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And Then She Fell
And Then She Fell: A Novel | Alicia Elliott
22 posts | 13 read | 12 to read
A mind-bending, gripping novel about Native life, motherhood and mental health that follows a young Mohawk woman who discovers that the picture-perfect life she always hoped for may have horrifying consequences On the surface, Alice is exactly where she should be: Shes just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Dawn; her charming husband, Steve is nothing but supportive; and theyve recently moved into a new home in a wealthy neighborhood in Toronto. But Alice could not feel like more of an imposter. She isnt connecting with Dawn, a struggle made even more difficult by the recent loss of her own mother, and every waking moment is spent hiding her despair from their white, watchful neighbors. Even when she does have a minute to herself, her perpetual self-doubt hinders the one vestige of her old life she has left: her goal of writing a modern retelling of the Haudenosaunee creation story. At first, Alice is convinced her discomfort is of her own making. She has gotten everything she always dreamed of, after all. But then strange things start happening. She finds herself losing bits of time, hearing voices she cant explain, and speaking with things that should not be talking back to her, all while her neighbors passive-aggressive behavior begins to morph into something far more threatening. Though Steve assures her this is all in her head, Alice cannot fight the feeling that something is very, very wrong, and that in her creation story lies the key to her and Dawns survival. . . . She just has to finish it before its too late. Told in Alices raw and darkly funny voice, And Then She Fell is an urgent and unflinching look at inherited trauma, womanhood, denial, and false allyship, which speeds to an unpredictableand surrealclimax.
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review
BarbaraBB
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Mehso-so

When I started I was sure this would be a personal #womensprize favorite, but it isn‘t. I have very mixed feelings about it. I love how Alicia Elliott makes me feel (contrary to many others I liked Steve and I think he really loved Alice and she just didn‘t talk! He couldn‘t know half of the things she was thinking of and if they made sense. Does that make me naive or even racist? I certainly hope not but the author is messing with my mind!)⬇️

BarbaraBB But I didn‘t enjoy the second part, the magical realism took over and I lost track and wanted it to be over. 2mo
Librarybelle It‘s a shame when books start out strong and then kind of fizzle out in the end. 2mo
See All 9 Comments
jlhammar So curious to see what I make of this one. I think I‘m going to go for Dolly and Enter Ghost first since they‘re on the shortlist. 2mo
squirrelbrain I loved the first part, but lost interest in the second part (due to the magical realism) so started skim reading and then didn‘t really understand what was going on. 🤷‍♀️ 2mo
Leniverse I loved it all the way through. I'm not sure I see it as magical realism though. I liked the ambiguity of "is it all in her head?" 2mo
BarbaraBB @Leniverse You are probably right. I really had an increasing“WTF is happening” mindset and wasn‘t sure any longer 2mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain Yes. That. 2mo
BarbaraBB @jlhammar I would indeed! 2mo
77 likes9 comments
review
ChaoticMissAdventures
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Pickpick

One of my top picks for the Women's Prize For Fiction 2024. I really enjoyed this. It gripped me right from the jump, and I sped through it, engrossed with Alice and her journey.
I don't normally gravitate to books about motherhood, but this is woven with cultural, and mental health topics and heavy on the magical realism. Alice is a sympathetic character (I didn't like the husband from the jump, it gave Yellow Wallpaper vibes)

BarbaraBB Great great review. I just started but might feel the same! 2mo
Hooked_on_books I really liked this, too. I was riveted the whole time. 2mo
31 likes2 comments
review
Leniverse
Pickpick

This book stressed me out so much I had to take breaks to calm down. I teared up towards the end, and there were times throughout that scared me more than any other book outside the horror/thriller genre. Absolutely superb. Highly recommend.
A book about grief, identity, mental health, addiction, family, motherhood, indigenous heritage, racism, storytelling, choices, and so much more.
#WomensPrize #WomensPrize2024

TrishB It‘s on the pile to get to. Great review Leni 👍🏻 2mo
batsy If I didn't already have it stacked I would have after this review! 2mo
BarbaraBB Wow what a review. I am about to start it. 2mo
39 likes3 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
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#WeeklyForecast 18/24

I am trying to read one more longlisted book (the tagged one) before the #WomenPrize shortlist will be announced on Wednesday.
But first I‘ll finish The Last Thing to Burn which has had me hooked this weekend!
What‘s Left of me Is Yours is the third one I hope to get to.

