V. Here's my pick for 'first novels'...
Fall on your knees by Anne Marie MacDonald.
It is a riveting depiction of a family beset by hidden desires and secrets.
It begins in a small community in Nova Scotia in the early 1900's. James elopes with his 13 yr old bride, Materia Mahmoud whose Lebanese father then casts out and curses her.
James and Materia have four daughters...each one is filled with hope, talent and passion but each one in her own way is affected by their father's hold on their lives.
It is a book that you cannot put down and as each page is turned and each chapter finished you cannot but gasp at what happens next.
Sunday Times wrote "It is the unpredictability of this huge book that is its greatest joy. With allusions ranging from Hollywood stars to religious tracts Fall On Your Knees simmers with vibrancy and crackling, effervescent, breathtaking language'.