Cover Image: After Alice Fell

After Alice Fell

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Member Reviews

Great gothic read that left me wanting more. Recommend picking it up!

Thank you to the Publisher and Netgalley for the advanced e-reader copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I am new to this author, and requested this novel as I enjoy thrillers, and historical dramas, and the synopsis appeared to combine both of this.

This is very much the epitome of a gothic novel.  Its dark, its long, there are periods where nothing much seems to happen, petticoats swish, corsets are tight, and the American heat is intense.  This is not a bad thing but there seemed to be large parts of this novel when nothing much seemed to happen.

Marion is devastated after the death of her sister, Alice, and horrified by the state of her body.  What happened to Alice in the hospital that was meant to look after her, and why does no one seem to care.

There are further subplots though.  Marion is a widow, wearing the widows black, but as in post-Civil War American society Marion has no rights.  She lives in the family home with her younger brother, his second wife and child.  As Marion is a woman, she had no succession entitlements and depends on her brother for money and shelter.

But Marion is a determined woman, and not going to take no for an answer, and sets out to investigate her sister’s death.  And what unfolds is a very long plot, with twists and turns, and whilst it came to an end, that I did not expect, it was a bit of a plod to get there.

For true lovers of historical gothic drama.
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This is not a bad book, but it could be much better. While I find this novel being of higher quality than her previous piece "The Companion", I do think that Ms Blakemore should work more on the motives and the internal logic behind them. She definitely writes dark and eerie atmosphere well and her descriptions are very good, but the "why" behind her plot is lacking. Instead, she uses toxic relationships and the (supposedly) oppressive situation of women in general at the times as an explanation for many of the situations/subplots - but I find this kind of reasoning being quite weak, more intricate plot would elevate the quality of the reading experience in this gothic piece. Even the last chapters agree with that, because with the blink of an eye the justice simply prevails. 
But I see a qualitative rise in the authoress writings and my fingers are crossed for her next novel. And more great characters like Toby, please!
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Kim Taylor Blakemore captured me with her mesmerizing novel, THE COMPANION. I couldn't wait for another and my expectations were not disappointed. Blakemore has a fine-tuned sensory ability to capture intimate details of setting that put the reader deep into the experience of the character. She also captures the nuance of those very human characters and puts them in unexpected twists of danger, revelation, and suspense. Her research is impeccable. A riveting read from a highly accomplished author.
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This wasn’t a bad book, but it was advertised as a thriller and I think it read more like a historical drama with a family mystery element.    It was relatively slow until the last 25%, and I definitely wanted more time in the asylum setting as that aspect was definitely the most interesting.

Overall, an okay read!

Thank you so much NetGalley & Amazon Publishing for the eARC
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I had to put this book down and walk away from it after only a few pages. The superfluous descriptions of every single thing made it frustrating to read. There were way too many details to be able to focus on what the story was actually going to be about.
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Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the arc.

This isn’t how I expected it would be if i’m honest. It’s slow and there isn’t a plot until the 70% of the book. I did like the ending, how everything kind of came together but it wasn’t enough.

This book is full of weird and unnecessary dialogs and unnecessary descriptions of everything that add nothing to the story.

Like I said I like the ending and that this book revolved about guilt but, in my opinion, it wasn’t well executed. It was a great concept but poor execution. 

In reality it was boring, it’s a mystery but it doesn’t really start until the 60-70% of the book. But I will say that I found the writing beautiful.
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This is Gothic at its finest! The author definitely has nailed it for me! A great read that will leave you wanting more! I read this book in a sitting and highly recommend it!  Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The story opens with Marion Abbott identifying her sister, Alice Snow's dead body at Brawder's House, the mental institution where she was admitted. Adept at picking locks, Alice is believed to have passed all security measures, climbed to the roof and jumped. At least that is the version the doctor provides Marion, but she is not satisfied, and she won't let the matter rest.

Marion returns to her family home to stay with her brother Lionel, and his second wife, Lydia. The atmosphere back at home is bizarre. It is as if everyone wants to forget the entire matter regarding Alice and move on with their lives. People were told that Alice was at the sanatorium for consumption. No one is doubtful about the explanation provided for Alice's death, of course except Marion. The author does a good work in portraying the family dynamics without making it dialogue heavy.

Just when things were starting to look hopeless for Marion, an eyewitness comes forward. This person claims to have seen Alice fall and shares Marion's suspicion that the fall was not voluntary. This leads Marion to question things that really happened to her sister, and in the process she uncovers some family secrets that had better left unraveled.
Let's talk about the good things first! The setting, story line, and atmosphere are all top notch. The character development deserves praise. It's neither too fast nor too slow, just perfect.

However, where the book fell short for me was the plot. I could anticipate what was coming, so I expected to be blown away when it actually came, but unfortunately, that did not happen.

This book had all it needed to grab my attention, to keep me glued to it, but the glue was a tad bit too strong, and I could find reluctance seeping in while turning the pages.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions are my own.
The review has also been posted on GoodReads, Instagram, Twitter, and my blog.
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Thank you Netgalley, Lake Union Publishing and Kim Taylor Blakemore for free e-ARC in return of my honest review. 

