This was an interesting, if slightly uneven, read — it gripped me right from the start.
“Maybe that’s what he reminds her of: they are both full of dark corners, odd places, possibly ghosts.”
15 years ago, a 12 year old Minnie Graves witnesses something terrible at the Bellweather Hotel after her older sister’s wedding: a murder-suicide of a bride and groom. In present day, Minnie has returned — along with hundreds of students and teachers. The Bellweather, still clinging to its former glory days, has been hosting a massive festival for high school music students annually since the 1960s. This gathering, called Statewide, brings us the rest of our characters — a set of twin high school students, an evil music teacher, a slightly bonkers conductor. When a high school goes missing, the events of 15 years ago rise back to the surface.
“Though maybe that’s all life ever is. Unimaginable, until it’s happening to you.”
I liked the set up — the Bellweather seems like a character in its own right, and the caretakers move around it like ghosts. Music, too, takes up a lot of the descriptions and seems to come alive on every page. Considering the large cast, the main characters are fairly well-fleshed out, and I loved the atmosphere: a bunch of very driven, very talented musicians who are still just stupid teenagers all trapped in a snowstorm in a hotel. But the book was just…messy. So many storylines, so much to follow. A lot of the plot twists did surprise me, but it was more like — oh I’d forgotten about that piece among these many pieces.