Today’s prompt is:

“What is the best book you’ve read all year?”

2917367Out of the seven books I’ve read this year, I think I enjoyed Patricia McKillip’s The Bell at Sealey Head the most. Her haunting style of writing fit the mystery of the old mansion and the eerie strangeness of the Other Manor. As always, I enjoyed the lyrical quality of the words, but I also had the additional enjoyment of being able to follow the story-line fairly easily – it didn’t get lost in the wispiness of McKillip’s prose, which is often a problem that I have with her work.

The romance in this book is gentle and slow-developing and the “love triangle” is far above average in that it functions the way a love triangle would in real life. There’s minimal pining and mooning between the three parties, but rather a young woman faced with the choice of two honorable men, one more suited to her in temperament, the other able to provide a comfortable life despite their differing interests. Both men are steady and likable and treated her with respect and kindness (though the one we were supposed to root for was less irritating by far – hey, we had to be able to tell somehow, right?)

This choice contrasts with the strange ritual of the Other Manor, where the princess herself has no choice of suitor and goes about life acting out strange fractions of an ancient ritual.

So, anyways, wonderful blend of romance, mystery, and beautiful words. I highly recommend it!

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