Joyce W. (Rochester, MN)
A Ghost story
Diane is a beautiful writer. Her books are mesmerizing, her words flow. There is so much to think about when you finish her books. I wish she would write more and faster. As you read, it is fascinating to watch everything unfold. Bellman and Black would make a very good book club book; you want to discuss and share ideas when you finish the book. She knows how to write a thought provoking read.
Lorraine R. (Southampton, NY)
Bellman and Black
Diane Setterfield has written another darkly Gothic novel in which the protagonist, William Bellman enters into a partnership with a phantom stranger, Black. The set of circumstances he encounters are haunted by a childhood game in which he kills a rook. The author weaves the symbolism of the rook into the tale of Bellman's fortunes and misfortunes. A fascinating story.
Dianne S. (Green Valley, AZ)
Where's the Ghost?
The title Bellman and Black, A Ghost Store lead me to anticipate...a ghost. Anticipate I did! The writing in this book was beautiful and I was able to breeze along and connect with the characters and waited for the the ending to expose the ghost. Perhaps I missed something. The end confused me and left me thinking, well maybe Black is the ghost of the raven or maybe the ghost of the memories that Bellman seemed able to get past and get on with his life. I just don't know. I still loved the writing though and perhaps with a second read or a good book club discussion would shed some light on it for me.
Sarah B. (Streamwood, IL)
This is a beautifully written book. It falls into the rare occasion I wish I was allowed to give half stars. The story was somewhat predictable to me, but I was sucked in because of the writing. The book did make me think, about death and the rituals we follow. I wish I had friends that had read this already to discuss it with.
Carol S. (Pawleys Island, SC)
No mystery here
I have to say that I loved "Thirteenth Tale" but only liked this book.
Setterfield's writing is excellent and I enjoyed the first half of the novel. The rest of the book dragged for me. I found it rather contrived that William Bellman should pay such a steep price for the incident from his childhood. The punishment doesn't fit the crime.
Kelly P. (Monterey, TN)
Why is this marketed as a ghost story?
The book is written with well-chosen words and descriptive passages evoking the industrial age in England. However, these passages do not tell a ghost story as promised by the jacket and cover blurbs. Instead we get a story of a man haunted by an internal demon, the memory of an event from his childhood. I enjoyed the book because of the author's narrative skill and the time period. I left it though with the lingering impression that she had an interesting idea for a tale but tried too hard to force it into the gothic supernatural category while forgetting to include the actual supernatural element.
Laurel G. (Pacific Palisades, CA)
A very black book
I'm not sure I would recommend the book, although I enjoyed reading it, for the most part. I was somewhat disappointed in the second half of the book and its predictability. I like books that are descriptive and this one was.