Buy this book at
To Past Reviews Index
Back to Last Page

The Earth Hums in B Flat

Mari Strachan

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Canongate Books Ltd

Published : 2010

Copyright : Mari Strachan 2009

ISBN-10 : PB 1-84767-305-8
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-84767-305-3

Publisher's Write-Up

Gwenni Morgan is not like any other girl in this small Welsh town. Inquisitive, bookish and full of spirit, she can fly in her sleep and loves playing detective. So when a neighbour mysteriously vanishes, and no one seems to be asking the right questions, Gwenni decides to conduct her own investigation. She records everything she sees and hears: but are her deductions correct? What is the real truth? And what will be the consequences of finding out, for Gwenni, her family and her community?

'A warm and touching, but blessedly unsentimental, novel.'

The Times

'Strachan's prose is pitch perfect. A gorgeous debut.'

Marie Claire

'An impressive and wonderfully absorbing debut, which evokes the atmosphere of a small Welsh town with wit and precision.'

Waterstone's Books Quarterly
Column Ends


Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Ben Macnair (310311) Rating (8/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Rating 8/10
Mari Strachan’s debut novel The Earth Hums in B flat looks at life in a small post war Welsh town, from the viewpoint of Gwenni Morgan, a 12 year old, with a vivid imagination, and a fractured family life. She can fly in her sleep, and loves detective stories. She is close to father, and her Grandmother, but her sister and mother are far more distance. A neighbour has mysteriously disappeared, and when his body is found, she launches her own investigation, even though the local policeman has warned her not to get herself involved.

The everyday life in her small Welsh town is well described, as are many of the characters. Gwenni is seen as being odd, and there are whispers that it runs in her family, and the denouement of the novel reveals this to be true.

There is no happy ending to the book, with family secrets hiding in the shadows throughout the book, and secrets being kept from Gwenni and sister Bethan, until life forces the answers into the open.

The book is beautifully written, with no wastage of character of story. Everyday life for a young teenager is well related, whilst adult concerns are also broached, but in a way that does not spoil the line of the narrative.

High quality writing and story-writing make for a very worthwhile story, and promise much for Mari Strachan’s career.
Ben Macnair (31st March 2011)

Back to Top of Page
Column Ends