The Silent Companions

The Silent Companions

by Laura Purcell


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143131632
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 118,780
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the 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.

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st joseph's hospital

Excerpted from "The Silent Companions"
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Copyright © 2018 Laura Purcell.
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The Silent Companions: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic! Couldn’t stop reading it. Left me at the edge of me seat wanting to know what happens next. I hope to see more from this author!
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings An interesting gothic mystery book that from the beginning made me slow my reading down and read with an attention to detail. With two storylines featured, with the same character at the center. In one storyline Elsie is a young pregnant widow and is moving into her deceased husband's home and is going to try to put the pieces back together. In the other main storyline, Elsie is older and a fire has just happened and she is in a mental hospital and can't figure out what happened. There are other chapters that at the beginning confused me completely, but these are from a Bainbridge relative from the distant past.
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
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.
sandrabrazier More than 1 year ago
Elsie is newly married, pregnant, and widowed. As our story opens, she is on her way, accompanied by her sister-in-law, to her husband’s property in the country, an estate called The Bridge. Elsie expects a well-appointed mansion with attentive servants and manicured gardens. Instead, she finds a crumbling manor with ill-mannered and resentful servants. But that is not the worst part! Locked in the garret are wooden figures, one that resembles Elsie, herself. Everyone in the household seems to be afraid of them, but Elsie believes this is merely superstition…. until she sees their eyes follow her every move! This is a well-written book, whose narration shifts between three narratives: Elsie in St. Joseph’s in present day, her written account of what had happened to her in the house in 1865, and the journal of a previous ancestor who lived in the house in 1635. Slowly, the author fills in for both the reader and for Elsie, some terrifying secrets of the house. This is a frightening, classic Victorian ghost story that is sure to scare even the most composed reader.
PaulAllard More than 1 year ago
Spooky historical novel – Good but nothing special Taking place in 1865 (with flashbacks to1635), this novel centres around Elsie Bainbridge, pregnant and recently widowed, moving into her husband's country estate with Sarah, her companion and sister-in-law. Here she encounters mysterious goings-on which date back to an ancestor of her husband's family. A series of horrifying events (with a hefty body count) ensue leading to a climactic end. Not my type of book really but I saw it through to see how the plot develops – some of it was predictable. The characters are reasonably well-defined and developed. Recommended to lovers of “spooky” stories. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh my! I got this book looking for a horror/thriller and I got exactly what I was looking for. This book takes you into a hunted and cursed house. To be honest, this is a hard book to review cause there are so many points and I refuse to put spoilers into this review. Needless to say that there is murder, psychological issues, and theft. The characters are very well written and still leave you with the ability to use your imagination for their looks & how they move. The backstory is quite interesting and to be honest, I think the author could actually make a series of books just on the lines in the backstory. She closed all the story lines very nicely yet left it open for more books if she chooses, which I hope she does.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
We start this story in an institution with a woman that is mute. Dr. Shepherd is trying to learn her story even though the guards are telling him that the woman is a killer and to not waste his time. We learn this is Elsie, that she has been horribly burned in a fire, and that she has gone through hell but can’t remember what happened. Elsie is the daughter of a match factory owner. Rupert Bainbridge wanted to expand his holdings and marries Elsie. A couple months later, Rupert is found dead at his country estate, The Bridge. Of course there is scandal of the whole situation and Elsie’s brother sends her and Rupert’s cousin, Sally. The Bridge is decrepit and the local village clearly hates Elsie and Sally just because they are the owners. While exploring the house, Elsie and Sally have strong occurrences like locked doors mysteriously being opened then locked and a nursery looking immaculate then decrepit. But the wooden figure that looks like Elsie, the Silent Companion. As Sally reads the journal they found, the women learn that The Bridge has a history of a witch and curse. It seems there is good reason for the villagers to hate the owners of The Bridge. This is a great gothic mystery. Elsie though she was going to marry into a life of riches and finds herself in a rundown estate in the middle of a decaying country landscape. When the odd things happened I was curious about where this story was going. Then when I learn the history of The Bridge, I was starting to get seriously creeped out. But I have to say the part that got me was the flashes to the present as Dr. Shepherd is trying to get the story out of Elsie. This is a great, creepy gothic story. I recommend checking it out. You won’t be disappointed. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Thepagesinbetween More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Penguin Random House #partner for the free book, in exchange of this honest review. All opinions are my own. I give this book, 3 out of 5 stars. I was not sure what to expect going in to this book, it sounded creepy. I mean the cover is plastered with creepy looking dolls, so I could only imagine what was on the inside. This was a very eerie read, I had some pretty weird dreams when I read this book before bedtime. I did love the dual timeline of the 1600's and the 1800's, the writing was incredibly detailed, so it wasn't too hard to visualize the people, The Bridge, and the strange dolls.  This is a relatively small book, but it's crammed full. There is a lot that occurs in this book, within the walls of The Bridge, and outside. I will admit, with the alternating time periods, and the alternating chapters it took me a few to catch on, and there are random flash backs in the middles of chapters, so my tip is, when you're reading this one, make sure you can devout a lot of attention to it.  The only bad I can think of is that I could not really relate to the characters, they didn't really grab me. And I'm still not sure 100% what the dolls are. But a big plus is, I loved the last line of the book! I did I appreciate how it turned out, I do wonder if it was left open for a second book.  All in all, this was a good read. Not terrible and not mind-blowing, but good, and I do think many readers will enjoy it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn’t stop reading this book!