Chime

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0.0
 
4.7 (3)
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Chime
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
March 17, 2011
ISBN
9780803735521
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Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.7  (3)
Characters 
 
4.7  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.7  (3)
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Not the Usual Paranormal Romance
(Updated: June 23, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Previously published on my blog: http://fictionfervor.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/review-chime-by-franny-billingsley/

Chime was a bit of a difficult read for me. At first, I was thrown off by the writing of the author and the time period and setting. The language was different, the style of writing was different, the thoughts of the protagonist were different–everything at first was a little skewed, making me a little disoriented. But gradually I adjusted, and I found that I could really enjoy this story of both magic and love–and hard decisions.

The story is told through the perspective of Briony Larkin, our protagonist. Hearing her thoughts was interesting–in addition to the feel of another time period and setting, the constant self-hating Briony inflicted on herself was unique. I’ve never really read a book with such a quirky yet masochistic character.

Another character of interest is Eldric. Oh, Eldric, Eldric, Eldric. I loved his bantering with Briony, teasing her, understanding her to an extent no one else had … I loved his connection with Briony, who thought herself not worthy of love. I loved it. He was the perfect remedy for Briony.

Overall, Chime was an interesting read. It didn’t have the usual paranormal romance: no vampires, no werewolves. There was still that passion between Briony and Eldric that all paranormal romances have, but Chime was definitely a unique novel–one that anyone who’s looking for something different might like.

Source: copy borrowed from library
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This Book is Magic
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
There are two Briony's that stand out to me in literature. There's Briony from Ian McEwan's novel Atonement, and there's Briony from Franny Billingsley's Chime. They are worth comparison. Both are storytellers, for one thing, and their storytelling works its way into the fabric of the narrative so completely that the reader has to learn the difference between what is told and what is true. Both Briony's struggle with a profound sense of guilt. Both Briony's feel responsible for the utter destruction of another person's life. The comparisons end here.

The Briony in Atonement, for one thing, is a self-deluded beast. It's hard to pity her, because she wants your pity. The novel is also historical to a T. There is nothing out of the ordinary in Atonement, save for McEwan's excessive infatuation with deceiving his readers. The Briony of Chime lives in a world that is anything but ordinary. Her house, a parsonage on the edge of a swamp, has been burnt by fire and engulfed by flood. And that's just the beginning of the things that Briony has done, because she's a witch and always has been, a witch who ought to be hanged for the damage she's wrought in her anger. It's the secret she keeps buried inside of her, the secret only her stepmother knew about. But her stepmother was murdered, and now there's no one but her strange sister Rose, her distant father, and a village ready to hang her the moment she cries Witch. Then Eldric comes and opens a window into her dark, troubled heart. He's everything she's not, and for a moment she begins to forget to hate herself so very utterly much.

Considering all the self loathing Briony engages in, you'd think this book would be a dreary, miserable sop to read. But it's not. It's absolute poetry from beginning to end - unflagging, unflinching, unapologetic poetry. The book is a reminder of the light and dark in the world of fairy. It's both a tribute to some very old tales, and something completely new all at the same time. Every character undergoes a delicate, believable transformation. The ending feels every inch justified, and the reader is deliciously, restfully satisfied.

Read it.
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Simply Stunning
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I'm not sure I can do this book justice in this review. It is absolutely stunning. From the first word, I was totally captivated, not just by Briony's voice (which is compelling and authentic), not just by the plot (which is full of delicious twists and turns), not just by the other characters (who are vivid and unique), not just by the setting (which is gorgeously atmospheric in a very gothic sense), but by the beautiful prose that made reading every word an incredible pleasure. Ms. Billingsley is a master of her craft, and I strongly recommend this book to everyone. Wow.
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