First Impression Friday: “After Alice Fell” by Kim Taylor Blakemore

I believe this was February’s First Kindle Read, and I’ll go ahead and let you know that I am actually reading it in February. I’ve just read so many books so far this year (37 as of this writing!) that it seems I’ve got a backlog of posts to write!

From GoodReads:

New Hampshire, 1865. Marion Abbott is summoned to Brawders House asylum to collect the body of her sister, Alice. She’d been found dead after falling four stories from a steep-pitched roof. Officially: an accident. Confidentially: suicide. But Marion believes a third option: murder.

Returning to her family home to stay with her brother and his second wife, the recently widowed Marion is expected to quiet her feelings of guilt and grief—to let go of the dead and embrace the living. But that’s not easy in this house full of haunting memories.

Just when the search for the truth seems hopeless, a stranger approaches Marion with chilling words: I saw her fall.

Now Marion is more determined than ever to find out what happened that night at Brawders, and why. With no one she can trust, Marion may risk her own life to uncover the secrets buried with Alice in the family plot. 

After Alice Fell

From the first three chapters, I’ve figured out that Marion is a Civil War nurse for the Union, her husband has died in the war, and she left her mute, “mentally disturbed” sister with her brother and his second wife while she went off to play Clara Barton. Her sister apparently did not take well to this and, after a series of incidents culminating in holding her young nephew out the window by his wrists, was committed to an asylum, where she then jumped off a roof. The book opens with Marion claiming Alice’s body, and then finding out that she’d been restrained and possibly beaten while at the asylum.

I’m expecting Marion to have to confront a lot of ghosts in this book, whether they’re the actual ghosts of her sister and other family members or the figurative ghosts of her past decisions. It’s clear that Alice blamed Marion for some reason for what happened to her (and for leaving her behind), and Marion’s husband appears to have been less than loving to his wife (she mentions in a letter home that she’s glad he’s dead because she never loved him, which means we’ve got some sort of backstory to uncover here!)

I am very much looking forward to uncovering all of Marion’s ghosts in this book, and I’m hoping we’ve got some sort of satisfying conclusion to this one!

Do you have a favorite Civil War Era novel? Let me know in the comments!

And as always, keep reading.

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