Saturday, October 5, 2013

ARC review: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

 *Many thanks to Net Galley and Atria books for providing me with an advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This novel will be published on November 5, 2013*

Book synopsis(via Goodreads):

Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget...

Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born.

This insomniac's opinion:

Diane Setterfield.

Swoon. Setterfield. Have you read The Thirteenth Tale? If not, run right out and grab it. IT is Diane Setterfield's first masterpiece of a novel. Fabulousness. But, I digress. Because I  adored Diane Setterfield's first novel, I was thrilled to be provided with her second novel Bellman & Black. She did not disappoint.

Bellman & Black has a decidedly different feel from The Thirteenth Tale. It is dark from the very opening pages and continues in its stark bleakness until the very last. However, there are light points and many lessons throughout the pages. In fact, at the ending of the novel one begins to wonder if the entire novel is a lesson and an important life reminder from the author. The reader is, in no subtle manner, reminded of how precious and short life is and not to squander those precious years and things that are of no importance. Mr. Bellman, the focus of the entire novel, is often unlikeable. Yet, the reader finds herself rooting for him and hoping, against all hopes, that he will find his way in the world. This is a starkly beautiful and intricately told story that I will not soon forget.

Worth staying up all night to read?

Yes. In fact, I dare you to try to stop reading once you begin. The mystery of Mr. Black will draw you in and not let you go until the last page.

Rating: 4 stars

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