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The Year She Fell Paperback – November 15, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 240 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

The Year She Fell by Alicia Rasley
Reader's Guide
 
  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. Jackson McCain was a delinquent who grew up to be a cop. What sort of experiences might account for such a transformation?
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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?
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. 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

Alicia Rasley is a Rita-award winning author and nationally known teacher of writing workshops. She teaches composition and tutors students in two state universities. She grew up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia but now lives in the midwestern flat land.

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611940001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611940008
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #773,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book hooks you in the first chapter and never lets you go. The different twists and turns keep you guessing throughout. I loved how Rasley wrote from several characters' points of view, a neat trick, which gives you a different perspective on the same situation.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Taking place in the mountains of West Virginia, the beautiful landscape is the perfect setting for this thought provoking, family drama that draws on the confusions of youth and it's effects on people later in life. Using multiple points of view to tell the story of a minister that is faced with a moral dilemma when her husband's love child suddenly shows up in her church. Ellen O'Conner is faced with more than just this young man, she now has to fight with her faith, the people around her, and what she thought she knew about her husband and herself.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For being a free Kindle ebook, I thought I'd give it a try. Hey! It's free. I hoped for the best but expected the worst. I was blown away! At first there were some aspects of the storyline that confused me because the author didn't explain anything, like how the oldest sister died. It left me wanting to shout out "How? Tell me how!!!" but it was brilliant on the author's part, because it left me wanting, no NEEDING, to read on. Then the drastic switch in character perspective was also very well done. The character development is very good. I feel deeply for these women and their family struggles, their personal struggles. I can't put this book down! and I'm hoping to hear more from this author! 5 STARS!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are some things that are fabulous about this book. The characters are complex and well thought out. I like that the author chose to tell the tale through the eyes of multiple characters. This allowed the story to be told fully. No one character would have known all the secrets. The only alternative would have been to have an omniscient narrator. It's written in a manner that prevents the reader from putting down the book.

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.
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I guess I'm one of the few readers that did not enjoy the point of views in this novel. I enjoyed the concept and the first part of the book was great, but then it just started to go down hill and the execution was horrible. I seriously do not want to read the same story from 6 different point of views. There was only about one new sentence of information for each point of view. It was extremely unnecessary. I stopped reading at about 70% on my Kindle because I already knew everything by then and could not stand reading it from the police officer's POV. I think this book would have been a lot better if it stuck to one or two POVs or if it was omnipresent.

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...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am new to the world of Kindle and when I saw this book was free, I downloaded it but really didn't expect much. Was I ever in for a surprise! This was one of those books that you just didn't want to put down. Just when you thought you had figured out how the story was going to end, there would be a strange turn of events that just kept drawing you in! I will definitely look for other books by this author in the future. Great book!
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