'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: The Fall - Bethany Griffin

For those of you that know me, you know I'm gender studies mad. I'm fascinated by the interpretations in literature and of any books that deal with it. Needless to say, I nabbed the chance to ask Bethany Griffin about writing from Madeline's perspectives in The Fall. Here's what she had to say:

Gender in The Fall/The Fall of the House of Usher

Gothic literature is full of murky atmosphere, decaying buildings, creepy happenings and…vapid helpless females? Well, kind of. I do think for Edgar Allan Poe, the author whose work I’ve re-imagined twice, that females were put on a pedestal of longing, mainly because he’d lost females so often in his life. For the most part, Poe didn’t write the fainting hysterical females that sometimes populate gothic literature, instead his females are absent; they are beloved ideals, removed from this world to a more perfect place. From this perspective, it’s hard to know whether Poe’s idealization of females took the forefront of his writing of them that they seem to have no other personality traits or role, than that of an object to be mourned, or if he saw women in such simple terms.

Regardless, the character of Madeline in Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher is mute. She wanders through a room, the male characters discuss her affliction. She dies and is buried, and only then does the narrator of the story realize she is Roderick Usher’s twin. Later, on a stormy night, Roderick admits that he’s going mad because he realizes that he’s buried his sister alive…

But who was Madeline Usher? How did she feel about waking up in a coffin? How did she come to that place? Did she love her brother? Did she fight her fate? These are questions that I struggled to answer as I wrote The Fall.

Doppelgangers and duality play a big part of gothic literature, so I think it was telling that Poe decided to make Madeline and Roderick twins. In my story Roderick is the logical one and Madeline is intuitive, which is a fairly standard way to look at male and female thought patterns. Except in the traditional sense logic is generally considered superior to intuition, but sadly for Roderick, his logic always leads him to the wrong answers and Madeline’s intuition is generally right.
Madeline is also braver than Roderick. In the story she claims it is because she was born first, that she’s the older twin, but I think it’s because she’s suffered more and because she’s faced her suffering while Roderick runs away from it.

Overall, I feel that Madeline is quietly brave. She is steadfast in the face of great pain and great adversity, which is perhaps a very feminine form of bravery? She endures and tries to protect herself and the people she loves.


The FallTitle: The Fall
Author: Bethany Griffin
Series: None
Publisher: Indigo Books
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 2nd October, 2014

Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.


  • Prize is 1 copy of The Fall, The Masque of Red Death & Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
  • Open to residents of the UK and Ireland only.
  • Fill in the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
  • I reserve the right to disqualify any rule breakers.
  • The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email otherwise a new winner will be chosen

  • ***
    The Blog Tour


    1. I love it. It makes you want to read on

    2. Very cool guest post! I'm really looking forward to reading The Fall, sounds fab.

    3. this book sounds brilliant and I love the cover!

    4. I love how Bethany can write such grim dark world, right on the edge to being almost too dark.

    5. Enduring is sometimes the hardest thing to do, in the face of many things. It is a trait that I admire. Loving and protecting your family is something that should, or I guess HOPEFULLY should, come easy in the face of anything. Those two traits alone give me hope that I will very much enjoy this character. I can't wait to find out!


    Please leave a comment, I love reading each and every one of them :).
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