The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

Bellman and Black



I have never posted a review for a book that I didn’t finish reading but I feel obligated to this time.  In my “Wish List” post, I included Bellman and Black (F) by Diane Setterfield.  Her first book The Thirteenth Tale is still one of my all time favorites and for that reason I was excited to read Bellman and Black.

As with anything I read, I believe it fair to read at least 100 pages before passing judgment.  I forced myself to read 98 pages of Bellman and Black. It was exhausting. I got the gist that it’s about a young man by the name of William Bellman whose father left when he was an infant. The Bellman’s own the wool mill. Once William’s father left the running of the mill fell to his Uncle Paul. Paul’s own son, Charles has shown no interest in the mill and instead peruses art in Italy. Paul decides to introduce William to the mechanics of running the mill and William exceeds Paul’s expectations.

As a young boy, William shoots and kills a rook with a slingshot. It’s obvious that this is an omen and will play a roll in his life and the story.  The first 98 pages gave me nothing that would make me hang on and see where things go. Rook sightings are casually mentioned here and there so you know something is coming but it’s just not enough to stir any continued interest.

So there you have it. It’s rare that I don’t finish what I start but I just couldn’t waste precious time reading this disappointing novel. The good news is that I didn’t purchase the book. I borrowed it from my library and will return it unfinished. Clearly, I have to be more careful of what I “wish” for.


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