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Ratings and Book Reviews (6 55 star ratings
6 reviews
)

Overall rating

3.9 out of 5
5 Stars
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  • Hiss Hiss

    This novel actually evokes the grand tradition of the gothic novel rather nicely and it is suitably disturbing. Whilst it is clear from the outset that something not quite natural is going on and that we, the reader, are aware of just what that is it still manages to raise the prerequisite chill. I'm not sure that Ghost Story is the right description for this one, it reeks more of possession to me but whatever it is it is gloriously creepy. Even better, not everybody who is who they first appear to be and there are dark depths to both Sarah and Elsie that match very well with The Bridge and it's former inhabitants. The house itself has everything you need from a country pile - semi-derelict village whose villagers give it a wide berth; rather peculiar staff and a locked room that seems to have a rat infestation judging by the noises heard coming from it. The one thing I did wonder about was why Ms Purcell seems to have a thing about incarcerated women - in both The Silent Companions and The Corset the main narrator is in, respectively, a mental asylum or a prison. The diary entries of the first Mrs Bainbridge and the story of their social climbing sets the scene for what follows rather nicely. The fact the diary entries are interspersed with Elsie's recollections of what is happening in The Bridge make it quite compelling reading. You have the hints of Witchcraft, a rather strange Old Curiosity Shop in the town and a very disturbed (and disturbing) young child. Above all you have The Silent Companions themselves, just the thought of these life size wooden cutouts painted to resemble people gives me shudders. When you realise that they are apparently taking on the appearance of those who lived in the house it just gets worse. I really enjoyed this book and it gave me goosebumps in the most delicious way.

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    3 person found this review helpful

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  • What a ride.

    What a ride! I really didn't expect this book to be as creepy as it was. I've been sitting on the edge of my seat ever since I've started to read the first page and was overwhelmed with all the plot twists that lurked round every page. Just what I needed, a really creepy and intriguing Gothic ghost story.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Ok but did not flow well

    Book was good but lacked flow and was a bit slow in places

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Well titled to make you want to pick the book up

    This was the book that I took away with me on my recent trip to the Netherlands to see and hear Andre Rieu. Very definitely a book that gripped me so tightly that I found it a struggle to put down. A real psychological thriller with as many twists and turns as a winding country road which should, I think, appeal to anyone whose imagination is not confined to the limitations of the ordinary.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Spine-chillingly creepy!

    The Silent Companions is a spine-chilling gothic horror novel by Laura Purcell. Set in 1866, The Silent Companions follows Elsie, pregnant with her late husbands’ baby and staying at the dilapidated family house, The Bridge. It soon becomes apparent hat this will not be the safe retreat that Elsie needs for the rest of her pregnancy. The story flits between two timelines. The first set a couple of hundred years before and seen through a diary that is discovered along with the wooden figure and then also from Elsie’s point of view in 1866. She discovers a strange wooden figure, a silent companion, that looks eerily like herself hidden away, locked inside a dark and dusty room. The figure frightens the staff, some reporting that the figure moves and its eyes follow them. Strange noises, bumps and peculiar hisses in the night, missing diamonds and betrayal. Is it all superstition or there something far more sinister at work? The Silent Companions is a story of family secrets and tragedy, death and grief. It's beautifully written with creepily atmospheric descriptions that left me chilled to the bone. Laura Purcell has written a wonderful cast of varied characters. The one who stands out for me is our main character, Elsie who we follow on her tragic journey from strong-willed businesswoman to the broken and pitiful patient we find in St Joseph’s. This story is a great read for this time of year, perfect for Halloween if like me you like a good scare. Spine-chillingly creepy!! Thank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the opportunity to read this book.

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