Sunday, March 24

Book Review: The Earth Hums in B Flat

Title: The Earth Hums in B Flat

Author: Mari Strachan

Pages: 327

Summary: The Earth Hums in B Flat is a story of dark family secrets unravelled by the shrewd insight of twelve-year-old Gwenni Morgan, a child with an irrepressible spirit living in a Welsh village that is reluctantly entering the modern age. From the small bed that she shares with her sister at night she flies up into the starry sky above her village and looks down on the lives of its inhabitants. And when the family that she babysits for is rocked by the sudden, unexplainable disappearance of their patriarch, Gwenni is determined to solve the mystery of Ifan Evan’s whereabouts. Turning amateur detective, she is unaware that the trail will lead her closer to home than she ever imagined.

Told with a breathtaking, irresistible blend of freshness and wisdom, the voice that sixty-two-year-old Welsh debut novelist Mari Strachan has created with Gwenni is vibrant, charming, and full of heart. An unforgettable character, Gwenni’s unique way of seeing the world lends her the ability to make the ordinary extraordinary. A magical novel about the trials of youth, familial duty, and understanding, The Earth Hums in B Flat will transport you to another time and place.

My Rating: 5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I had a hard time getting into the book. While I liked the initial idea behind it, in the end the book just didn't work out for me.

I didn't exactly connect to the main character and there were times I found her to be a bit of an unbelievable character. She was suppose to be a young child, and while some of the events in her life have shaped her personality and how she perceives the world, there were multiple times her actions and thought process just didn't match up to her age or maturity. Although there were a few times, the childlike innocence came through, which did make me smile (the fox shall/scarf), I had a lot of trouble with Gwenni as a character.

I enjoyed aspects of the plot, and the angle the author took on mental illness. It was interesting to see how the author showed how it can affect everyone around the person with a mental illness. It being a book being seen through a child's eyes created an interesting perspective on what was happening, and I wish that aspect was explored more than the mystery side of things. I found that the mystery side of the book, didn't exactly work out. I think it has to do more with Gwenni's involvement, but it wasn't an aspect of the book I enjoyed.

It was a pull and push for how deep my interest was in the book. Parts pulled me in, but in the end the book didn't work for me.

Would I recommend it to read: I'm not sure I would. It wasn't a bad story, but it wasn't exactly a book I'd recommend, when there are other books that with similar themes and plots out there to read.

What to read next: The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Mental Illness Awareness Challenge, New Authors Challenge


  1. I really enjoyed it but I must admit I don't read many similar books so wasn't comparing it to anything.

    1. Most readers seem to enjoy this book, it just didn't work out for me, but glad it was a book could enjoy. The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time is an excellent read, and somewhat similar protagonist.