Summary and book reviews of Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Bellweather Rhapsody

by Kate Racculia

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia X
Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2014, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2015, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A high school music festival goes awry when a young prodigy disappears from a hotel room that was the site of a famous murder/suicide fifteen years earlier.

Fifteen years ago, a murder/suicide in room 712 rocked the grand old Bellweather Hotel and the young bridesmaid who witnessed it. Now hundreds of high school musicians, including quiet bassoonist Rabbit Hatmaker and his brassy diva twin, Alice, have gathered in its cavernous, crumbling halls for the annual Statewide festival; the grown-up bridesmaid has returned to face her demons; and a snowstorm is forecast that will trap everyone on the grounds. Then one of the orchestra's stars disappears - from room 712. Is it a prank, or has murder struck the Bellweather once again?

The search for answers entwines a hilariously eccentric cast of characters - conductors and caretakers, failures and stars, teenagers on the verge and adults trapped in memories. For everyone has come to the Bellweather with a secret, and everyone is haunted.

Full of knowing nods to the shivery pleasures of suspense and the transporting power of music, this is a wholly winning new novel from a writer lauded as "charming" (Los Angeles Times), "witty" (O, The Oprah Magazine), and "whimsical" (People).

Clinton’s Kill, New York

Minnie Graves is a bridesmaid.

She hates it.

Her bangs are crispy with Aqua Net. Her ponytail is so tight her forehead aches. Her feet throb in shoes that are a size too small, Mary Janes dyed special to match the totally rancid dress Minnie’s big sister, Jennifer, picked out just for her. There’s a thing called a crinoline and she has to remember to always cross her legs and it’s a total pain in her twelve-year-old ass. And it’s pink. “It’s not pink, it’s cranberry wine,” Jennifer said, but Minnie, whose big brother, Mike, tells her about all the horror movies he watches, thinks she looks like someone dumped a bucket of pig’s blood on her.

Minnie’s mother told her that, when the wedding started, Minnie would forget the crinoline itched and just be happy to see her big sister get married to Theodore. But Minnie’s mother lied: Minnie spends the entire ceremony glaring laser-beam eyes at ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

As Racculia portrays a weekend of talented young musicians performing great music, she also explores the nature of talent and the grace of second chances. Bellweather Rhapsody is as engrossing as it is intelligent. The characters are captivating, the scenes vibrant, and the internal pulse of the narrative keeps the pages moving.   (Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).

Full Review (765 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.

Media Reviews

Booklist

That most of the characters have secrets adds a layer of intrigue to a musical mystery that strikes nary a false note. Encore, encore.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. [A] novel of dueling wills, marked by textured characterization and an ebullient storytelling style.

Library Journal

"Starred Review. Part ghost story, part mystery, part coming-of-age tale, and part love sonnet to music, Racculia's second novel (after This Must Be the Place ) is dark and delightful, with memorable characters inspired by both literature and pop culture. It will grab readers and keep them with multilayered plotting and writing that ranges from humorous to poetic.

Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. Racculia's droll wit and keen understanding of human nature propel a story that's rich in distinctive characters and wholly engaging. A gem.

Author Blurb Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
For its darkness and its glee, I loved this novel.

Reader Reviews

mtbikergirl

Mystery, Music, Murder, Humor and a Coming of Age Novel
I loved this novel. It is funny, so funny I laughed out loud. It accurately and lovingly reflects how music truly entrances and collects musicians even before they become musicians. It is also brutally honest about musical prodigies, success and ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Novels Analyzing Musical Talent and Life

The characters in Racculia's novel attempt to understand the nature of musical talent and the ways in which it emerges or disappears to impact happiness. The following novels investigate the interaction of musical gifts and the pursuit of a fulfilled life:

Sight Reading Sight Reading by Daphne Kalotay
Kalotay's first novel was about ballet and Russian history. Her second novel, Sight Reading, explores the relationships between a few classical musicians in New England. As each of the characters delves deeper into work as professionals, the perfection they attain with their instruments or conducting baton eludes them in real life. Despite their prowess in music, they realize that they are living their lives merely sight reading, a term that describes...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Bellweather Rhapsody, try these:

  • Smoke jacket

    Smoke

    by Dan Vyleta

    Published 2017

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    "Smoke is an addictive combination of thriller, fantasy, and historical novel, with a dash of horror. It's chilling and complex and amazingly imaginative." - Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness

  • The Perfect Girl jacket

    The Perfect Girl

    by Gilly Macmillan

    Published 2016

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    The New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew returns with an electrifying new novel about how the past will always find us...

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes

Books with similar themes


Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.