This isn’t a new book. In fact it came out in October 2017 but I’ve only just discovered it thanks to my Audible trial subscription. If you’ve ever read any of the Wilkie Collins Victorian gothic chillers you’ll know what I mean when I compare The Silent Companions to this type of novel. Featuring strong, intelligent women struggling to find their place in a male dominated world, this is an interesting read. Purcell creates a very dark chilling environment where the action switches from the main character in a mental institution to her previous life as lady of the manor.
Mrs Bainbridge finds herself moving to her husband’s ancestral home, The Bridge, after his untimely death and she finds herself trying to find her place in this unwelcoming community. As she tries to create relationships with the local villagers their hatred of the house and its family is hard to overcome. So much so that they are unable to employ any local people in the house.
The action switches between the former occupants of the Bridge in the 1600s, the Bainbridge era in the 1860s and the confused and committed Mrs Bainbridge in the asylum. Threads of witchcraft and the supernatural weave through the story creating a dark and disturbing feel. Like evil lurking in every shadow. With a surprise ending that may be controversial to some Purcell keeps you reading right to the very end.
UK Publication date: Oct 5 2017. 317 pages.