Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield


I knew very little about this book when I started it. My wife read her other book Thirteenth Tale and loved it. She still raves about how much she really enjoyed that book. I was looking for something to read for the R.I.P. challenge and this one kept popping up in the horror suggestions for the sites I was visiting. I figured I would give this one a try. 

This is the story of a book who kills a Rook with the luckiest shot I have ever heard. He grows up to have a rough go at times but then turns his life around to be a dream. Just as everything in his life is going great the people around him start dying. All of the things he lvoes in his life are being taken from him except is career. This section of the book was really hard for me. I may not have been real invested in the story but I was with the characters. Reading the part where William Bellman's Infant child passes from the disease running through the streets was heart wrenching. Now I am not giving anything away because this is all part of the general description of the books. 

I am not sure how exactly I feel about this book so bare with me as I work thought some thoughts. The book is a slow starter so hang in there it will be a little dry. My wife said that Thirteenth Tale is the same way but the ending was amazing so I stuck it out. As I mentioned the story was a bit on the slow side but the characters in this book are very well written. I cared more about what was going to happen to the characters more than I did the direction of the story. This was enough to keep me interested in the book. By the time the ending came around I had this feeling like I missed something. It is entirely possible, because there were moments I had to go back and re-read sections because the symbolism got so heavy that it almost seemed like the words didn't make sense unless you thought about the symbolism and how it worked out. Kind of like when you translate a foreign language and the meaning gets lost. 

Thinking about this book I can say that there really wasn't anything I didn't like about it. I also didn't really love any one thing. Yes the characters were great but it isn't something I would say you have to read this book because the characters are just so unforgettable. I guess I'm kind of in the middle of the road or almost benign about the whole thing. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. I'm glad I read it and I am going to read the Thirteenth Tale at some point because I liked Diane Setterfield's writing style and her characters. 

This will be included in my R.I.P. challenge entry. I have already finished my Peril in the First challenge but I will keep reading books for this challenge until I run out or the challenge ends.  


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