RYAR Review: THE FALL by Bethany Griffin

Previously published on


THE FALL by Bethany Griffin
Published by Greenwillow Books on October 7, 2014
Genres: Thriller
Provided by: Edelweiss
Rating: 5 stars


This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.


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.


Chilling and haunting and utterly mesmerizing, THE FALL will pull readers in from its very first chapter, a chapter that introduces Madeline Usher who wakes to find herself in a stone sarcophagus, entombed alive. The story then goes back in time to earlier in Madeline’s life, leaving the question of Madeline’s survival unanswered until much later, making this a gripping and nail-biting read.

A reimagining of Poe’s classic, Bethany Griffin expands upon his dark tale with one that’s even darker, more macabre, sadder and more disturbing, though perhaps a bit more hopeful. Told in the first person, from Madeline’s point of view, with peeks into Lisbeth Usher’s journal interspersed throughout, the story moves back and forth in time revealing earlier moments in Madeline’s life and leading to the present and the predicament she finds herself in.

Through these glimpses into Madeline’s past a grim and twisted tale unfolds, one of madness and murder. From the family’s curse that causes terrible pain and illness and ends in insanity and death to those inflicted. To the sentient and evil nature of the home. To Madeline’s struggle, as one of the last in the line of Ushers and a favorite of the home, to keep her strength and sanity in order to fight against the curse and the house and save herself and her brother Roderick.

It’s an enthralling story that will keep readers engaged, horrified and hopeful throughout. With a protagonist who is interesting and intriguing and oddly likable, one readers will find themselves rooting for more and more as the story progresses.

While not an original, the author’s expanded story is unique in its telling, its character development and its detail. THE FALL is a fascinating, eerie and atmospheric, and beautifully written story that is not to be missed, whether a fan of Poe or not.

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