Book Review for BELLMAN & BLACK by Diane Setterfield

In the end, all we are left with are our thoughts and memories.

All stories have a beginning, but it is the best of them that have an event that acts as a catalyst for the entire book. As a boy, William Bellman makes one decision that will set the course for the rest of his life. Though he soon puts that moment behind him, the time when he killed the rook will never truly leave him. He grows up and has a family of his own. For all intents and purposes he has a blessed life. Then tragedy enters. As the people in his life begin to leave him, William notices one man that appearing again and again. The man who becomes know to him as Black. In a night of desperation, he meets Black and enters into a deal to save his last remaining child.

Soon after, William embarks on creating Bellman & Black, the greatest seller of mourning goods. He becomes his business and in the end dies there. At the end all that he is left with is Thought and Memory. All that he has to be harvested is Thought and Memory.

What makes the novel so truthful to me is the reality that Diane Setterfield brings to her characters. Who among us has not done something as a child or young adult that we regret? Who has not dealt with loss or sorrow in our lives? In each of her characters, there is a bit of all of us. There are elements of personalities that are shared within all of us.

Since the day I closed The Thirteenth Tale, I was waiting for the next book by Diane Setterfield. Now that I have read her second book, I anxiously await her third. Every time I enter the worlds that she puts onto paper, I instantly become engrossed in her tales. She, in my opinion, is a truly amazing author with a talent for depicting the best and worst of us all.

Highly Caffeinated Rating of… ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕


About the Book:

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small cruel act that appears to have unforeseen and terrible consequences. The killing of a rook with his catapult is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. And by the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he seems indeed, to be a man blessed by fortune.

Until tragedy strikes, and the stranger in black comes, and William Bellman starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain. A rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born.

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Find the Book on Amazon.


About the Author:

Diane Setterfield is a British author. Her bestselling novel, The Thirteenth Tale (2006) was published in 38 countries worldwide and has sold more than three million copies. It was number one in the New York Times hardback fiction list for three weeks and is enjoyed as much for being ‘a love letter to reading’ as for its mystery and style. Her second novel is Bellman & Black (2013).

Born in Englefield, Berkshire in 1964, Diane spent most of her childhood in the nearby village of Theale. After schooldays at Theale Green, Diane studied French Literature at the University of Bristol. Her PhD was on autobiographical structures in André Gide’s early fiction. She taught English at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie and the Ecole nationale supérieure de Chimie, both in Mulhouse, France, and later lectured in French at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. She left academia in the late 1990s to pursue writing.

The Thirteenth Tale was acquired by Heyday Films and adapted for television by the award-winning playwright and scriptwriter, Christopher Hampton. Starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman, it was filmed in 2013 in North Yorkshire for BBC2.

Diane Setterfield’s 2013 novel, Bellman & Black which layers themes of time, memory and loss is published in the autumn of 2013 in UK, USA, Canada, Norway and Spain. Other countries are to follow in 2014.

Diane lives in Oxford, in the UK. When not writing she reads widely, and when not actually reading she is usually talking or thinking about reading. She is, she says, ‘a reader first, a writer second.’


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