Falls the Breath

The Brimfield Ghosts Book 1

Fiction - Paranormal
576 Pages
Reviewed on 08/16/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Falls the Breath by Melodie Ramone, book one in The Brimfield Ghosts series, begins in 1907 when the wealthy Benjamin and Theda Lett arrive at Ellis Island from Vienna, seeking to escape their past. They create Brimfield, an opulent estate in Chicago, and have a son, Lorenzo. When Lorenzo is grown he is tragically murdered, and Theda is blamed. Now a spirit, Lorenzo haunts Brimfield alongside his mother's ghost. They are eventually joined by a maid named Mahoney Miller who also becomes a ghost and forms a connection with Lorenzo. In 1982, Pauli Kotilla and his wife, Tiffany, buy Brimfield, and their daughters, Samara and Eleni, can see the ghosts. The family grows and Samara has a family of her own, but the stakes become much higher when an innocent needs help and it may just take a whole house to get there.

Falls the Breath by Melodie Ramone is what the AHS series Murder House could have been if she had been the one to write it because this really is how you deliver intriguing paranormal fiction. As a parent, it was definitely Samara and Kevin who won the favorite character award from me. I get you, Kevvie. “I donz wanz to...I watsing Pokaymons.” Because we do really grow to love Kevin as he grows himself. There is an emotional component to the development of Cystic Fibrosis and what that means hit me harder than I expected. I only wish that Ramone had told us if the superpowers from heterochromia iridium can be achieved with colored contact lenses. The paranormal aspects are obviously critical to the storyline but they do not work without the human elements that each provides in their own living intervals, and each leads to Kevin whether intended or not. Brimfield has a legacy only because of everyone in it, and I am so pleased this is a series because knowing there will be more of The Brimfield Ghosts will make all the other living readers happy too.

K.C. Finn

Falls the Breath is a work of fiction in the paranormal adventure, fantasy, and action subgenres, and it forms the first book of The Brimfield Ghosts series. Penned by author Melodie Ramone, the work is best suited to mature readers due to some moderate adult content, violence, and language. This captivating and emotionally charged tale weaves together the lives of the living and the dead. When tragedy strikes and Lorenzo is murdered, he becomes a restless poltergeist haunted by his own hazy memories. The novel takes a unique twist when quirky maid Mahoney Miller joins Lorenzo as a ghost. The two form an unexpected connection as they navigate the afterlife together. When the young Kotilla daughters can see and hear the ghosts, the boundaries between the living and the dead blur even further.

Author Melodie Ramone has crafted a highly engaging novel that explores themes of mental illness, bullying, and chronic disease, making for a poignant and thought-provoking read. The characters' determination and stubborn love, both for the living and dead, shine through as they face overwhelming odds to keep young Kevin alive. One of the features I enjoyed most about this work was the author’s talent for atmosphere, crafting gorgeous imagery and mood through vivid description. This book is a masterful blend of history, family drama, and the supernatural, leaving readers both moved and enthralled. Overall, Falls the Breath is a gripping and heartwarming story that will stay with you long after the final page, and I, for one, can’t wait for more in this engrossing series.

David Cameron

In Falls the Breath, author Melodie Ramone links the living occupants of the house and the ghosts who died and dwell there in an elaborate and extensive saga. This is no ordinary ghost story but an exploration of love, abuse, and the human spirit. Aristocratic newlyweds Benjamin and Theda leave Vienna for Chicago and build Brimfield as they become the darlings of society; however, their marriage is anything but conventional. Lorenzo, the couple’s only son, is killed, and his spirit and mother are trapped in the house. Mahoney the maid's arrival is pivotal for Lorenzo, Theda, and the future residents. After falling into disrepair, a young family restores the building, and the new residents and ghosts intertwine as their stories unfold.

Falls the Breath is an intriguing novel that is broad in scope and constructed around Brimfield House. Falls the Breath covers almost one hundred years of life and death in a unique way. Melodie Ramone writes adeptly and leads the reader through the long history of Brimfield House and its residents with a wide range in its target audience. Ramone covers physical and mental illness themes, particularly Kevin’s condition. The families and the house provide the canvas for the author as she explores so much more than a ghost story. She explains how cystic fibrosis is very real and impacts those suffering from it. This is a challenging book that deals with the human spirit, both the corporeal and unworldly. Falls the Breath is book one of a series.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Falls the Breath by Melodie Ramone is the first book in The Brimfield Ghosts series. It is 1907, Ellis Island. A young couple, desperate to escape their past, build a grand estate, Brimfield. Their only child is born, but 18 years later, he dies, and his mother is blamed for his murder. But Lorenzo is not gone. He is a poltergeist and remains at Brimfield, angry at his death and joined by his mother’s ghost. Years later, Mahoney Miller, a maid at the house, dies when she trips on the staircase, and something sparks between the two young ghosts. There, at Brimfield, they learn to live in the afterlife, but in 1982, the house is sold to an ex-supermodel and her fashion designer husband. Their daughters can see the ghosts, and Mahoney and Lorenzo are delighted. But events take a bad turn for the young girls, and Lorenzo must do what he can to make things right. What happens when the dead and the living come together?

Falls the Breath by Melodie Ramone is a long paranormal story that flits between different eras and covers many different themes, such as disease, bullying, mental instability, and more. It is a good story, quite unique, with a fair bit of action and some suspense. The characters, the living and the dead, were well-developed, and I learned plenty about them. The story covers a long time, from the 1800s to the 1990s, but it is clear in which era each part of the story is set. The farther into the book you get, the more the beginning makes sense as you learn about the events leading up to the first and second ghosts in the house. All in all, it was a good story. If you like paranormal tales and have time on your hands, this book is for you.

Jamie Michele

The Brimfield Ghosts: Falls the Breath by Melodie Ramone revolves around a group of people living in the Chicago estate Brimfield, built by Viennese immigrants looking for a new life in 1907. The Letts have a son named Lorenzo who is murdered as he reaches adulthood. Mrs. Lett follows Lorenzo in death but, as ghosts, they both remain at Brimfield. Mahoney Miller dies in an accident and shares the same fate. In the latter half of the 20th century, the house is purchased by Pauli and Tiffany Kotilla, who raise their children at Brimfield. An unexpected connection between sisters Samara and Eleni pierces the veil when it is discovered the Brimfield ghosts are visible and audible to both. Samara has Kevin as a teenager and his health issues force the living Brimfield woman to appeal for help from beyond.

Melodie Ramone's Falls the Breath is a paranormal saga that spans generations but is different in how it is the generations of different families. It is interesting that Ramone incorporates serious mental health issues in a genre where this usually only comes up as a plot driver in an 'everyone thinks you're crazy' scenario and not as an inherent part of a character themselves. I was born to a teen mother and connected to some of the emotional trauma that Samara displays. Samara's is far more serious but there were moments when I recognized the struggle. When Kevin is a teenager, he can act and speak like an adult, but he is still very much a teen when he says things like his mother cannot just “roll out of the psych ward” and readjust their lives. Ramone is a skilled writer and has gained a new fan. Very highly recommended.