A Rhapsody in White

bellweatherIn a remote Catskill mountain hotel, once grand, but past its prime, tragedy struck when a young bride shot her unfaithful husband on their wedding day, then hanged herself with an extension chord in Room 712.  The tragedy had a witness–a young bridesmaid who returns to the Bellweather 15 years later, attempting to exorcise her ghosts.   Now the hotel is the setting  of the annual Statewide music festival where young prodigies are gathered for a weekend of practice and performance.  Half of a twin set, 16-year-old Alice is assigned Room 712 along with the daughter of  the festival’s head whose mother is a psychopathic uber shrew.   History seems to repeat itself when Alice returns to her room one evening and finds her roommate hanging, just as the bride had.  Lest you haven’t already grasped some similarities to a Stephen King novel, the snowstorm of the century is looming, but unlike King, Racculia inserts mysterious and quirky characters with secrets aplenty and enough humor to keep the grisly tragedy from weighing down a story that is more Grand Budapest Hotel than The Shining.  She serves up measures of  revenge, healing,  a reckless nighttime motorcycle ride, a holdup, romantic trysts, kidnapping, attempted murder, unlikely alliances, surprising revelations and more–a true rhapsody and one of the most entertaining novels I’ve read.  Bellweather Rhapsody is the kind of book you wish you hadn’t read, so that you could enjoy it all over again.

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