The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder – Book Review

Some books make you want to jump in and write a review so that the whole world knows about it. One such book that I read recently is.. Sarah J Harris’s The Color of Bee Larkham’s murder.

You can find the synopsis of the book from GoodReads

When I first came across the title of the book last year during its cover reveal, I was much intrigued. When I heard of synesthesia, it perked my interest.

The book is about 13-year old Jasper Wishart, who has this condition called Synesthesia because of which he not only hears sound but also sees the color of them. For example, his father’s voice is muddy ochre, the days of the week have specific colors and even knocking doors, whispers , sighs have colors. Jasper cannot also recognize faces, because of which he remembers people through their voices. Or the color of them.

 

My life is a thrilling kaleidoscope of colors only I can see..

Since Jasper can see colors, he loves painting the colors  – the everyday sounds – around him. Having lost his mother who is the only person who understands and shares his ability to see colors, he copes with his life watching people through binoculars from his window. When he notices parakeets, his favorite colorful birds, on his neighbor’s tree, he befriends Bee Larkham, the estranged daughter of his neighbor, just so he could spend time watching the birds from her bedroom window.

An unusual, unhealthy relationship forms between the two of them and when Bee goes missing, Jasper is the only one who knows what happened to her but he can’t really tell. Or can he?

This book is brilliantly written and told in alternate time periods – before Bee went missing and the present – from Jasper’s point of view. You can see the amazing efforts of Sarah J Harris when she talks through Jasper explaining colors and the difficulty of trying to make others understand the colors. The young child misses his mother terribly and this just breaks your heart when you read it. The book also brings to light an important topic – but no spoilers !!

Trying to find his mother in Bee, he falls in a rabbit hole of emotions and is caught between love and hate.

Must read this book, I cant recommend it enough!!

My rating : 5 STARS !!!!

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also find this review on Goodreads page

About the book:

Author: Sarah J Harris

Publishers : HarperCollins

Published on: April 2018

Source: Own copy

You can buy the book from here:  Amazon.in

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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore – Book review |Unexpected

Author : Matthew J. Sullivan

Publisher : Atria Paperback

Pub Date: June 2017

Source : Own copy

Get the book from Amazon.in.

You can find my review in Goodreads page as well.

Book Blurb

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind. Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves. 33011222

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?
As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left.

My thoughts

I have this thing for books that have a plot based on a bookstore or library and when I came across this book on Amazon, the blurb caught my eye and I decided to buy it. Its told in first person by Lydia Smith and begins when she discovers one of her store’s frequent and enigmatic customer – Joey who has killed himself inside the store! what follows is even more unexpected events in Lydia’s life as she is given his possessions – his books – as per his wish. She is confused because she isn’t that close with him and Joey had always been kind of a loner and a person of few words. Things get interesting when the books contain cryptic messages from Joey that somehow makes Lydia believe they were left for  a reason and she is equally  scared and intrigued because of her own personal trauma haunting her from the past.

The narrative was a bit dry and often I was losing interest but that could be just me, because I was reading this book in parts, for a really long time. But once Lydia’s past and Joey’s death started looking like they were connected, I was hooked, because I couldn’t for the life of me guess how this young man was even remotely linked to her past life.  The cryptic messages weren’t making any sense to me, but believe me when you finish the book everything falls into piece and you cant stop emoting for Joey 😦 I might have cried a little !!

Characterization

The book was full of bizarre characters from the bookstore (Joey including), Lydia’s boyfriend and how they all were not aware of Lydia’s haunting past because she , well, changes her last name and all that, but I kept wanting to read only about what the hell happened 20 years ago. How Lydia becomes estranged to her father  is told so very well , because for both of them to undergo such a horrific experience in their life and then move on leading a normal one would seem completely deceiving.

All along the book, if I could point out one character that was so beautifully portrayed, with all the gory and drab details – the single parent’s struggle in raising a daughter, protecting her and coping with the aftermath of a trauma – is Tomas, Lydia’s father.

The second half and especially the climax is emotionally toiling because of reunions and unraveled mysteries. And that’s definitely great because this book needs it!. It starts of dry, moves on in a mystery and ends in an emotional and a sensitive note.

“…..he’d spent his whole life trying in vain to find a place that, for him, was never allowed to exist.”

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery.

My rating 4 stars   Image result for 4 Star Emoticon Text black

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