The Bell at Sealey Head, by Patricia McKillip

So this weekend I finally read a book I was given by my husband for Christmas in 2008-- The Bell at Sealey Head, by Patricia McKillip.   Sheesh--so pathetic of me, but that is what happens when your tbr piles explodes and keeps growing--the books you know you love and really want to read get set aside (someday I'll read The Islands of Chaldea...).

But I am So Glad I have now read The Bell at Sealey Head because it is one of my most favorite of all Patricia McKillip's books and I loved it. 
It is a beautiful story of ordinary life twisted with magic in which nice people such as I'd like to be friends with who like books and stories and questioning the edges of reality learn about the magic and not much Happens in an action-packed sort of way and there are small things that made me laugh and beautiful pictures painted in my mind.  

So pretty much a perfect book for me, and if you at all love the same books I love do try it!

Here is a quick synopsis-

Every day, just as the sun sets, the bell at Sealy Head rings.  No one has seen the bell, no one knows its story--it is a mystery that is part of the fabric of life.   One young woman writes stories to explain it, one young man listens for it with his blind father, as their inn sits empty, one young man comes from far away (bringing lots of books) to find its story, one dying woman in her ancient manor house holds to its sound and to life, waiting....and another young woman hears it, but has moved passed it to the magic of the world that sometimes can be seen through the doors inside the manor.  And behind the doors is a third young woman, caught in an endless ritual of magic of which the bell is a part... (There are other people too, worth mentioning, but I feel I've mentioned enough).

And their lives all come together and they figure out the story (with the help of books) and untangle the chains of magic (which have a malevolent twist to them) and it is a happy ending with nice romance and it is flavored nicely with bits of comic relief from minor characters.

Yep.  Possibly even my favorite McKillip.....

If I were marketing it I would want to market it to YA readers because the main characters are in their teens, and it is very much a teens growing up story, but it is so different from what's in the YA section these days that I don't know how it would do there.....(pause while I try to think of a contemporary YA title I would describe as "beautiful magic."  Cannot think of one).


  1. Favorite of ALL???? Better than THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS or THE ALPHABET??????
    Must. READ. This. Book.

    1. yep! If I didn't have other books to read, I might well just have started reading it again....

  2. This review just makes me the happiest. *grin*

  3. I adore Mckillip, and so I loved this book. I am always thrown, though, by the fact that the story the innkeeper's daughter had nothing to do with anything else that was happening.


Free Blog Counter

Button styles