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[Review] The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood

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This makes a good choice for a book group and stimulated lots of discussion. A psychological suspense with a difference, it focuses on music for healing and the fine line between genius and madness.

Set in Cambridge the description of the city is done well and the focus on the musical lives of the students provides an authentic atmosphere. The novel is well researched in its musical references as well as the characters who come across as realistic.

Although life-like as students studying music, these characters, other than Eden the rarefied organ scholar, lack depth. Their two dimensional images serve to emphasise the narcissism of Eden, and how their awe of his creative genius blinds them to his increasing obsessive and ultimately destructive behaviour.

The character of Oscar is steady and sympathetic and although the main focus throughout is on Eden, one becomes increasingly aware of Oscar’s intelligence and pivotal role in the story.

Recommendation: A good choice for a book group, with a well known location. The aspect of using music to create mood and healing as well as the plot stimulated discussion.

This review was written by The Borrowers reeding group at Kesgrave Library.

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