Bellman and Black: A Ghost Story

Bellman and Black: A Ghost Story - Diane Setterfield When William Bellman was 11 years old he let loose a rock from his slingshot that, with a near impossible trajectory, hit and killed a crow. He knew he was showing off for his friends and immediately regretted the action, but what’s done is done and cannot be undone. Little did he know about the incredible history (and memories) of crows; thus the impact that simple act would have on the rest of his life.

Despite his questionable beginnings – his father running out on his family, being raised by a single mother; shunned not only by the rest of the town but by his father’s family as well. As Will approaches adulthood he leads a life that seems blessed by good fortune. He is clever and resourceful so advances quickly at work. He marries a beautiful girl and goes on to have smart, healthy and happy children. Then suddenly, at his mother’s funeral he notices a stranger amongst the mourners. The man, dressed all in black, looks vaguely familiar somehow. Soon Will notices him at all funerals in the village. Becoming, admittedly, quite obsessed Will eventually tracks him down and is astounded by his proposal. The idea for Bellman and Black is born.

This book is both dark and gothic although not quite the “ghost story” as advertised. Well written and full of the same atmosphere Ms. Setterfield demonstrated in her “Thirteenth Tale” I enjoyed this book a great deal. I would not describe this book as a riveting page-turner, but rather a compelling read that draws you in and is difficult to put down. And, who knew there were so many ways to describe a group of crows?