April 18, 2020

#BookReview: The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore

Synopsis: They say she’s a murderess. She claims she’s innocent. But Lucy has been known to tell lies…

1855, New Hampshire. Lucy Blunt is set to hang for a double murder. Murderess or victim? Only Lucy knows the truth.

In the shadow of the gallows, Lucy reflects on the events that led to her bitter downfall—from the moment she arrived at the rambling Burton mansion looking for work and a better life to the grisly murders themselves.

In a mysterious household of locked doors and forbidden affections, Lucy slips comfortably into the shadows, where she believes the indiscretions of her past will remain hidden. But when Lucy’s rising status becomes a threat to the mistress’s current companion, the delicate balance of power and loyalty begins to shift, setting into motion a brewing storm of betrayal, suspicion, and rage.

Now, with her execution looming closer, Lucy’s allies fight to have her sentence overturned as the tale she’s spinning nears its conclusion. But how much of her story can we trust? After all, Lucy’s been known to bend the truth…


Rating: ★★★
My Review: I wanted to love this one but it just didn't work out to well.  The time jumps were to many and really didn't have a clear reason for them.  I really didn't feel for the character in any way for her plight. And the mystery was kind of pointless. The book really dragged a lot and I just ended up not really enjoying it. 

“A captivating tale of psychological suspense.” Publishers Weekly
“When Emma Donoghue, the bestselling author of Room, describes a book as ‘A vivid and sensuous domestic drama…’, you read the book…Guys, this book totally lived up to Emma’s promise.” Hasty Book List
“Blakemore’s skill at bringing the past to life is used to great effect…The 250+ page book is a slim volume that packs quite the punch, while adding more diversity than often shown in historical mysteries.” BOLO Books
“…a slow psychological burn.” —Criminal Element
“…a very clever and vibrant novel, compelling so that it pulls the reader along at speed…” NB Magazine
The Companion is spellbinding…a bravura performance…” Marilyn’s Mystery Reads
“An exquisitely written, atmospheric suspense that kept me engaged right to the last page…” Belinda Witzenhausen
“…This is American Gothic at its finest.” Tales From The Book Dragon
“…a dark, intriguing, and haunting mystery…” Shelley’s Book Nook
“Blakemore’s descriptions are rich and vivid…Secrets, eavesdropping, sinister happenings, and a forbidden relationship all make for a riveting historical thriller reminiscent of Sarah Waters, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, or The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins.” —Historical Novel Society
“A vivid and sensuous domestic drama, The Companion is also an atmospheric crime story.” —Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room
“Sarah Waters fans, welcome to your next obsession. The Companion is an elegantly written tale of beautiful lies and ugly secrets, a reminder that love’s transforming power makes not just angels, but monsters. Telling one from the other will keep you guessing until the end.” —Greer Macallister, bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie and Woman 99
The Companion is a brilliant study of all that makes us human—our terrors, regrets, and passions, and the lies that shape our worlds. Kim Taylor Blakemore’s novel is both astonishing and captivating, and it will leave readers spellbound.” —Lydia Kang, bestselling author of A Beautiful Poison and The Impossible Girl
“As her date with the gallows approaches, Lucy Blunt is struggling to understand why she is at odds with society. In a literary tradition stretching from Jane Eyre to Alias Grace, her intoxicating account took me to another time and place. A confession with the illicit excitement of a thriller, The Companion offers everything I like about modern historical fiction: a resonant voice that brings women’s lives out of the shadows.” —Jo Furniss, bestselling author of All the Little Children and The Trailing Spouse
“A vividly rendered and chilling tale of murder, desire, and obsession.” —Sophia Tobin, bestselling author of The Vanishing
“With exquisitely vivid and lyrical writing and a subtly layered narrative, The Companion is a fascinating and beautiful novel. If you enjoy Sarah Waters, you’ll love Kim Taylor Blakemore’s latest.” —Lily Hammond, author of The Way HomeAlice & Jean, and Violet
The Companion is a totally absorbing read—beautifully written, atmospheric, and intriguing. Kim Taylor Blakemore’s characterization is both convincing and compelling as she evokes the gritty reality of nineteenth-century life to great effect. I loved this book.” —Lindsay Jayne Ashford, bestselling author of The Woman on the Orient Express
“The narrator is riveting. The prose, gorgeous.” —Ron Hansen, National Book Award–nominated author of AtticusThe Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Mariette in Ecstasy
“Reading The Companion, I felt myself pulled authentically into a distant time and tale reminiscent of Charlotte Brontë and Henry James. Blakemore’s mastery of language and character lends credence to her absorbing narrative of guilt or innocence as a young woman of mysterious identity awaits hanging. There is a body count right from the opening of the novel. From there, the reader follows Blakemore through almost effortless shifts of time and circumstance, rendered in magnificent language, to an unexpected finale. This is a haunting tale that will remain in the reader’s consciousness for a long time.” —Diane C. McPhail, author of The Abolitionist’s Daughter
“Kim Taylor Blakemore’s novel The Companion is the absorbing tale of Lucy Blunt, a young woman condemned to death and deeply haunted by her past. Blakemore skillfully immerses the reader in the tactile world of antebellum New Hampshire with her exquisite choice of details and gorgeous writing style. The novel has everything—complexity, mystery, murder, betrayal, forbidden love—even a ghostly presence. Treat yourself to a few evenings with this captivating story as you explore the mind and experience of a tortured young woman from another time. You’ll be glad you did.” —Amy Belding Brown, author of Flight of the Sparrow
“Lucy Blunt’s account of her journey to the gallows is a study in female wildness, perhaps constrained but definitely untamed, in this compelling novel. The writing is honed, fresh, and intensely physical, pulling the reader headlong into the heroine’s tough, sharp-eyed world. Lucy’s wit, courage, and resourcefulness render her sympathetic; at the same time, her watchfulness, her almost obsessive reading of others in order to gain advantage, is masterfully conveyed. Blakemore’s understated psychology—in particular her grasp of the petty yet crucial maneuverings that take place between rivals—held me entranced until the end.” —Maria McCann, author of Ace, King, KnaveThe Wilding, and As Meat Loves Salt
“Moody and atmospheric, The Companion is a compulsively readable treat. Blakemore’s meticulously researched world captured me from the very first page, and her intriguing, unpredictable characters kept me guessing until the end. An utter delight for lovers of classic gothic literature!” —Elizabeth Blackwell, bestselling author of In the Shadow of Lakecrest and On a Cold Dark Sea

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