Friday, October 4, 2013

Review - Bellman and Black

Title: Bellman and Black: A Novel
Author: Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (November 5, 2013)
Format: eBook; Hardcover Pgs 336
Genre: Gothic
Source: NetGalley

I am of two minds with this book. It is not my usual genre of choice so I went into it with a relatively open mind. The book captivated me in the beginning, bored me in the middle and enthralled me at the end.

What started as a boyhood dare to knock a rook from a tree, turned into a life long run from the man in black. Bellman did not associate the two in the beginning, but as one thing lead to another, Mr. Black would appear to him from time to time and in the end, Mr. Bellman had made his bargain. In order to save everything he had built, he would enter into a business deal with the proposed devil himself.

Yet, that part is conjecture and up to the reader to decide. No one sees Mr. Black, no one has ever spoken to him, yet he is very real in the mind of Mr. Bellman. In a way, it is very much a “he who should not be named” scenario. Mr. Bellman has given this entity power, he is fearful of the consequences if he does not give it all away to the man that has never asked for anything.

This would be a great book for a reading group to dissect. There are many turning points and many views that the reader could walk away with.

As I said, I am of two minds, is this a book of greed or a book of love. A book that shows us that even a forgotten action can have deep consequences or a book that shows that no matter how hard you work to provide for others that there is always someone or something that can take it away. What promises will we make to prevent it all from disappearing?

The more I ponder these questions, the more I realize how much I liked the ending of this book. It is up to the reader to make the final decisions.

The one question that I do have, who or what became of his daughter Dora? Her appearance began to change at the end. Did she become what her father feared the most?

A curious question that will be up to me to decide.

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