3.61 (11,456 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 361 pages
  • 149 x 218 x 31mm | 472g
  • Dial Books for Young Readers,US
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0803735529
  • 9780803735521
  • 568,308

Review quote

"Part mystery, part fantasy, this beautifully-written page turner explores guilt, mercy, and love." -Holly Black, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Tithe" and "Ironside"
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About Franny Billingsley

Franny Billingsley is the award-winning author of four books, including "The Folk Keeper"--winner of the "Boston Globe-Horn Book" Award for fiction--and "Chime," which received six starred reviews and was a National Book Award finalist. A graduate of Tufts University and the Boston University School of Law, Franny left the practice of law to write full-time and hasn't yet looked back.
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Rating details

11,456 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 29% (3,267)
4 30% (3,383)
3 24% (2,716)
2 11% (1,298)
1 7% (792)

Our customer reviews

Previously published on my blog: 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 more
by Linda
Briony deserves to be hanged. Or so she desperately believes. Following the sudden death of her beloved stepmother, Briony and her mentally disturbed sister, Rose, find themselves under the scrutiny of the villagers in the Swampsea. But Briony has a secret. She is a witch, forbidden to go into the swamps she loves so much. When young Eldric moves into her home, she finds herself with a new friend and secret keeper. Can Briony keep her powers at bay, or will they lead to her demise? Franny Billingsley provides readers with an enchanting story of a young witch struggling to come to terms with her powers. While at times the plot line can be confusing, fans of paranormal and fantasy novels will consider CHIME a more
by TeensReadToo
FIRST SENTENCE: I've confessed to everything and I'd like to be hanged. 17-year-old Briony Larkin is a witch and she hates herself. Her identical twin sister Rose is prone to screaming fits and has a child's mentality. Briony's mother died in childbirth, and her stepmother, who she loved, was ruled to have killed herself by arsenic poisoning. Briony is the only one who doesn't believe her stepmother committed suicide. Her father, a clergyman, doesn't speak to his children, and Briony, along with a woman named Pearl, takes care of Rose. When a young man named Eldric comes to stay with them, Briony tries to keep herself from being his friend. She doesn't want to get jealous; jealousy is what caused her sister Rose's damage, her jealousy caused the fire that burned down their library and destroyed her books. Her jealousy caused the huge wave that came up and swallowed her stepmother, making her ill and putting her in the bed that she eventually died in. Briony carries all of the guilt for all of the bad things that have happened in her family, and she can't allow herself to feel love, even though the Old Ones keep telling her that she didn't hurt anyone. She finds out that the Boggy Mun, angry over the draining of the swamp at Swampsea, has sent swamp cough into the village to kill the children. When Rose falls ill with the swamp cough, Briony knows that her abilities can't remain a secret any longer, even though it means hanging. She must let the village know how to cure the children, even if it means her own death. Chime is a lyrical mystery tied up in a fantasy, with a unique writing style and dialect. It will not be for everyone, as the story seems to double over on itself at times, and what Briony and the reader thinks happened may not be at all what really happened. We meet the Old Ones, unique creatures specific to Swampsea, and the Chime Child, with one foot in the world of the Old Ones and one in the human world. The Chime Child is the one who determines at trail who is really a witch, and at the last trial, she made a mistake, and an innocent was killed. The manner in which Briony's tale unfolds can be confusing to some, as Briony is herself confused, having been told many things that may or may not be true, and the reader may have their own suspicions that Briony doesn't share. This is a complex tale with many layers, each of which I enjoyed peeling back through Briony's narration. QUOTES (from an ARC; may be different in final copy): Eldric wasn't handsome, not in a Greek statue kind of way, not like Cecil Trumpington, who wants to marry me. Well, Cecil actually wants to marry the idea of me. He wants a girl with ivory skin and corn-silk hair; he wants a girl with the face of an angel. In a proper story, antagonistic sparks would fly between Eldric and me, sparks that would sweeten the inevitable kiss on page 324. But life doesn't work that way. I didn't hate Eldric, which, for me, is about as good as things get. They'd throw stones at me too, once I was in jail. But at least I was a witch and deserved it. I wasn't so sure about Nelly. You'd think I'd recognize a fellow witch, but no: I'd find out with everybody else. If Nelly was a witch, she'd turn to dust once she was hanged. If not, we'd know we made a mistake. Writing: 5 out of 5 stars Plot: 4.5 out of 5 stars Characters: 4 out of 5 stars Reading Immersion: 4 out 5 stars BOOK RATING: 4.3 out of 5 starsshow more
by Julie Smith
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