Book review Friday – Bellman and Black

The ‘pumpkin everything’ saga continues through mid-October. Halloween is also close by, and we even gathered some pumpkins to have, to celebrate the moment. There will be no carving for us. The pumpkins will be shared between the oven and our critters. The chickens love them and they are really good for them too. The dogs will play with some pieces and have a few bites too, but they prefer them more baked than raw.

Mitchell would eat pumpkin if it’s made with curry. I might actually try that this year, but that means I will have to be very adventurous. I’ll let you know how that goes 😉

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For this month’s review, I picked the second book of Diane Setterfield, Bellman and Black.

 

One moment in time can haunt you forever.

Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten.

By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget…

Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born. (From the publisher.)

 

 

As I was going through the book, I noticed the story has it’s highs and lows, and it started to look like the trajectory that the thrown stone took at the beginning on the book. The story takes you through a series of life events that this boy goes through and how he overcomes his obstacles. The characters throughout the story are well defined and they each play a role in the boy/man’s life. This inspired me to think about my own path in life and struggles and successes I go through. Sometimes we can’t see the forest because of the trees.

In the end, the book was a novel about the “ghost” that hoovers around us, making us go right or left, do certain things and not others, and it’s constantly there when we expect it the least. It opened up a door to a man’s life who excelled in forgetting, keeping his grief buried, and who tried to carry on while unable or unwilling to mourn the tragedies of his life just to function. Seen in that light, this was very much a character-based story, explaining a lot of the ambiguities that follow throughout the novel.

Not a page turner, but if given a chance, the story will capture its readers and create some thinking outside the box. The book tends to be highly atmospheric and William’s character may seem to some readers to come off as very plain. But his drive, his inner thoughts and his actions all point to a man in a great amount of pain that wants to keep going and overcome whatever life throws at him.

It’s all in how you read between the lines and put your own spin on the “facts”.

Bellman and Black

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