I’m a big fan of dark novels, so when I saw The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell haunting me on my Amazon wish-list, I knew I had to read it straight away.
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 for company.
Or so she thinks.
For inside her new home lies a mysterious wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears an unsettling resemblance to Elsie herself.
Very, very impressed with this. The definition of a page-turner
The Silent Companions had so many elements to it – you have a little bit of fantasy, a little bit of darkness, a bit of violence and gore, and a whole lotta ‘what on earth?’. I’m selling myself a re-read as I’m writing this review.
Originally, I got The Miniaturist vibe, but it instantly got a lot more sinister. This book genuinely gave me the creeps. Not because it had a huge plot twist (although there’s a heckin’ good plot twist), but because it’s just so intimidating. IMAGINE if little wooden figures just started popping up and thinking you’ve seen them move? Nope. I’d be on the other side of the world, quick as a flash.
If you’ve got a very good imagination, I’m convinced this book will also get to you. I could envision everything, from the companions themselves, to a room, piece of writing or even peeling wallpaper. Purcell’s writing plays a big part in this, because it’s descriptive without being dull, and every sentence is so perfectly crafted to create the atmosphere.
I really think Purcell has played this card really well – she plays on people’s fears of mental health, art and trauma to create a spectacular Victorian gothic.
The ending was incredible and the whole concept was very well thought through. I can’t fault this book at all, and the best part, for me, was the jumping between the three points of view. You go from the past in a different tone which is pulled in at the most necessary moments, the present, and the reflecting back on why Elsie is where she is now.
I would love to see this as a BBC TV series. I can honestly imagine it all and it will shock viewers everywhere. I may only be saying this because I want everyone to know about The Silent Companions so we can gossip.
A book with so many layers and surprises along the way. Very, very impressed with this. The definition of a page-turner.
And that last page. My jaw was on the FLOOR.
The Silent Companions, Laura Purcell, RRP £7.99 (paperback); Book Depository
Publisher: Raven Books
Genre: Victorian Gothic/ Thriller/ Fiction