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The Silent Companions
Some doors are locked for a reason. Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge. With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin to keep her company. Or so she thinks. For inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure, a Silent Companion that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself.
Holy cow, it’s been a long time since I’ve read a really good gothic ghost story, but I definitely found a good one with Laura Purcell’s, The Silent Companions. The book starts out with Elsie being in a mental institution. She is mute and completely driven mad by events that took place at her late husband’s estate. The doctor that’s treating her insists she remembers what happened at the estate.
The author delivers excellent and very creepy scenery. She has a plain but really descriptive writing style, that SHOWS you the story instead of ‘telling’ you, it’s like you can literally see everything she wrote without adding a bunch of unnecessary filler. The mystery of the house and its occupants are well thought out, and rooted in much folklore, making it more believable. This is one of those books that is very hard to put down, you’re wanting to stay up just to reach the ending. I adore a book that can do that to me.
We next follow Elsie, whose husband of only a few weeks passes away at his family’s secluded estate. She then leaves the city to attend his funeral and check out this estate that belongs to her now. She is accompanied by her late husband’s cousin, Sarah. They soon discover that the house and nearby village are in a shocking state, and the few servants that are there when she arrives doesn’t seem qualified at all. Shortly after they settle in they discover a strange wooden figure in one of the locked rooms that looks suspiciously similar to Elsie. Sarah also discovers a diary written by one of her ancestors, and as she learns more about the history of the home, more figures begin appearing.
I love the way the author portrays the various mysteries of Elsie’s past and the history of the house. I also loved how the creepy silent companions unfolded throughout the book. I also found it interesting that the majority of the cast of characters are female and that the part of the book set in the ‘present’ deals with how women were perceived by the medical profession in a turbulent Victorian era when terror and rebellion equaled Witchcraft. The prejudices against gypsies, against the invalids, against women who have a special understanding of Nature. Witches, ghosts, curses and troubled minds. So in closing, do yourself a favor and get this book as soon as possible, you won’t regret it!
About the book Author
Laura Purcell worked in local government, the financial industry, and a bookshop before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in England, with her husband and pet guinea pigs. Fascinated by the darker side of royal history, Laura has also written two historical fiction novels about the Hanoverian dynasty.
Title: The Silent Companions
Author: Laura Purcell
Published Date: October 5, 2017
Genre: Horror Fiction, Ghost Story
Publisher: Raven Books
Format: Hardcover, Kindle
Pages: 317 pages
Reviewed by: Kathryn Price
Our Rating: 4.4 /5
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