> The Things You Can Read: Review: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

I have heard it said, by those that cannot possibly know, that in the final moments of a man's existence he sees his whole life pass before his eyes.-The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Title: Bellman & Black

Author: Diane Setterfield

Genre: Fiction

Subgenre: Historical /Literary

Setting: Victorian England 1800s

Publisher/Publication DateAtria/November 5, 2013

Source: Edelweiss and Netgalley

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

Finish/Not Finished: Finished, I eagerly awaited the publication of Diane Setterfield's second novel.

One-sentence summary:  A boys childish act haunts his future, and prohibits him from experiencing true happiness.

My thoughts on the cover art:  I think the cover captures the dark Gothic mood of the novel.  I love the rich colors used in the design. The cover meshes with the time period..

I'm reminded of...:  Edgar Allan Poe and Daphne Du Maurier

First line: I have heard it said, by those that cannot possibly know, that in the final moments of a man's existence he sees his whole life pass before his eyes.-Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?:  Borrow or buy if you are a fan of dark Gothic novels with deep symbolism.

Why did I get this book?:  I waited seven years to read Diane Setterfield's second novel it was worth the wait.  Bellman & Black  is intriguing.  What do I mean by that well, it is the type of book that keeps you on your toes.  Just when you think you know where you are going with this one, you realize you don't.  It is also rich with symbolism and lore associated with Ravens.

Other Thoughts:  If you were looking for another The Thirteenth Tale you will be disappointed. Bellman & Black has the same eerie feel to it, but it is a very different book.  It did not disappoint this reader.  The book is heavy with symbolism related to Ravens, which gives the story a Poesque mood.  Another aspect of the book is mourning traditions of the Victorian era.  If you are interested in these rituals this book is for you.  I will add that the book is well researched in this regard, and the writing is scrumptious.

Bellman and BlackSummary Courtesy of Goodreads: 
As a boy, William Bellman commits one small, cruel act: killing a bird with his slingshot. Little does he know the unforeseen and terrible consequences of the deed, which is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to be a man blessed by fortune—until tragedy strikes and the stranger in black comes. Then he starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, William enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born.

Does Bellman & Black grab your attention?  Is it one you'd be interested in reading?  Let us know here at The Things You Can Read!

Happy reading to all! ☮

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