This retelling of “The Fall of the House of Usher” is brought to us by Bethany Griffin, also known as the author of the YA novels Masque of the Red Death and Dance of the Red Death. Although all of these novels are inspired by Edgar Alan Poe stories, the Red Death novels take Poe’s original story and extrapolate a dystopian future society, while The Fall is more of a traditional retelling.
In Poe’s original story we see the action from the perspective of an outsider who is coming to visit the cursed family, someone who’s coming in at the end of the story as the house is about to collapse. But The Fall lets you imagine the fear and despair of what it would have been like if you’d spent your entire childhood growing up in that dark, creepy house with a curse hanging over your head.
The tagline on the cover is “Madness is in the very air she breathes,” which will give readers a good sense of the chilling, atmospheric story contained inside.
Madeleine Usher is eighteen years old, and she’s just been been buried alive. But that’s not where the story begins.
The story started generations ago, when the Usher family was cursed. Ever since then, all of the Ushers died young, usually after being driven to madness. Sometimes after trying to leave the house. The house seemed to have a mind of its own … almost as if it didn’t want them to leave. Madeleine’s parents sent her twin brother away to try to save him, which left Madeleine even more alone than before. Now both of her parents are dead, because they couldn’t escape the curse, either. The only Ushers that are left are Madeleine and her brother, and the curse might die with them.
Madeleine knows the house better than anyone. She knows its moods and its secrets. She has peered into its darkest and dustiest corners. She knows that the house wants to protect her, but she also knows that it might kill her.
Madeleine Usher is eighteen years old, and she’s just been been buried alive. That’s not where the story begins … but it might be where it ends.