Young Moses Froben sings like an angel and possesses an otherworldly sense of hearing—gifts that carry him through a life rich in opportunity while burdening him with unimaginable pain. Set in the Swiss Alps and Vienna in the mid-18th century, Richard Harvell's debut novel, The Bells (Crown, Sept.), is a rare feat of storytelling. It's uncommon for me to pick up a work of historical fiction, but Harvell's storytelling skills had me rapidly engrossed in the lives of his characters. His rich, descriptive writing style is every bit the equal to the richness of his story. Most striking is his ability to describe sounds and music—an achievement that brings the story and characters to vibrant life in an unusual manner. His use of language engaged my sense of hearing in a way I had not experienced before while reading. The beauty and the anguish of the human voice lifted in song rings throughout this amazing novel.