Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan

This is a book that took me a bit by surprise.  It was another book club selection, and I'm very glad it was, because I'd never heard of it before then.

It's the story of Gwenni, a young girl growing up in Wales in the 1950's.  She flies through town in her sleep, giving her the chance to see things from a different vantage point.

The father of a family she babysits for goes missing and is soon discovered to be murdered.  Gwenni hopes to become a detective when she grows up so she decides to help solve the mystery.  But there are so many other things to figure out along the way.  Like why does her mother need so many pills from the doctor to get through the day, why does her sister have different coloured eyes than either of their parents, why does that woman in town wear a dead fox around her neck, and why is her best friend suddenly more interested in boys than in solving the mystery with her?

With the setting in Wales, I had a hard time figuring out how some of the places and names should be pronounced.  So I ended up just making up pronunciations in my mind and sticking with them.

I found this book to be similar in feel to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, so if you liked that one, I think you'll like this too.

Many, but not all, of Gwenni's questions get satisfactory answers.  I've seen some reviewers who aren't happy with how some of the questions were left hanging.  I didn't mind that.  You don't always get full answers to your questions in life, and sometimes I find books are wrapped up just a little too neatly.  This one leaves you to try to figure some things out on your own.

I found this to be a light, fun little read.  I highly recommend it.

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