Close


Valerie's
Book Club

SUBSCRIBE TO VALERIE'S MAILING LIST TO JOIN HER BOOK CLUB AND

DOWNLOAD MASQUERADE PART ONE NOW

The Silent Companions



It’s the spooky season and for this month’s book club recommendation, I ask that you keep an open mind.

When it comes to horror stories, people either love them or hate them. For years I thought horror stories were simply bloodbaths that relied on spectacle to gross people out. I can’t deny that some of them involve a bunch of blood and guts being splashed around, but there’s so much more to the genre than that.

There’s a whole other type of horror that relies on something that we in the biz call narrative drive. They’re suspenseful, thrilling (and often chilling) tales that make you constantly wonder what will happen next. Oh sure, there are dead bodies lying around, but the focus isn’t on the gore, it’s on the spookiness. 

These are the stories that focus on things that go bump in the night; ghosts, demons, witches, vampires, headless horsemen and in the case of this month’s book selection, wooden statues that look like dearly departed family members. 

Some of these books can really get in your head and freak you out. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice scared me half to death. But, I realize that not everyone wants to be terrified. And let’s be honest, 2020 is frightening enough. 

So, for this month’s book club, I’ve chosen The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell. This is a novel for those who aren’t really sure if they like horror. It’s got all the elements we look for in the genre, but it’s not too scary. It leans more toward gothic literature than modern horror so you’re not likely to have nightmares. It’s almost like a cross between horror and crime with a dash of psychological thriller. 

It jumps around in time between a Victorian insane asylum in 1865/1866, and a witch hunt in 1635. The common thread is that in both eras, the protagonists live in the same haunted house. The 19th century portion follows Elsie Bainbridge as she tells her story to a doctor in St. Joseph’s Hospital. People have died and the question is, did Elsie kill them or were they killed by possessed wooden statues created two hundred years earlier by Elsie’s ancestor by marriage, the witch Anne Bainbridge.

If you’re looking for a Hallowe’en book that isn’t too scary and won’t make you lose sleep, give The Silent Companions a try. You might surprise yourself and discover that you quite enjoy horror stories!








Audiobook Review



The audiobook is not available in North America so I couldn’t give it a proper review. However, the three-minute sample I heard was quite promising!

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on google
Valerie Francis

one year from now

Where do you want your writing career to be one year from now? How many books do you want to have written? How many books do you want to have studied? How much revenue do you want to have generated? What is your plan for meeting these targets? I’ll admit,

Read More »
Valerie Francis

Dramatic Irony

To download a PDF of this article, subscribe to Valerie’s Inner Circle and check the Resources section of the Members Only area also published on the Story Grid website as Writing a Page Turner: Part 3 Today I wrap up my three-part series on narrative drive with a look at

Read More »
Valerie Francis

Suspense

To download a PDF of this article, subscribe to Valerie’s Inner Circle and check the Resources section of the Members Only area also published on the Story Grid website as Writing a Page Turner: Part 2 I’ve been studying narrative drive quite a bit in the past few months and

Read More »

Download
Masquerade

Join Valerie's
Book Club

books by women,
for women, about women