A very brief review. Just a quick reaction, really, that I posted at Goodreads. As follows:
Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. Several weeks have gone by since I finished it, but I cannot stop thinking about it. The rooks are haunting me -- in a good way. The story is an epic character study of a deeply flawed man, interwoven with mythology (no spoilers). The prose is poetic, the wisdom profound and moving. The only complaint I had was that, in the first half of the book, there is little setting detail. I'm a sucker for immersive settings, and this narration was slim in that regard, until the last half. The longer I read, however, I realized that had Setterfield included richer setting details throughout the novel, the thing would've been needlessly long. The two settings that matter, the mill and the funerary goods emporium, are painted in thorough detail. And so everything fall into place and the author's choices make sense.
(view spoiler)[The biggest question that haunts the reader throughout is whether the rooks are sabotaging Bellman's life, or has William Bellman sabotaged it himself? The reveal at the end is heartbreaking and worth sticking around for. (hide spoiler)]
This is a story I will read again in a few years.
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