Published by Greenwillow Books
on October 7, 2014
Received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
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.
Confession: I was not at all familiar with Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher when I picked this up. I’d heard of it, but never read it. However, merely knowing that this book was inspired by something by Poe had me expecting a spooky, atmospheric tale, possibly including a descent into madness – and I think those expectations were largely met!
The House of Usher itself is a character in this book: dark, menacing, all-knowing and all-seeing…there was definitely a tense, creepy atmosphere, making this The Fall an excellent choice for an October Halloween read!
I spent the first part of this book very confused, because of the non-linearity of the story. It jumped back and forth in time throughout, and I had a very tough time keeping track of events initially.
I also found myself confused by things that were not clear (at least, not clear to me), such as: the doctors and their intentions (what was with the blood and their machine?), Roderick and Madeline’s parents, the madman found in the house, and thee ending…I tried to appreciate that much was left to the reader’s interpretation, but I was also hoping for some concrete answers to at least some of my questions.
I definitely recommend this book to readers who want a more subdued, atmospheric, and unsettling read. Like I said, it’s an excellent choice for Halloween!