05 November 2013

Today's Read: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Bellman & Black by Diane SetterfieldWhat if the effects of one small boyhood act waited decades to come back to haunt you? William Bellman's devotion to hard work seems to have paid off: He has a beautiful wife, healthy children, and a successful business. Then one day, bit by bit, his world begins to crumble beneath his feet. What does his past have to do with his current misfortune?

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. If that were so, a cynic might assume William Bellman's last moments to have been spent contemplating anew the lengthy series of calculations, contracts, and business deals that made up his existence. In fact, as he approached the border with that other place—border toward which we will all find our path turning sooner or later—his thoughts were drawn to those who had already crossed into that unknown territory: his wife, three of his children, his uncle, cousin, and some childhood friends. Having remembered these lost, dear ones and being still some moments from death, there was time for one last act of remembrance. What he unearthed, after it had lain buried some forty years in the archaeology of his mind, was a rook.

Let me explain:
Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield (Atria / Emily Bestler Books, 2013, p. 3)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Victorian England
  • Circumstances: one boyhood act (the killing of a bird) sets in motion the ultimate fate of Bellman and his relationship with the mysterious Mr. Black
  • Characters: William Bellman, his wife, and children; other extended family members; employees and neighbors; Black
  • Genre: Gothic, mystery
  • Themes & plot: every act has a price; there is no escaping your fate; narrative extras: information about rooks, the Industrial Revolution, Victorian mourning customs and fashion
  • Miscellaneous: I loved the author's first book, The Thirteenth Tale, which was one of my top reads the year it came out; I have high expectations for this

ISBN-13: 9781476711959
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Karen and Gerard 11/5/13, 5:55 AM  

Sounds interesting - the video sure doesn't give anything away.

rhapsodyinbooks 11/5/13, 6:26 AM  

I have yet to read anything by this author, but given your enthusiasm, I may have to try!

Anonymous,  11/5/13, 7:10 AM  

Wow, Thanks for sharing! Sounds like something I need to pick up!
MeMe: Teaser Tuesday – Frankie & Delilah

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 11/5/13, 7:11 AM  

I thought this one was pretty good. Hope u enjoy it.

Anonymous,  11/5/13, 7:20 AM  

Sounds like a very cool read. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by my site. :)

Nise' 11/5/13, 7:36 AM  

I anticipated this book after loving The Thirteenth Tale. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it.

Natalie @ Book Lovers Life 11/5/13, 8:12 AM  

Ive seen this book every where lately! Great teaser :)

JoAnn 11/5/13, 8:23 AM  

I like that intro and loved The Thirteenth Tale. Reviews seems to be mixed, but I'm still curious to read more.

Anonymous,  11/5/13, 8:34 AM  

I just finished this book this morning, and said aloud, "Oh. My. God." Powerful, controlled, exquisitely crafted... I might like this better than THIRTEENTH TALE.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) 11/5/13, 9:12 AM  

It's actually the fact this has had such a mix of reviews that I want to read it. That and of course what I've heard of The Thirteenth Tale.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 11/5/13, 9:48 AM  

Hope you enjoy this one -- I've heard good things about it. I've got an ARC waiting to be snatched from one of my TBR piles.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Beth Hoffman 11/5/13, 9:52 AM  

I'm incredibly curious about this book and can hardly wait to read your review!

SuziQoregon 11/5/13, 10:03 AM  

I have it but haven't started it yet. I didn't "love" The Thirteenth Tale but the fact I'm seeing mixed reviews for this one has me curious about it.

Tea 11/5/13, 10:08 AM  

I'm ashamed to admit it. I haven't read The Thirteenth Tale. Hope to read it soon. Would like to read this one too. "We do not forget." Is that true? Make me think. Thought provoking statement here.

Laurel-Rain Snow 11/5/13, 10:22 AM  

Every time I see this book and read an excerpt, I want to read it soon! I love that opener...chilling, almost.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Literary Feline 11/5/13, 10:46 AM  

I know this book isn't getting the best reviews, but I'm still looking forward to reading it one of these days.

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine 11/5/13, 11:09 AM  

I loved the Thirteenth Tale and am really looking forward to reading this one too!

Paulita 11/5/13, 12:13 PM  

I bet the story is interesting, but I would have liked a different beginning. I hate when books begin at the end then go back. Hope you like it. Here's Mine

Unknown 11/5/13, 12:20 PM  

I haven't read anything by this author yet. The reviews for this book are mixed and it's considered not as good as the 13th Tale so I think I will prefer reading it first. I have an ARC here of Bellman & Black so I 'll be reading it soon. I hope you enjoy it!

Too Fond 11/5/13, 12:46 PM  

I just finished this one and thought it was excellent. So well written, even better than The Thirteenth Tale in my opinion. I can understand why it hasn't appealed to everyone but there's no doubt that Setterfield is a very talented writer.

Heather 11/5/13, 12:48 PM  

must add this to my reading list. Thanks.

Sandy Nawrot 11/5/13, 3:57 PM  

I'm on the fence with this one. I loved LOVED The Thirteenth Tale, and have heard from other fans that this one just fell flat. Like they were expecting more creepy atmospheric stuff and it didn't deliver. So...I'm waiting.

Daryl 11/5/13, 4:25 PM  

i guess i am in the minority here, i was hugely disappointed in the 13th tale .. i found it predictable

Margot 11/5/13, 6:54 PM  

Great way to start - by looking at the end. Makes me want to find out more.

Alice 11/5/13, 6:59 PM  

I'm going to check this out the moment it hits my bookstores. For some reasons, I like stories of living the consequences of something done in the past... Mystery and gothic are two words I can't resist.

Kimberly @ Turning the Pages 11/5/13, 8:15 PM  

I have an ARC of this that I still haven't gotten to but it sounds grand. Great teaser :)
Come see my Teaser Tuesday post :)

-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

Udita Banerjee 11/6/13, 11:01 AM  

Such great great lines!

Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice 11/7/13, 8:42 AM  

I'm in the middle of this and not sure what I think about it. So far, very well written, but I keep waiting for something big to happen.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 11/7/13, 4:11 PM  

Hope you enjoy this one! I've heard some rumblings of disappointment amongst book bloggers so I've been trying to temper my expectations. I do have it on the shelf, so I should get to it sooner rather than later!

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