is looking from a point of view of one focused on a nonviolent resolution to the problems created in this new world. I enjoyed it!!


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Oct 16, 2017

It is one of the things that I have learned, over the years with Hannah. A wife makes a far better helpmate if you remember to ask her before doing something. p 106

Oct 16, 2017

Because we know, now, that as the world of the English fails around us, we are not separate. Yes, we have the Order, and yes, we have our way, but the time when that meant we stood free from the world has passed. p 190

Oct 16, 2017

Everything in this world breaks, if you strain it hard enough. p 131.


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