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January 2013 Debut of the Month.
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2012.
An unforgettable debut from an outstanding new talent. Set in Cambridge where Oscar, having used his intelligence to escape from his impoverished background, becomes captivated by Iris Bellwether and falls in with her glamorous circle of friends which includes her charismatic yet unstable brother Eden. A beautifully written, brooding, suspenseful book with a wonderful pace to the story that will keep you hooked. With shades of Brideshead Revisited, The Bellwether Revivals is perfect for fans of Donna Tart's The Secret History.
Bright, bookish Oscar Lowe has escaped the urban estate 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 the home's most ill-tempered resident, Dr. Paulsen. But when he meets and falls in love with Iris Bellwether, a beautiful and enigmatic medical student at King's College, Oscar is drawn into her world of scholarship and privilege, and soon becomes embroiled in the strange machinations of her brilliant but troubled brother, Eden, who believes he can adapt the theories of a forgotten Baroque composer to heal people with music. Eden's self-belief knows no bounds, and as he draws his sister and closed circle of friends into a series of disturbing experiments to prove himself right, Oscar realises the extent of the danger facing them all...
'In prose that's unfussy but effortlessly vivid, filled with nice descriptive flourishes (he's good at quite difficult things, such as describing the growing sound of music as it thickens the air of a room), Wood's confident, sometimes creepy novel draws you in - like the faintly heard strain from that hauntingly played pipe-organ - and then, once you're inside, holds on, ever tightening the grip' Independent on Sunday
'Music offers no real cure for sickness, as Oscar slowly and disturbingly discovers. The bright boy from the sink estate realises the Cambridge set he's been sucked into, in an attempt to ensnare beautiful Iris, is racing towards a terrible danger' Daily Mirror
'In this multi-themed and far-reaching novel, the dichotomies of reason and superstition, sanity and madness, science and faith, are given close and sustained attention … An accomplished novel, suffused with intelligence and integrity. Wood gives voice to theories and ideas in a lucid and accessible way … This skilful novel has flow, pace and a lightness of touch' Guardian
'There's more than a hint of Donna Tartt's The Secret History about this novel, with Cambridge taking the place of Vermont… highly effective' Daily Mail
'Its lodestone [is] Brideshead Revisited … Donna Tartt's The Secret History is also in the DNA here, and there are echoes of another literary analysis of the unhealthy emotional bond between a brother and sister, L P Hartley's Eustace and Hilda…. The fact that Wood can hold his own in such heavyweight company is a measure of his achievement' Independent
Publication date: 20/12/2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
|Publication date:||20th December 2012|
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Ltd|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Benjamin Wood was born in 1981 and grew up in north-west England. In 2004, he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to attend the MFA Creative Writing Programme at the University of British Columbia, Canada, where he was also fiction editor of the Canadian literary journal PRISM International. Benjamin is now a lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. The Bellwether Revivals is his first novel. Author photo © Mark PringleMore About Benjamin Wood