Well, I am quite conflicted about this one. One the one hand, a page turner, quick read, fine plot. On the other, it was a bit mundane in descriptions of their world. It was supposed to be late 1850s and the author goes far and beyond for reader to fell it. This should not be a disappointing approach as I do enjoy the scene creation, more details the better, but here is goes on and on and on. I also figured right away who was the evil here due to constant clues and behaviour of the villain. I was interested how it all turned around and the ending was quite good, especially the last chapter. 

I wish I enjoyed it more.
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Thank you Netgalley and Kim Taylor Blakemore for a copy of this title.
Unfortunately I was unable to get into this book and was only able to read a few chapters.
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Let's start with the good - the setting and style of this book are fantastic. If you like creepy-eerie-gothic settings, you will love this book. The setting is like another character in the story and keeps the reader on edge the entire time. The writing is exceptionally descriptive - the reader really feels transported to the location (setting wise) and can also relate to the characters and their feelings and motivation (character wise). If you don't dig descriptive writing, I suppose this may be a downside for you, but I think it paired well with the family secret/pent up frustration/creepy setting elements. The story is definitely a slow burn that is going to keep you invested until the end. 

Moving on to the less good - I really like my thrillers to have a clear resolution. That is obviously a personal preference, but in a mystery I ultimately want to know the who/what/when/where/why. I feel like this book could have been stronger in this area. I understand that sometimes authors intentionally leave things vague - that the story calls for it - but given the slower buildup but then faster ending of this book, I would have liked more resolution.
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This book is a slow burner, atmospheric descriptive and engaging from the start but the mystery suspense and tension build to a dramatic conclusion. Well written and researched with superb characterisation throughout particularly our brave clever courageous heroine. Numerous surprises and twists along the way.
Completely recommended.
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This was an interesting book set right after the Civil War ended. At first the characters were a little difficult to keep track of, but eventually everything became clear. I enjoyed the descriptions from the period of their clothes and the towns. This was a mysterious book that kept me guessing until the end. If you like period mysteries, this book is for you. I received a free copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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This book is the story of a Reconstruction-era family trying to reconcile with their own personal traumas and their individual past. This is a very thrilling and suspenseful read.

Our protagonist, Marion, begins the book by picking up the body of her now-dead sister from the local asylum. Marion was a nurse during the war, but has now fallen on hard times financially and has now had to move back in with her brother, his wife, and her brother’s son (from his first marriage). She immediately begins to question the circumstances of Alice’s death. The doctors at the asylum assure her it was suicide, but that that is too indecent to document. So it is chalked up to a tragic accident. But Marion is more clever than that and will not stop until she gets the truth.

I’ve seen multiple reviews mention how much they hate all the characters in this book. I wouldn’t say that I hated them, just that I was unsettled by them. Marion is often rude for example, but given the circumstances I think a lot of people would be.

Until the last chapter of the book (literally), you won’t be sure if Marion is telling the truth or reading into things. I could not tell throughout the entire book if I was reading the truth or watching the downfall of a woman further descending into her family’s madness.

I reviewed A Splendid Ruin not that long ago. I feel like After Alice Fell was reminiscent of that, but did a better job of cultivating suspense for the reader. This book is filled with unreliable accounts, mentally-ill characters, inter-generational trauma, and a way of story telling that leaves you unsettled and unsure of the truth. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes thrillers and unreliable narrators.
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Kim Taylor Blakemore knows how to paint a picture. Within the first few pages, I was transported back in time, trying to escape the August heat. The details are rich, the characters well-developed, and the story very well-written.
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Alice calls from the fourth story of a building for the criminally insane in the 1800's.  Her sister, Marion, comes to collect the body and discovers  bruises and lacerations on it.  This has to be more than just a fall.  She exchanges letters with the asylum director and launches an investigation into her answer's death. An interesting read set in an unusual setting and time period.
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Onto the book! I don’t read much historical fiction (we’ve discussed this before) but I was intrigued by this book. A sister trying to figure out how and why her sister fell off a building. I’m in for this mystery element. I was not disappointed. This isn’t normally the type of book I read. The ending was so fast paced, I couldn’t speed my reading up enough. 😂 even though I did figure out who did the thing (there weren’t a lot of characters to choose from) the how and why were fascinating. I loved the gothic feel and really enjoyed this one.
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An ok read, if you like reading historical fiction and mysteries, this is a book to check out. Thanks for the arc!
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The premise of after Alice fell caught my attention a historical mystery thriller with a lady confined to an asylum back in 1865 so with an obvious tragic ending. 
I liked the asylum setting very much i was intrigued to keep turning the pages to discover what really happened to poor alice within an asylum in 1865 that lead to the conclusion described in the synopsis. 
There were twists and turn and I thought I had it figured out a few times only to be wrong. I both liked and disliked the characters at times also at times the story felt fast paced and gripping and at others I skim read not going to lie.
3 * is still a good book for me just not a wow book that I would rush to recommend however if someone said they were considering reading after alice fell I would encourage them to give it a go as it may be someone else's favourite. 
Thank you to #netgalley for allowing me to read this from they're read now shelf
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