Radio 2 Book Club: The Silent Companions

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The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell will be featured on the Radio 2 Book Club on Monday 30 October. This is the perfect read for Hallowe’en.

We have the chance for you to win 10 copies of this chilling and atmospheric novel for your reading group. Please enter by Friday 3 November. We also have an exclusive extract available for you to read, and a guide for reading groups.

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The Silent Companions

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. But inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself…

Selection panel review

The book was selected with the help of a panel of library staff from across the UK. They loved The Silent Companions – here are some of their comments:

“This book grabbed me from page one and didn’t let go till the end! I loved the atmosphere, which was created right from the start. I was left surprised even at the end as the book didn’t finish in the way I was anticipating – and I think that was a masterstroke. I was never quite sure what was going to happen next and who was behind anything or who was to blame for events so the twists and turns often came upon me unawares. Fantastic creepy, gothic tale that I really, really enjoyed. I’d look out for other books by this author.”

“This book has a mixture of historical, mystery and just a touch of The Woman in Black and The Miniaturist about it, which makes for a combination that I couldn’t put down. With three narratives running parallel to each other, the story is redolent with atmosphere and intriguing characters, which compel you to read on. There is just a small hint of spookiness, though being a sensitive soul, it was just enough to make me only pick the book up in the daytime! I think the author has hit on a winning formula and I didn’t want it to end.”

About the author

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Laura Purcell is a former bookseller, she lives in Colchester with her husband and pet guinea pigs. Her second novel for Bloomsbury, gothic chiller The Corset, will be published in 2018.

A word from Laura

“I am so proud and grateful that The Silent Companions has been selected for the Radio 2 Book Club! On the commute home from the office, my friends and I used to listen to Simon Mayo (laughing our heads off at the Confessions). I remember one night my friend said, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if your book was on this show?’

It is amazing! The Reading Agency is an inspiring charity, and an endorsement from them means the world to me. My heroine Elsie sets up a school to encourage the local villagers with their letters – she would have loved The Reading Agency’s work.

Thank you so much for choosing The Silent Companions and leading others into Elsie’s haunted, uncertain world. I am very much looking forward to seeing the Book Club sticker on the cover. And if the story frightens you, please remember, I am just as terrified waiting to hear what you all think of it…”

Get involved

Tune in to Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show on Monday 30 October to hear a live interview with Laura.

Have you read The Silent Companions? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #SilentCompanions. You can also follow author Laura Purcell

You can see what other readers thought or add the book to your group’s reading list.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the Radio 2 Book Club Twitter feed or find out more on the Radio 2 Book Club website.


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Looking forward to reading this one.


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