Bright, bookish Oscar Lowe has escaped the squalid urban neighborhood where he was raised and made a new life for himself amid the colleges and spires of Cambridge. He has grown to love the quiet routine of his life as a care assistant at a local nursing home, where he has forged a close friendship with its most ill-tempered resident, Dr. Paulsen.
All that changes one fateful day when Oscar, while wandering the bucolic grounds of Cambridge, is lured into the chapel at Kings College by the otherwordly sound of an organ. It is here that he meets and falls in love with Iris Bellwether, a beautiful and enigmatic medical student. Drawn into her world of scholarship and privilege, Oscar soon becomes embroiled in the strange machinations of Iris’s older brother, Eden.
A charismatic but troubled musical prodigy, Eden convinces his sister and their close-knit circle of friends to participate in a series of disturbing experiments. Eden believes that music — with his expert genius to guide it — can cure people. As the line between genius and madness begins to blur, however, Oscar fears that it is danger and not healing that awaits them all — but it might be too late. . . .
A masterful work of psychological suspense and emotional resonance from a brilliant young talent, The Bellwether Revivals will hold readers spellbound until its breathtaking conclusion.
Download and start listening now!
""There is a thin line between madness and genius". I don't remember you said this but it could well be the theme for this first novel by Benjamin Wood. The prologue, introduces the reader to the ending, this could be risky but for me it served as a catalyst to want to keep reading just to find out how and why. It also sets the tone of apprehension for the rest of the novel. Oscar, lives in a bedsit and works as a care aide in a senior center, and when he meets Iris Bellwether he knows he wants to have her in his life. Unfortunately, her brother and a few friends come along as part of the package, but it is the brother that the story focuses on. A musical genius who is convinced that he can heal with music and the power that music gives him. I have never read anything quite like this novel, it is literary fiction and also psychological suspense, and it is exceedingly well done. The flow of the story is flawless, the Bellwether family for the most part in denial about the madness of their son, leaving only Oscar to question the sanity of Eden. Things quickly spiral out of control and those that are left attempt to pick up the pieces of their lives and continue on. Alternately strange and brilliant, this is definitely one of the most original pieces of fiction I have read this year. ARC by NetGalley."
Diane (4 out of 5 stars)