Pamela Detlor's Reviews > The Bellwether Revivals

The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood
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's review
Apr 06, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Read in March, 2012 — I own a copy

Benjamin Wood grabbed my attention from the first sentence of his debut novel. With three bodies, two dead, one barely alive, we are introduced to a world that is shocking and undefined
Through twist, turns and “coincidence,” the puzzle unfolds: marring music, literature, psychology, religion and science, life and death, with an unhealthy dose of madness. Wood’s prose flow, effortlessly, from page to page – chapter to chapter. The pace is such that there is no good place to close the book and set this story aside. I had a hard time putting it down.

Our protagonist, Oscar Lowe, is a 20-year-old nurse who becomes enmeshed with a group of educated, privileged, students. Two of the group – siblings: the girl, Iris, whom he is falling in love with and her brother, Eden, the ringleader. Eden is something of a prodigy… and possibly a mad man. Things are not always clear as the events are unraveling. Iris is both independent and a damsel in distress. Yet her manner and intellect are beyond her nineteen years of living.

Dr. Paulsen, an elderly, retired professor, in Oscar’s care, is both his educator in literature as well as with cautions about his new friends from the Ivy-league. Paulsen also holds a piece of the puzzle. Things that seem unconnected become entwined as Oscar tries to keep a promise to Iris. With the introduction of Herbert Crest, a long time friend of Dr. Paulsen, Oscar has found an ally in his quest for the truth. A quest that started the moment Oscar diverted from his route home. One decision can alter a life’s journey, leading to a dichotomy of things.

“Hope is a form of madness. A benevolent one, sure, but madness all the same.” Crest, a psychologist, informs Oscar. Yet there is hope in the pages of “The Bellwether Revivals,” and not even the most skeptical among the characters seems immune. Really… What is life without hope? The danger lies in what is inspired when all hope is lost and the truth is too much to bear.

Many thanks to Random House of Canada, for the advance copy of, “The Bellwether Revivals,” Anyone who enjoys a mystery or seeks to understand human behavior, will enjoy the ride provided by this story. There’s allot of truth in this work of fiction.
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06/02/2016 marked as: read

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