Madeline Usher is doomed.
She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.
Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.
In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down?The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.
The Fall is Bethany Griffin's take on Edgar Allan Poe's short story called "The Fall of the House of Usher." It is definitely one of the stranger books that I have read this year. Told in short non-chronological chapters that range from when Madeline Asher is 9 years old until she's 18, Griffin spins a haunting tale with a tragic heroine that is cursed to fall like the rest of the Usher family.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Fall is the house itself. The house is apparently alive and wants Madeline so badly that it will never let her escape. The house has driven all of her ancestors to madness and short lives even with the help of so called doctors who live and work in the house. Madeline's only hope of escaping, lies in ensuring that her brother survives as well. The Fall has a bit of Flowers in the Attic feel to it which I can totally do without thank you very much. I'm totally not into inbreeding.
I read The Fall of the House of Usher before reading this story and there are of course, a whole lot more to The Fall than it's predecessor. House of Asher was written by an anonymous narrator who apparently was Roderick Ushers childhood friend. In The Fall, Roderick's friend's name is Noah and I'm still trying to grab hold and understand their actual relationship. Was it just a friendship, or was it more involved?
There is a question as to whether or not Madeline actually existed in House of Usher, or if she was a figment of Roderick's deluded imagination. Regardless of that, Griffin has taken the extra step to further explore this world, and expounds on the world building and villainous characters who clearly have their own agendas when it comes to "helping" the Ushers fight the curse.
Madeline isn't the most trustworthy narrator. She has moments of lucidity, followed by periods of hallucinations and blackouts. Thanks to the curse, she can't discover the cure on her own, she needs the help of others who may not want what she needs. She's prodded, and treated as though she is a mental patient who needs constant supervision for fear of suicidal thoughts. Thankfully, Madeline is also determined, which leads to a very interesting and strange ending to the story.
In the end, The Fall will most likely appeal to those who have read Griffin's previous works. For almost three quarters of the book, you really don't necessarily know what is going on or whether or not any of it is real. Thankfully, the ending ends with a bang, but leaves room for the reader to imagination what happened next.
Author - Bethany Griffin
Title - The Fall
Published by Greenwillow Books
Released: October 7, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Gothic, Horror
Format: E-Book 400 pages