Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield

bbbA subtle and beautifully-written tale of a haunted man. William Bellman is born in the early 1800s and rises to become a significant figure in the local woolen mill. Happily married with a flock of adored young children, life is good for William. However, a mostly-forgotten incident when as a child he killed a rook with a catapult will come back to haunt him… and tragedy is never far away.

The book skillfully interweaves folklore about rooks, realistic historical details from the wool mills and 19th century London and a believable account of a haunted life. I will certainly look out for Diane Setterfield’s first book, The Thirteenth Tale,  which several librarians have recommended to me.


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