“A lyrical debut . . . [Strachan’s] light touch keeps the story unfamiliar and surprising, while Gwenni's uber-precocious narration revels in a love for language and reveals an unspoiled innocence about the world. It's small, quiet and nicely done.” Publishers Weekly
The Earth Hums in B Flat
978-1-84767-192-9 • $14.00 • Paperback • June 2009
When I sang the note to Mr. Hughes he said it was B flat but he laughed when I said it was the note the Earth hummed. He doesn’t know how the Earth’s deep, never-ending note clothes me in rainbow colors and fills my head with all the books ever written. I could stay up here forever without the need for anything else in the whole world.
The Earth Hums in B Flat is a story of dark family secrets unraveled by the shrewd insight of twelve-year-old Gwenni Morgan, a child with an irrepressible spirit living in a Welsh village that is reluctantly entering the modern age. A dreamer with a knack for collecting and piecing together tidbits of information she overhears, Gwenni is forever asking unanswerable questions. From the small bed that she shares with her sister at night she flies up into the starry sky above her village and looks down on the lives of its inhabitants. And when the family that she babysits for is rocked by the sudden, unexplainable disappearance of their patriarch, Gwenni is determined to solve the mystery of Ifan Evan’s whereabouts. Turning amateur detective, she is unaware that the trail will lead her closer to home than she ever imagined.
Told with a breathtaking, irresistible blend of freshness and wisdom, the voice that sixty-two-year-old Welsh debut novelist Mari Strachan has created with Gwenni is vibrant, charming, and full of heart. An unforgettable character, Gwenni’s unique way of seeing the world lends her the ability to make the ordinary extraordinary. A magical novel about the trials of youth, familial duty, and understanding, The Earth Hums in B Flat will transport you to another time and place.