Rissreads Good luck! 🤞🏼 2mo
Leniverse Ooh, the shortlist announcement is Wednesday, not Tuesday. That's a relief, gives me an additional day to get my predictions out. 😅 I've just finished your tagged book. It blew me away completely, but it was really heavy, emotionally. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Leniverse I thought Wednesday but now I am now sure any longer. Glad you “enjoyed” the tagged one. I dreaded it a bit but now I am hopeful! 2mo
See All 9 Comments
Leniverse I checked. 24th. And that's definitely wednesday. 😂 2mo
TheLudicReader I couldn‘t put The Last Thing to Burn down. 2mo
BarbaraBB @TheLudicReader Neither could I! What a ride 😱 2mo
Cathythoughts The Last Thing To Burn sounds like a stack for me 😁👍🏻 2mo
BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts I do indeed think you‘ll like it (although there‘s little to like about it 😱), especially in the bailing phase we‘ve both been experiencing! 2mo
Cathythoughts 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻😁 2mo
73 likes9 comments
review
Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

From early in this book, when the Disney Pocahontas starts speaking directly to young Native woman Alice, I was hooked. I found the exploration of her struggles with early maternity and what we would term mental health difficulties seen differently through a Native lens completely fascinating. I‘m so glad the Women‘s Prize for fiction put this one on my radar.

ChaoticMissAdventures I just started this today! I am reading some didn't understand the ending so excited to see you liked it. 2mo
Hooked_on_books @ChaoticMissAdventures I‘ve noticed those comments too and am a little surprised by them. It makes me wonder if audio is the better format for this one, as it seemed very clear to me after listening. But then again I‘ve been confused by other books that don‘t cause problems for other readers, so hard to know! 2mo
BarbaraBB This will be my next WP read. Thanks for the heads up 2mo
jlhammar Oh good, looking forward to this one! 2mo
44 likes4 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

I rather liked this #womensprize long lister to start with….but then the perspective changed to a second-person narrative, the chronology jumped (I think?) and it all got a bit magical-realism.

On reading GR reviews, this seemed to confuse other reviewers too, but then they all said it came together at the end. 🤔 Well, it didn‘t for me so please can someone who‘s read it let me know what on earth went on?! 🫤 (In spoilers below please!) 🙏

BarbaraBB Intrigued! I haven‘t read it yet! 2mo
See All 14 Comments
charl08 I took it that the narrator was struggling with her MH and had a psychotic break but was also experiencing voices from "out of time", including from her family visiting from the future. Is that what you meant? 2mo
squirrelbrain Thanks @charl08 - although unfortunately I can‘t access the article. I kind of understood that some of the family was from the future, but lots of people referred to a ‘twist‘ or at least an event at the end, but I didn‘t see that. Did we find out what happened to Alice or was it a non-ending like so many books have at the moment? 2mo
charl08 That's weird about the link - I don't have a subscription. Sorry it doesn't work. 2mo
charl08 For me the twist was the jump into the future and the time travel. So in the final (non myth story) pages Edie says that Alice survives the overdose and eventually gets divorced and back to the rez, with her friends' support for the ongoing mh issues - but no more than that. I took it that the previous mentions of the success of the podcast still stood (but that might just be me reading in!) 2mo
TrishB I haven‘t got to this one yet! 2mo
squirrelbrain Ah, that‘s really helpful thank you @charl08 - I went back and re-read some parts and now it makes more sense. I think I was confused by the ‘you‘ voice. 2mo
Lindy @squirrelbrain I‘m glad @charl08 jumped in because I read a library copy 5 months ago and the details are now fuzzy. But I agree with Charlotte. 2mo
Caroline2 Yeah I hated it when it shifted perspective to you. So hard to keep track. But I think Charlotte explained it well. The ending was her surviving, getting divorced and moving home. All the weird shenanigans were all in her head. Then it jumps forward to her daughter‘s perspective with the you youing. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I just finished this one and I would guess that if people are saying there‘s a “twist,” they likely mean that the voice/woman Alice has been hearing all her life was her granddaughter Edie all along. I wouldn‘t personally call that a twist, but I could see it being characterized that way. 2mo
squirrelbrain Makes sense, Holly! @Hooked_on_books 2mo
62 likes1 stack add14 comments
review
Deblovestoread
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Mehso-so
Librarybelle Good choice for the prompt! 2mo
BarbaraBB Looking forward to this one! 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 2mo
squirrelbrain Great review! I‘m almost halfway through this and not entirely sure what‘s going on in places 🤷‍♀️ 2mo
54 likes1 stack add5 comments
blurb
Deblovestoread
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Alice never seemed to hear the microwave beeping—not even when she was three feet away from it, feet propped on the kitchen table as she painted her toenails neon green.

#FirstLineFridays

@ShyBookOwl

review
charl08
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Pickpick

I think if this hadnt been a #WomensPrize #longlist I would have given up on this one. I find fiction around psychosis and post-partum depression very hard to read, and then add in magical realism that I often find tricky to navigate / make sense of. Glad I stuck with it though, as the resolution of the final section was hopeful as well as bleakly realist. Great to see another new author getting attention via the longlist.

squirrelbrain Hmmm… I‘m not a fan of magical realism. 🤔 3mo
Deblovestoread I‘m currently reading this and am not loving it. Going to give a bit longer before making a decision. 3mo
52 likes2 comments
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charl08
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How does he know the perfect time and way to leave conversations? Maybe that's what wealth affords. I imagine him learning all the perfect social cues in some private school classroom from a teacher with their PhD in psychology at the same time I was learning how to cook Hamburger Helper from the back of the box because Ma was pulling another double shift at the smoke shop.

