REVIEW: The Silent Companions, Laura Purcell

I’m not usually a fan of ghost stories. Despite my love of thrillers, there is something about ghost stories and the supernatural that I find just a bit too creepy. But The Silent Companions really intrigued me and I have to admit that the beautiful cover also caught my eye.

Elsie is newly married and then widowed in a matter of months. Also pregnant, she arrives at the home where her husband grew up, The Bridge. There she becomes obsessed with the mysteries that have seen the house despised by the locals.

Told between the 1800s and 1600s, the book quickly gathers pace and darkens. The two stories focus on women ostracised by society, seen as witches, battling to keep going.

I really enjoyed the twisty plot, the variety of characters and the historical detail. This book reads beautifully and you can really tell that Purcell has done her research.

The book becomes truly dark when Elsie stumbles across a companion, a wooden figure painted to look like a real person. Hidden away in a tower, Elsie becomes obsessed that the companion can move about and that she is being watched.

At the same time, the older version of Elsie looks back on events from her room in a mental asylum and it is unclear what exactly has happened to Elsie and what the companions have done.

Despite the scenes in the mental asylum, the ending remains a mystery until the reader arrives at the final few chapters. It is a very pacy plot that I steamed through in a few days. I loved the dark details, the movement between periods and the fantastic ending.

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