Book Review: The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood


The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood

Published July 2, 2012

Summary: The Bellwether Revivals takes place mainly at King’s College, and the surrounding area. (Don’t you love it already?) Oscar Lowe is an outsider who works in a nursing home nearby who falls in love with the privileged medical student. As he dives into her world he realizes that the life on the other side isn’t always as beautiful as it seems.

Bechdel Test?: Unfortunately no. The book is from the perspective of a male character (Oscar) and he primarily interacts with other men. Iris and Jane, the two females who show up the most, don’t really talk to each other with Oscar around.

Rating: 5/5
It has been a long time since I’ve read a novel in which the prose was as beautiful as The Bellwether Revivals. Wood’s words are more than beautiful, they’re enchanting and brought me so deeply into the story that I forgot the time of day. I loved the mix of not knowing whether there was a supernatural element or whether there was just paranoia and delusion. The unreliable narrator of Oscar Lowe, coupled with the psychoanalysis provided by Dr. Herbert Cress, I was on my toes the whole time trying to figure out what would happen next. Honestly, if you only read one book this summer make it this one!

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Week in Review: What I Read

Full of excitement, this week has seen the gradual wind-down of senior year begin. I’m running ragged trying to get transcripts sent, Academic Infractions Board Cases heard, and grad classes registered–but I love it!  Here’s what I read this week in between errands

  1. What Books Did People Read On the Titanic? (Bookriot): Saying I’m obsessed with the Titanic is a slight understatement. My roommate and I had the conversation that everyone has “their” tragedy and the sinking of the Titanic is definitely mine. For me it signifies the real end to everything I love about the Victorian era: new technology, W.T. Stead, billionaires, and dreams. Given all of this it’s no surprise that I jumped with joy at all of the press coverage for the centennial. This article was of utmost interest, because c’mon: books + Titanic = love.
  2. Is a Credit Union Your Savior From Student Loan Debt? (Forbes): Another timely article as I just had my loan exit interview here at Kenyon. With student debt rising there’s been an increased interest in how to keep the “next generation” from stumbling to financial ruin. This article is a new take on an old problem.
  3. Podcasts by Oxford University English Faculty (via Blackwell’s Bookshop): Okay, so this one isn’t strictly an article, but it’s a great listen all the same! One of my favorite things about being an English major is that I get to listen to great minds talk about great literature and now I can take it with me! (Bonus: these professors have British accents.)
  4. Tutoring Surges with Fight for Middle School Spots (NYT): Though I read this in the print edition–Kenyon graciously holds subscriptions to the NYT that are delivered to the dining hall Monday through Friday–it’s available online. It boggles my mind that competition is so tough just for middle school tests — I didn’t take a prep course for the SAT! The article reminds me a lot of the documentary Nursery University (check it out if you haven’t already).