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The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood (thoughts)

July 25, 2012

“They heard the caterwaul of sirens, and saw the dust rising underneath the ambulance wheels at the far end of the driveway, and soon the darkening garden was a wash of flashing blue lights. It only seemed real when the told the paramedics where to find the bodies. There was one upstairs on the top floor, they said, another in the organ house, and one more at the foot of the garden – the last one was still breathing, but faintly. They had left him on the riverbank in a nest of flattened rushes, with the cold water lapping against his feet. When the paramedics asked for his name, they said it was Eden. Eden Bellwether.” (vii)

When THAT is the first opening paragraph of a prologue, there is no way you’re going to be able to stop reading. You can only hope that the rest of the story will live up to such a beginning. And thankfully, The Bellwether Revivals did.

After that scintillating prologue, we’re brought back the to the First Days, to when Oscar first meets the Bellwether siblings in Cambridge. He’s immediately drawn to the fascinating Iris and with her comes a small tight-knit group of forever friends, including her brother Eden, the musical genius. After a jarring start, working-class Oscar falls into the upper class, intellectual rhythm of the group. But, after an initial push from Iris, he keeps a close eye on Eden, unnerved not only by Eden’s sense of grandeur, but his belief that he can heal people using music.

I’m not going to say anything else about the plot, for fear of giving something away. I will just say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was the kind of book with writing that immediately pulls you in and sets the tone for what’s going to happen. It was so engaging that I would sit down to read 10 pages, and next thing I knew I would have 50 pages behind me.

Even though The Bellwether Revivals had a modern setting there was an olden times, almost gothic feel to it. With the characters’ love and appreciation of classical music and the backdrop of historic Cambridge and family estates, I kept forgetting what year it was supposed to be and was surprised whenever someone pulled out a mobile phone. If anything, that just helped set the tone even more, making Oscar, Eden, and the flock seem even further isolated and removed from the norms of society.

If it wasn’t already obvious, I highly recommend giving this book a shot. Even though I know the who and why of the mystery, I’m convinced that I would enjoy it again in a re-read. In fact, I was so taken in by the story the first time around that I sometimes forgot that there was a mystery to be solved. I was content revelling in Benjamin Wood’s storytelling.

Soundtrack Saturday

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2012 5:28 pm

    Sounds wonderful! I love a book with a bunch ff siblings and it all ends in tragedy of some sort. :D I could do with something that grabs you and doesn’t let go until the end.


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