Title: The Silent Companions
Author: Laura Purcell
Publisher: Raven Books
As always, this will be a spoiler free review of the novel.
It’s finally Autumn, my favourite season by far. Yes, yes, we can pull out our cosy jumpers snuggle up in our scarves and carve our pumpkins. But more importantly, I can reread all my gothic horror stories! Well, I can do this at any time of the year (and frequently do) but the Autumn atmosphere it perfect to lock myself away with a good novel as the evenings get longer. And a book is likened to ‘The Little Stranger’ by Sarah Waters, I am immediately interested, hence my eagerness to get my hands on a copy of Laura Purcell’s ‘The Silent Companions’ (thanks Bloomsbury!)
Newly married Elise should be in the prime of her life, she is pregnant and should be looking forward to growing her family and enjoying her pregnancy. Instead, she finds herself widowed within a few months of her wedding and is sent to spend the remainder of her pregnancy at her late husbands decaying country estate, The Bridge.
Elsie’s new servants are resentful of her presence in the house, and the villagers avoid the estate and those that reside within. This leaves only Sarah, Elise’s late husbands awkward cousin for companionship in the lonely countryside. However, The Bridge is not as lonely as Elsie first thinks. There is a locked door inside her new home, and what lurks behind will change the course of Elsie’s future.
The story is told from the third person perspective of Elsie, and later a first person diary account of an ancestor is introduced. Sometimes, with a narrative of mixed perspectives such as this, the story can become confusing and hard to follow, however it flowed well throughout and all of the characters were well-written, if not all likeable.
I’m really pleased to have discovered a new author who is able to create a perfect gothic atmosphere within a great story. Laura Purcell’s second novel, ‘The Corset’ is due out in 2018!