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The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan

May 26, 2010

Strachan’s debut novel follows Gwenni Morgan, a young girl on the brink of adolescence, struggling to cling to her innocence amidst village life of 1950s Wales. Gwenni plays detective to solve the murder of Ifan Evans, a local villager who is found mysteriously drowned, whilst dealing with the turmoil of friendships, boys, and a mother who takes Ifan’s death harder than anyone. Did I forget to mention that she also thinks she can fly? 

I didn’t love this novel but neither did I hate it… I could appreciate Strachan’s writing and her quirky and eccentric characters but found the whole story rather slow with not much happening throughout. Strachan definitely captures the essence of village life in Wales down to a tee but at the same time this is what made me feel that if I was perhaps of an older age I would have enjoyed it. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone of my age (22). The story had a lot of resemblances to Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time as both main characters are very similar in their quests. But I found Haddon’s novel a lot more enjoyable.

 Rating: 2 1/2 stars.

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