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charl08
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"Excuse me. Gene Wilder is the only Willy Wonka we acknowledge in this family. He never lied about being an Indian so he could wear a goddamn dead crow on his head for a movie. And a shit movie at that. Tonto, my ass."

"Who's Gene Wilder?" Dana asks.

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charl08
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That was the first moment I really felt the difference between us and the worlds we inhabited. On Six Nations, we'd introduce ourselves by saying who we were related to, then spend the next five minutes trying to place how our relatives knew one another, or if we were relatives ourselves if you went far back enough. Each person a walking history book, a branch waiting to find more family trees to graft onto.

blurb
Andrea4
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Ok down to last 2hrs (more or less) if audio and holy, narrator shift! That was jarring.
I'm really not sure how I feel about this besides highly confused as to what is happening. 😂
I'm sure on our walk anyone who was looking at my face as they passed was amused.

Eggs Great photo 🩷🩷 3mo
dabbe 🤩🤩🤩 3mo
Megabooks Cute!! 3mo
Gissy Lovely photo😍♥️♥️♥️ 3mo
24 likes4 comments
review
Caroline2
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Pickpick

A soft pick. Loved the first half then it switched to 2nd person perspective and all the you youing did my head in! 🙄 but a really good ending (for a change!!) and I loved all the Mohawk stories and history. #womensprize

BarbaraBB Interesting! 3mo
squirrelbrain Looking forward to this… I think! 🤔 3mo
Caroline2 @squirrelbrain Hmm it‘s a tough one to “recommend” as it‘s a difficult read (it‘s mainly about post natal psychosis.) 3mo
82 likes3 comments
blurb
Avanders
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Picked up this beaut‘ with Barnes points today… paid $0.22 😁😁

56 likes2 stack adds
review
Lindy
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Pickpick

It‘s uncomfortable to be in the head of young Mohawk woman struggling with psychosis and new motherhood off the rez, but oh, does this novel ever deliver! The excellent audiobook is read by two Indigenous narrators: Jenna Clause [Cayuga]and Cheri Maracle [Mohawk / Irish]. #CanadianAuthor

batsy Ooh! Stacked. 6mo
31 likes5 stack adds1 comment
blurb
Lindy
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I was interested to learn that the Canadian cover art was commissioned from artist Jay Soule, who is Chippewa from the Thames First Nation in Ontario. Editor Kiara Kent writes: “We wanted an unforgettable image to seize the reader and capture the horror elements of the book.” Even so, I prefer the American cover. What do you think?

CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian I like the cdn cover much better actually! 6mo
IndoorDame I love the Canadian version! It‘s a bit yikes, but I find it more dynamic. 6mo
batsy I prefer the Canadian cover! 6mo
See All 7 Comments
Lindy @CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian @IndoorDame @batsy I see that I am in the minority. 🤷‍♀️ 6mo
5feet.of.fury 🇨🇦 6mo
Prairiegirl_reading I don‘t think I like either one but you make me want to read this one. 😊 6mo
Hooked_on_books I don‘t love either cover, but I like the American one better. I usually prefer the non-US covers, but the blue on this one really catches my eye and would get me to pay attention to the book on a shelf. 6mo
28 likes7 comments
blurb
Lindy
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Recent Reads December 2: funny Canadians; mistrust; storytelling as a means of identity & connection

https://youtu.be/NqFN-yq_KdE

#CanLit #IndigenousLiterature #audiobooks #NonfictionNovember

20 likes1 stack add
review
BookishTrish
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Pickpick

Really complex and well written horror-ish novel about a new mother grappling with new parenthood, racism, generational trauma, mental health issues, and much much more. It was both very intense and very easy to #audiowalk to. At first I wasn‘t sure where the ending was going, but I loved it when we got there.

51 likes1 stack add
review
AbstractMonica
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Pickpick

Hmmm, important read on indigenous women. The story took a lot of turns that I‘m still processing. I really enjoyed the story of Alice and was rooting for her the entire way. This story made me laugh and cry. I felt like the first 3/4 of the book was a slow, steady pace… and then things just quickly unraveled. I Feel like I need a little break before my next read 😮‍💨

review
TorieStorieS
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Pickpick

I wasn‘t sure what to expect— my first experience with Elliott‘s writing. It‘s a genre mashup in some ways, & certainly pulls you into Alice‘s world, thoughts & doesn‘t let go. A new mother, while grieving the unexpected loss of her own mother, Alice has been living with her husband in Toronto but feeling cut off from the other family she has left— increasingly isolated, struggling to write the book of the Mohawk Creation Story. Fresh & absorbing!

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Reading_Beyond_The_Book_Cover
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Current weekend read: And Then She Fell by Alicia Elliot

Release Date: September 26, 2023

This book, my sister‘s dog, a pint of Mango Chamoy Sherbet, and the first three episodes of Harlan Coben‘s Shelter is what‘s kept me entertained this weekend.

What about you all?