20 September 2010

A new novel for those who love classical music and historical fiction

Richard Harvell's The Bells, one of the more interesting books I read on vacation this year, was just released this week by Crown Publishing.  Born to a deaf mother amidst the peals of the loudest bells in 18th-century Christendom, Moses Froben is a boy whose extraordinary sense of hearing is matched only by the altitudinous beauty of his soprano voice.  Dark events in his young life lead him to seek sanctuary at the Abbey of St. Gall, where even darker events lead to the forced castration that will preserve his exquisite voice and rend him asunder from his true love.  (Or will it?) All musical roads eventually lead to Vienna, and there he finds solace with friends old and new in this fascinating retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth.  An impressive debut that will delight historical fiction and classical music fans alike!

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to add a comment about the type. The book is set in Mrs. Eaves (and here's a shout-out to Random House books that they almost always include a note on the type!), which is very pretty to look at, but I found it a bit difficult to read for long periods of time. Seeing it on the page, it is quite lovely and open, and apparently it's based on Baskerville and named after John Baskerville's wife and partner--I love knowing those little details that most readers will never notice. But reading large chunks of it left me with a headache.


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)