Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Tea and Crumpets and Skeletons in the Cupboard Type of Book

CHIME: Since her stepmother's recent death, 17-year-old Briony Larkin knows that if she can keep two secrets--that she is a witch and that she is responsible for the accident that left Rose, her identical twin, mentally compromised--and remember to hate herself always, no other harm will befall her family in their Swampsea parsonage at the beginning of the twentieth century. The arrival of Mr. Clayborne, a city engineer, and his university-dropout son, Eldric, makes Briony's task difficult. Clayborne's plan to drain the swamp has made the Old Ones unhappy, particularly the Boggy Mun, who has plagued the village's children with swamp cough in retaliation. When Rose's lingering illness turns into a cough, Briony knows that she must do whatever it takes, even revealing her secrets, to save her sister. While thwarting the advances of an arsenic-addicted suitor, Briony must also deny her feelings for Eldric, even as he helps her solve the puzzle that has become her life. Exploring the powers of guilt and redemption, Billingsley (The Folk Keeper, 1999) has crafted a dark, chilling yet stunning world. Briony's many mysteries and occasional sardonic wit make her a force to be reckoned with. Exquisite to the final word. (Blurb taken from Amazon)

This book is as exquisitely mysterious (or mysteriously exquisite if you prefer) as its cover. I ate up the words, one by one, like I hadn't eaten in a decade.

What I liked about this book: The writing! Franny Billingsley can take an ordinary situation and write it in a brand new, tea-and-crumpets-and-skeletons-in-the-cupboard sort of way.

What I liked about the main character: Briony always underestimates herself, which made me her biggest cheer-leader. Also, she's full of wit minus the snark, which was refreshing. Don't get me wrong! I love snark. But the voice in this book is so unique, I am STILL thinking about it, a week after reading it.

So, if you want something fresh and dark and abstract to read, READ CHIME!


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14 comments:

chasing empty pavements said...

oooh! This looks awesome! It's going on my TBR right...now! Thanks!

Elana Johnson said...

LOVED Chime!

storyqueen said...

I gotta say, Briony narrating the phone book could be compelling...she's just such a funny, twisted and deep narrator.

Loved it!

Shelley

Bethany Wiggins said...

Shelley, you are so right!

Nisa said...

It sounds fantastic! Man, I wish I read faster!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Such a great book! I loved loved loved the voice in CHIME. Exquisite is a brilliant word for it!

Theresa Milstein said...

I bought this book on a whim on Saturday night. So glad I did. I'm 1/3 of the way through. The voice is amazing as is the way everyone speaks. Each person has a unique dialect. And what an unreliable narrator. Can't wait to learn more about this manipulative stepmother.

Krispy said...

I still haven't read this one, but I must now! Thank you for the review!

Jemi Fraser said...

I haven't heard of this one before. The cover is gorgeous and Briony sounds like a great character. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Love witch books! So glad there are so many of them right now!

Thanks for the review, Bethany!

The Golden Eagle said...

I really liked this book! :)

lbdiamond said...

Lovely review--I'm interested in this book now! ;)

Bethany Wiggins said...

Red this book. I'm serious. It is phenomenal!

Diana Paz said...

Hi Bethany! This book looks like it's right up my alley! I'll be sure to check it out. :)