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Benjamin Wood Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Bellwether Revivals (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ecliptic (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Young Accomplice (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Benjamin Wood is an English author of literature and fiction books. He was born and spent his childhood in England. He is a University of British Columbia graduate with a masters of fine arts in creative writing. His debut book, The Bellwether Revivals was nominated for Commonwealth Book Prize and Costa First Novel Prize. In 2014, the novel was the winner of France’s Prix du Roman. Benjamin is a part-time writer and lecturer. He is a Surrey resident.

The Bellwether

Benjamin Wood grabs the attention of the reader from the beginning where he introduces a word of shock with three bodies where two of them are dead, and one has some little life in it. The story then takes us to a time one year ago to help the reader understand the bodies better.

The protagonist of the story, Oscar Lowe, is twenty –year- an old nurse who entangles himself with some educated students from Cambridge. Two of the student; Iris and Eden, are siblings, and he finds himself falling in love with Iris.

The Bellwether is a family staying in Cambridge where the siblings are currently in college. Eden study at King’s College and has some weird myths about music and him. Most of his tales are on the writings of the Johann Matheson, a mysterious Baroque composer. Eden is obsessed with Johan, and sometimes he behaves like a mad man while Iris is an independent and a young lady in distress even though her behavior is that of older and an intellectual lady. She is studying medicine after her father influenced her to take it. One day she finds Oscar at kings’ college and the two become friends.

Oscar becomes one of the Bellwether’s followers and joins a chapel where Eden’s organ is played. He becomes enthralled by the knowledge of the siblings and is delighted by their attention. Oscar later shows interest in taking part in an experiment that is conducted to test the beliefs on music and mesmerism. However, Oscar finds out that Eden’s myths are stranger than he initially thought. Eden thinks that he can cure injuries and also more severe illness, and this is what makes Iris feel that he is becoming mad.

Iris asks for Oscar’s help to convince Eden that he needs some assistance, a mission that also involves Herbert Crest, who is an expert in personality disorder and is currently having a brain tumor which Eden is willing to cure.

On the other hand, Oscar is taking care of Dr. Paulsen, who is already retired, professor. The retired professor teaches him literature and also cautions him about the company of his new friends. Oscar is afraid since he comes from a humble family which can’t be compared to that of the Bellwethers.

The things appearing to have no connection become entangled as Oscar tries to accomplish the promise he made top Iris. We are introduced to Herbert Crest, who has been close to Dr. Paulsen, who eventually becomes Oscar’s friend in his mission to find the truth. The purpose began the time Oscar changed his home route, a decision that diverts his life journey giving rise to the division of several things.

Although Oscar is cynic, there seems to have some truth in the existence of mystical powers owned by Eden, which keeps you guessing in most parts of the story. The mystery in the story is nicely woven in a plot that will be liked by readers of love campus tales and books.

The Ecliptic

The book is written in different parts where the first part is about Elspeth Conroy, who is a painter, a native of Portmantle, a place which serves as a refuge for artists. The home is lived by the people who have lost contact with their inspiration, which has firm rules set differently to abolish the barriers of creative freedom.

After the abolishment, the artists have to look for a new identity, so Elspeth has named himself ‘Knell’ and Quick man an author, Pettifer an architect and MacKinney, a play writer. For one to join the Portmantle, he has to be invited and must clearly understand all the information of its existence, nature, and secrets.

The first scene in the Portmantle shows the arrival of a fresh member in the community named Fullerton, who is just a teenage boy. Fullerton is very troublesome, but his presence is obviously very flimsy, but Elspeth soon feels motherly to him. Elspeth, now known as Knell, is in her thirties, has lived on the island for a decade where she met three close friends.

The second part takes us back to Elspeth’s history from her childhood when she went to London from Clydebank and her start of success and fame and the critical journey to New York on the boat. Her whole life is organized in scenes that show her character successfully as she undergoes through real pain. Elspeth’s past is absorbing just like her present, especially when it comes to her relationship with Jim Culvers, her former mentor whom she has fallen in love.

The book narrates about the life of Elspeth how she natures her relationships and displays in bursts of obsession and exhaustion that near madness. Portmantle mostly aims at recessing the artists from all the distractions that may block them from attaining their dreams though sometimes the distractions are the ones that make life.

Elspeth and her friends are stuck in the Portmantle, and they stay on the island for several years, losing track of the years such that they did not know the order of the years. Despite all that, they had already failed to accomplish their schemed masterworks.

The story provokes many questions on how inspiration is lost and later found and what this means in the life of an artist. The Ecliptic opens up like the process of painting especially Elspeth’s work by the films of paint overlaid by the glossy pigment she makes from uncommon species of mushrooms. Although the story begins in the 1960s in London, it immediately adopts the ageless quality as we learn about the different artists in Portmantle.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Benjamin Wood

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