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The Year She Fell Paperback – November 15, 2010
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From the Author
- The Year She Fell is set in the mountains of West Virginia, a beautiful but impoverished state. Discuss the situation of the Wakefield sisters, growing up rich but surrounded by poverty.
- Both Ellen and her sister Theresa have religious vocations, but while Ellen's faith is low-key, Theresa's requires constant sacrifice. What about their personalities and experiences might account for the difference in religious intensity?
- Mitch Price is an artisan, a man who works creatively with his hands in a traditional craft (wood-carving). In his own way, he is as much a throwback as Mrs. Wakefield. How might the remote setting (mountainous West Virginia) lead to an embrace of more traditional forms and roles?
- Jackson McCain was a delinquent who grew up to be a cop. What sort of experiences might account for such a transformation?
- Mrs. Wakefield is a society matriarch of a sort not seen much in these days of grannies in hiking boots. Tom calls his father "a professional Irishman," deepening his accent and Irishness to impress the Americans who come to his pub. Trevor O'Connor. and Mrs. Wakefield are both most comfortable in the personas imparted by their social class and situation. Is that sort of role-inhabiting a thing of the past in our fast-changing society? Contrast this with the discarding of early roles (delinquent and debutante) shown by the younger Jackson and Laura.
- Laura and Jackson never got over their early love, and they reunite as adults. Is this sort of "reunion love" an example of self-deception, or can what attracted us at 16 still be alluring in midlife?
- In his reckless youth, Tom betrayed Ellen. Do you think it's possible to forgive and forget in a case like theirs? Is she a fool if she believes him when he says he loved only her?
- Cathy is the great enigma, and her death the mystery that her sisters must solve. Consider the damage she has done to each sister. Does her reason absolve her of guilt? How much should childhood trauma excuse adult misbehavior?
- Were Mrs. Wakefield's attempts to protect her family admirable or lamentable? Chief McCain thinks she's crazy, as are most rich women. Do you agree that wealth distorts reality for the wealthy?
- All families have secrets, though the Wakefields have more than most. Have you discovered secrets in your own family? What did your parents and grandparents hide from you, and why?
About the Author
Her blog is at edittorrent.blogspot.com, and her website is rasley.com. Her writing book, The Power of Point of View, is still available from Writer's Digest Books.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ellen, who realizes her husband fathered a child and refuses to tell her who the mother is. Laura, the famous sister, who suffered her own trauma and is trying to help her family while healing herself. And Theresa, the adopted sister who never fit in and always feels like an outsider. Their relationships are very complicated and they draw you into their world of secrets.
This is a wonderful book that I highly recommend.
This story is at first a family drama, but dives deeper than that. Ellen and her sister Theresa grew up as the richest girls in town. This juxtaposed with the fact that everyone around them is in poverty, finally gives the people the chance to look down on them. The story is an absolute page turner, with elements of romance, class, and existentialism thrown in. Life will never be the same for these people.
With it's clever plotting, emotionally gripping characters, and heartbreaking style, this is one of the must reads of the new year. Written by award-winning author, Alicia Rasley, her style is that which has been harnessed for decades and it shows with the choice of words and characters. The depth that we see in the characters and the storyline is only something that can be shown through countless years of experience. It is more than just a return to form since her last book over a decade ago. It is an evolution and was well worth the wait.
There is one major flaw with this book. The author has a messed up sense of time. At the very beginning of the book, she states that Brian and Sarah were born in 1986. A few pages later, their birthdates change to 1991. There is a huge difference between 1986 and 1991. Then, one event is stated to have taken place twenty years ago. All of a sudden, it becomes 17 years previously. Then, there is an event that happened twenty years previously to 35 year old Laura. The author states that Laura was 16. Ummm...twenty years previous to 35 is fifteen not 16.
I do think this book was a bit predictable. There was not one secret that I did not figure out way before it was revealed in the story. I'm rather disappointed in that. I kept waiting for the surprises. There weren't any.
The characters were decent, but some of the things they did were extremely unrealistic and didn't make sense to me at all. For example, your husband betrays your trust and you don't love him any more, so you sleep with him? Ok...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was worth reading. I had never read a book that jumped from character to character. At first it confused me, but then I came to quite enjoy the different perspectives. Read morePublished 6 months ago by KingDonk
Alicia Rasley writes a complex moving novel with so many different elements. It keeps you going from page to page. The plot is too complex to give a short outline. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Valerie R. Macaluso