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Search tags: Gothic-Horror
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review 2019-03-24 16:36
The Silent Companions
The Silent Companions - Laura Purcell

I´m a little bit fed up with gothic horror novels. The Silent Companions is another one of these lackluster attempts at writing an atmospheric, creepy and scary book and doesn´t hit the mark on any of these three things. Add to this a main character, who I disliked from the very first page and an ending, which didn´t make any sense at all.

And I would really appreciate if an author gives a more sophisticated reason for a malicious spirit being evil. In this book it basically boils down to "The ghost is evil because the person in real life has been evil". No explanation whatsoever why said person is evil and above all, what was the objective of this ghost. Why did it do all the things it did? 

 

I get it, it´s a "devils spawn" kind of plot. I was so bored by all of it.

(spoiler show)

Since this book wasn´t scary at all, I´m not batting an eyelash at putting out the lights tonight. On to the next read.

 

 

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text 2019-03-22 06:01
Reading progress update: I've read 99 out of 364 pages.
The Silent Companions - Laura Purcell

She missed him terribly. Missed him and hated him. How could he abandon her? He was meant to be her savior, her reward, the rich man who swept into the factory and fell in love below his station. She could not face the days ahead without him. She could not raise a child and cope with all the memories that stirred.

 

She is having memories of her dead husband, sitting in this dilapidated house, writing letters. And she can´t even have these memories, because she wasn´t even with him in the house. I´m not sure if the word "memories" is the right word for that. She imagines how he was sitting at that desk. Hmm....

 

Anyhow, she hasn´t even loved him. She might have come to love him, giving the appropiate amount of time. But in the beginning he is a cash cow for Elsie. And then he made the bad decision of suddenly dying. 

 

arrested development eye roll GIF

[Source]

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2019-03-21 05:41
Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 364 pages.
The Silent Companions - Laura Purcell

Of all people, Elsie found servants to be the most judgemental: jealous of their master´s station, since it was tied closely to their own. Rupert´s London household had turned their noses up at her when she arrived from the match factory. Her confession that she hadn´t kept domestic help since her mother died had sealed their contempt. Only respect for Rupert, and Rupert´s warning glances, made them civil.

 

This is followed up by a scene in which the main character Elsie, who is accompanied by her cousin Sarah, has to change her dress in a carriage.:

 

Sarah leant forward. "What will you do? You´ll need to get changed straight away, without being seen. And Rosie isn´t here!

No, Rosie was unwilling to leave her London life and wages to live in this backwater. Elsie could not blame her. Andf to be honest, she was secretly relieved. She´d never felt comfortable changing in front of her lady´s maid, having strange hands against her skin. But she would need to hire another one soon, if just for appearances´ sake. She did not want to get the reputation of being one of these eccentric widows populating the countryside.

"I daresay I´ll manage without Rosie for now."

Sarah´s face brightened. "I could help you with the buttons at the back. I´m good at buttons."

Well, that made one thing.

 

Well, that was fast. I´m on page 20 and I already detest the main character.

 

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review 2018-09-16 07:26
The Haunting of Hill House (audiobook) by Shirley Jackson, performed by David Warner
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,David Warner

I'll be brief, since I only just read and reviewed a paper copy of this back in June.

David Warner's narration was good, although I occasionally wished that a female narrator had been chosen instead, since he didn't always fit Eleanor and Theodora very well. From the look of things, both Audible and Kobo only have the version of this book narrated by Bernadette Dunn, which might potentially have worked better for me for that reason.

This is definitely one of those books that invites rereading. This time around, I knew what was going to happen and could therefore approach the story's events in a different way. Although I enjoyed that aspect and ended up with a new favorite interpretation of what happened, I was still frustrated with the way The Haunting of Hill House promised more of a ghost story than it actually delivered. It had some great creepy moments, and I just wanted more. Instead, I got several characters who became increasingly difficult to tolerate, and that ending.

I appreciated the ending more this time around than I did the first. In fact, taking my new interpretation of the story into account*, it was a perfectly logical and fitting ending. But I really wanted more creepy haunted house stuff, and ghosts.


 * That Hill House

wasn't actually haunted, but that its unsettling architecture had a tendency to affect its occupants' emotional states. And also, that Eleanor was telekinetic and Theodora was telepathic, but neither one of them had conscious control over their abilities or knew that they were using them.

(spoiler show)

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-08-04 19:36
Formulaic, problematic
The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring - John Bellairs,Richard Egielski

And then there was The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring which focused almost entirely on Rose Rita and Mrs. Zimmerman's adventures over the summer while Lewis was at Boy Scout Camp. (So why then is this often referred to as The Lewis Barnavelt Series?) Rose Rita is a full-fledged tomboy and is dissatisfied with being a girl. She wants a chance to prove herself and she gets the perfect opportunity when Mrs. Zimmerman becomes afflicted by dark magic and then mysteriously vanishes. [A/N: Richard Egielski is the illustrator of this volume and has a much different style.] If you haven't picked up on this by now it seems as if Bellairs sticks to the same narrative with only slight variations which is the main reason why this series got so stale by the second book. I don't have a lot of hope for the fourth but maybe with a different author at the helm (books up until 2008 and they began in the early 70s) there will be an uptick in excitement and narrative diversity. 3/10

 

Source: John Bellairs Wiki

 

Compare the illustrative styles from the first two books. While all are enjoyable they evoke quite different feelings.[Source: Tumblr]

 

 

What's Up Next: One Step at a Time by Sara Y. Aharon

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Founding Mothers: The Women who Raised our Nation by Cokie Roberts

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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