Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

"We make music to- to find each other in the dark. And I have to believe the point is that we don't- we don't ever stop calling out..."

Minnie went to the Bellweather for the first time for her sister's wedding. She was a bridesmaid, concerned with her too-tight shoes, when she stumbled upon a grisly scene. On the wrong floor, she came across a newly married couple. The groom was slumped in the hall, blood soaking his shirt. The bride was standing on a chair, a noose around her neck. "Come here little girl," she beckoned.

Minnie ran then, but the memories chased her. She has nightmares, she is afraid to leave the house. Now, fifteen years later, Minnnie returns to the Bellweather to put her ghosts to rest.

The same weekend that Minnie revisits her past, the Bellweather is hosting Statewide. Statewide is a high school music festival that invites only the very best musicians. Twins Alice and Rabbit will be attending. Alice is a diva singer. Rabbit is a shy bassoonist. Alice ends up staying in the same room where the murder-suicide occurred. Alice finds her famous flautist roommate, Jill, (Whose awful stage mother shanghaied Statewide) hanging in their room, then the body disappears. Alice then meets (And is abducted by) Minnie.

Rabbit hopes to use the weekend to tell his sister that he is gay. He also ends up building a reputation as a rebel with the other orchestra students. Their chaperone, Natalie Wilson, encounters a familiar face. Jill's mother, Viola, was her music teacher. She was the one who stole her love of music, turned it into a chore to be endured, and told her she wasn't special. I know this doesn't sound too bad, and she was probably right, but Viola was a giant witch so we hate her.

Everyone is observed by Harold Hastings. He has been concierge of the Bellweather for forty-six years. He witnessed the event years ago, and he takes it upon himself to figure out what is going on after Jill disappears.

Bellweather Rhapsody is a character-driven story. I really enjoyed seeing how the characters were connected and seeing them interact. It's a bit difficult to categorize. It borrows a lot from The Shining, but it's not exactly horror. It's somewhat funny, but not exactly a comedy. There are some very major turns that occur at the end of the story that make it very fun. You could imagine this as a movie; it would fit right in with Wes Anderson's stuff.

I received my copy of Bellweather Rhapsody from Edelweiss and through the Goodreads First Reads program. It's available for purchase now.

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