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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Does A Husband's Lie Make the Marriage Void? ~ "The Year She Fell" by Alicia Rasley

Book Cover Summary :
The tragic mystery at the heart of their family has finally surfaced . . .
When Presbyterian minister Ellen Wakefield O'Connor is confronted by a young man armed with a birth certificate that mistakenly names her as his mother, she quickly sorts out the truth: his birth mother listed Ellen on the certificate to cover up her own identity, but also because Ellen is, in a way, related to the child.
Because the birth father is Ellen's troubled husband, Tom.
The secrets of the past soon engulf Ellen, Tom, and everyone they love. This drama of love, loss, family and betrayal will capture readers with its unforgettable power.

My Review:

I've been savoring every sentence of "The Year She Fell."  When a book starts off telling you it's about a Presbyterian woman minister, I'm nearly asleep by the second paragraph; not so with this rather surprising volume. 

 It had me by the the first and second sentences:  "I couldn't help but think of him as "the love child." It was an old-fashioned term, more genteel than "bastard," more evocative than "biological son," with an origin not in genetics but in passion."

Very quickly the pace is shifted to 4th gear as it speeds around curves from that point on.  The very astute and "no man's fool" minister kick boxes her way through the shock of a husband's betrayal...a son he never told her about, and an unwillingness to reveal to her and his son the name and whereabouts of the mother.  She's not taking his closely withheld secret with the expected spiritual glow he might have expected...she's hopping mad!  And, this, my friends makes me so devilishly delighted to read her story!

Alicia Rasley is an award winning author, albeit little known in mainstream book circles.  She is also a nationally known writing instructor.  She's an extremely gifted writer.  Ms Rasley writes so well, I can't understand why I haven't heard about her before.  I seriously read a lot of books, and I search the "stacks" for new indie press authors just like her, thankfully!  Kudos to http://www.bellebridgebooks.com/  for bringing her to every one's attention!  Please, please, let's hear more soon...

Her story structure and plot builds to a maddening crescendo!  Heart racing and pushing to that "just one more chapter before my eyes close" state.  Her method of describing the inner lives of characters is dynamic; it adds significantly to the momentum and resolution of her story.  I always love a book divided into the thoughts and perspectives of the different main characters.  Ms Rasley's book does this and it makes it all the more suspenseful.  Frankly, I was dying for the truth as much as Ellen was. 

In summary, and because I don't want to hold you back from purchasing thebook this is a rather brief review.  You can see I think "The Year She Fell" is a winner... up there with books by writers like Jodi Picoult, except it's written with serious suspense. 

My only gripes are the editing issues....words left out, for instance, which just takes from any reading experience for me (as you know I'm vampirish in that area), and the story began to become a bit slow in the section narrated by Laura.  Otherwise, exceptional writing!

4 1/2 stars  



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