The Bell at Sealey Head
Sealey Head is a small town on the edge of the ocean, a sleepy place where everyone hears the ringing of a bell no one can see. On the outskirts of town is an impressive estate, Aislinn House, where the aged Lady Eglantyne lies dying, and where the doors sometimes open not to its own dusty rooms, but t...more
Imagine a small coastal town where inhabitants have always heard a bell toll the end of the day--a bell no one has seen. Although many have stopped noticing it and there are as many stories as to where the sound originates, there are a few who are determined to get to the bottom of this mystery: a stranger, new to town; a wood witch; and the merchant's daughter, who's imagination and stories keep returning to the bel...more
The Bell at Sealey Head is another one of Patricia McKillip’s dream-like fairy tales, and I liked it very much, particularly because there are so many book-obsessed characters in the novel, and the solution to the cent...more
Every day, upon the setting of the sun, a mysterious bell tolls throughout the town of Sealey Head. No one knows where the bell is, nor why it rings; nobody has a clue who might be ringing it, even. The inhabitants of this sleepy seaside town have grown accustomed to the bell, and have several theories concerning its whereabouts and purpose. But the bell comes second in priority to young Emma, who serves as a maid in Aislinn House. The old mans...more
However, despite the dialogue being so much stronger, the characters lacked development. The Sproules, for instance, were only caricatures, whose hopes and desires were only an object of the author's ridicule and never taken seriously. In ot...more
McKillip has a wonderful talent for worldbuilding. Her setting and characters kept me intrigued no matter where the chapters' focus jumped. From Sealey Head to Ysabo's castle to Gwyneth's story, I was genuinely interested in finding out how each plotline developed. McKillip's ability to maintain that balance between all three, not to mention the different points of view within...more
The Bell at Sealey Head is about a seaside village haunted by a bell that sounds every day at sunset. The narratives are split between several protagonists in Sealey Head and an erstwhile princess smothered by endless ceremonies and traditions in a magical land. The setting is typical of McKillip; she has a way of making the common...more
Another wonderful book from Patricia A. McKillip. This was an especially enjoyable journey for me because of the memorable characters. Gwyneth and Judd, locals of Sealey Head, are delightful, but Ridley Dow is a particularly engaging creation who leaves a lasting impression.
In addition to being charming and imaginative, as so many of the author's works are, this one is also told from the perspective of secondary characters and mixes genres effectively (a hint of Victorian fiction and m...more
Sarcastic Miss Gwyneth Blair is being courted, but she prefers the bookworm who runs the ramshackle inn. Meanwhile, serving girl Emma is worried about her friend, the princess Ysabo. She c...more
Pretty. This book is partly about rituals – lighting candles, getting married to the proper person, a bell that rings at the same time every day – and how important it is to be aware of the rules you’re following. I read mos...more
But not McKillip. Her writing and stories became better as the years went by.
Which is why I bought The Bell at Sealy Head full price from a big-box chain (I'm an avid 2nd hand book buyer). The story started out promising - moody and evocati...more
This is the premise of THE BELL AT SEALEY HEAD, but the story is much richer and more layered the deeper you delve into it. There is the bookish daughter of the local merchant, Gwyneth, who is determined to write the story of the bell'...more
But here's my opinion. ;-) Or my first impression anyway.
Lots & lots of characters for what is supposed to be a very small coastal town that has, presumably been losing population in recent years. We focus on two families and the servants and staff of a dying lady, and that means we focus on virtually -everyone- in these three disparate groups. Right now, I'm a little overwhelmed by this. I am hav...more
I was disappointed by the main characters, sitting aside at the climax and wandering around town so often. I wished frequently that the book had been focused on Ridley, or at least included Ysabo more; because whil...more
McKillip tells the story of a group of people (think Cranford) and the magic that is part of their lives. All the characters are well drawn and none of the characters is a cliche. In addition to the actual novel, one of the characters tells a story to her younger siblings. In fact, when this is first down, the reader feels the disappointment of that story breaking off. Mc...more
In the small coastal town of Sealey Head (it inhabits one of McKillip's trademark worlds: pre-industrial, northern-euro-like, and maybe there's magic afoot)a bell has rung clear to signify dawn since an...more
According to Fantasy Book...more