Monday, August 6, 2018

Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

2 stars

Charley has taken on the role as museum curator in a small town. The museum focuses on the Wilde family. The museum is well-known to the town for its ghost story about a young Wilde and her French-Canadian lover who was shot. This story melds the two narratives together and uncovers that many stories are fabrications and the truth isn’t always easy to explain. This novel was boring. I am honestly so disappointed. I’ve been wanting to read a Susanna Kearsley novel for years and I think starting with her most recent release was a big mistake, especially since reviews from fans are not saying this is a hit. My biggest problem with this novel is that there isn’t a problem to be solved. It’s supposed to be a mystery, but nothing about what Charley is doing in her timeline offers lend to this narrative and the story between Lydia and Jean-Philippe is kind of boring. There’s nothing wrong with Kearsley’s writing style. It has some nice lines, but nothing about this story gripped me. I can’t tell you what the point of this novel is because nothing really happens. I’m incredibly disappointed.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 2

Charley has an interesting job and I’ve never read about a museum curator before so that was interesting. She isn’t an interesting character to follow and I don’t know who she is as a person. In fact, I don’t really want to because I was intrigued enough by her to want more answers. She was lackluster. Her problems were uneventful and stereotypical and the chapters she was in didn’t revolve around her but the museum and them trying to get items for the museum. Lydia is kind of interesting. Her chapters were probably the best thing about this novel and that’s not saying much considering how uninteresting even her chapters were. I guess I liked her. I didn’t really buy into any of the troubles she was having or the supposed issues because Kearsley didn’t do a good job of presenting background to this heroine. She was just kind of there to be the focal point of a past love story.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: Charley-2 Lydia- 2

Jean-Philippe is also interesting, but still just a cardboard cutout to show, “Hey, this is the guy that people think is a ghost roaming around with a lantern.” In theory, I love this concept, but I’m not a fan of Kearsley’s execution of it. He wasn’t a bad guy and I liked that he could only speak French and Lydia couldn’t. It made it hard for them to communicate, but Lord, was I bored. Charley also has to have a love interest. Sam’s a nice. I liked him a lot. He’s funny and he has a dog. That’s about it.

Swoon Worthy Scale: Jean-Philippe-2 Sam-2

There are a lot of characters in this novel and I don’t have any favorites. Not one of the twenty-plus characters I came across gripped me enough to remember them. In fact, I finished this today and I’m struggling to remember side characters names. I did like Charley’s dynamic with her niece, Rachel, and Malika was funny. That old guy (was his name Frank?) was a great storyteller and he was sassy. Charley’s boyfriend was a douchenozzle and I don’t know why she bothered to continue a long-distance relationship with him because it was obvious that she cared about him as much as she cares about her cellphone (which isn’t much because she left that thing at home at least five times). I liked Violet, the slave’s story, a lot and how it played out. I was a little disappointed that she didn’t have more page time because I loved her story.

Character Scale: 2

Overall, I think I’m going to give Kearsely another shot, but I don’t recommend checking this one out. She has a huge backlist and I’m definitely going to look into her more popular titles. This one just missed the mark for me and was a total snooze-fest. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some. This was definitely a loss.

Plotastic Scale: 2

Cover Thoughts: I love this cover so much. It looks so beautiful and it has a magical realism feel to it. I wish this novel had carried that same whimsy because this is beautiful.

Thank you, Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest.
 Have you read Bellewether? Are there any books by Susanne Kearsley that you recommend? Let me know down below in the comments!

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