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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.