The Bells

The Bells - Richard Harvell In a time when the church was the centre of every town and the bells called the faithful to worship, Moses Froben was born in a bellfry to a deaf/mute mother. The circumstances of Moses’ birth are as mysterious as the story he is telling his son about his own conception. The narration takes us from the point of Moses’ expulsion from his village, to his rescue and life in a monastary, through to Vienna and his success as a singer. Unfortunately, everything comes at a cost and Moses unwillingly pays the highest price for the gift of his voice … he is made a castrati.

I have heard this book described as “reading an opera", and although I am not an opera fan I can definitely see the comparisons. The compelling story which leads to moments of extreme happiness and moments of heartwrenching despair. An aria sung by a soprano and an orchestral crescendo would be most appropriate at those moments.