[Ebook] ↠ The Companion Author Kim Taylor Blakemore – Burberry-outlets-online.co.uk
EXCERPT Mary was a little lamb, Her soul as white as snow And everywhere that Mary went Death was sure to go He tracked her to the brook one day, Which was against the rule He tempted her quite far astray And made the lamb a fool She tried, she tried to turn him out But still he lingered near And waited patiently about Till Mary did not fear What made the lamb trust him so Most any would descry Oh He loved Mary too, you know Tis pity she must die ABOUT THIS BOOK 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 MY THOUGHTS I really enjoyed the first third of this book, but then my interest began to wane as it was just of the same My interest flared briefly in a couple of spots, but it was not sustained I found myself, by the 60% mark, skimming the text, desperate to find something that I could get my teeth into It seemed an awful lot longer than its 268 pages The story swings back and forth between Lucy s prison as she awaits her execution, and her life in the Burton household This can get a little confusing as it does so without warning many times in each chapter, sometimes for only a paragraph or two, and serves absolutely no purpose None of the characters are in any way likeableand although this isn t necessary for me to enjoy a good read, I found myself not caring at all what happened to any of them Which is just as well, really, as I found the ending quite odd and inconclusive There is little to no atmosphere, and if the love scenes were meant to be sensuous then they have completely missed the mark.Not a read that I will be recommending TheCompanion NetGalley Reading is a personal and subjective experience, and what appeals to one may not please another If you enjoyed the excerpt from The Companion by Kim Taylor Blake, and the plot outline appeals, please do go ahead and read it You may well enjoy it as have many other readers.DISCLOSURE Thank you to Lake Union via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Companion by Kim Taylor Blake for review All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, and my webpage A VERY UNSUCCESSFUL ALIAS GRACE IMITATION Honestly, that was all I could think about when reading this book how much it reminded me of Margaret Atwood s Alias Grace Sure, it had a queer twist but that s almost all that separated this from Alias Grace And this was nowhere as good WHAT I DISLIKED Alias Grace Yeah, this was a bummer Books ought to be original And because this was not I am going to keep comparing it to Alias GraceTime jumps Just like with Alias Grace, we here jump back and forth in time Only, in Alias Grace there was a meaning to it and the jumps were clear and defined That was really not the case here Way too much back and forth all the time Characters In Alias Grace I felt sorry and empathy for Grace I had no such feelings for the main characters of this book, Lucy She was a drab, boring non entity I had no feelings for her or any of the other characters as a matter of fact If none of the character s give you any sort of feelings you are not going to enjoy the book I would rather have characters to hate than characters that give you no feelings at all.Pointless I really could not figure out the point of this book Was it a mystery No, definitely not, it was very transparent from the beginning Was it a romance Again, no, only manipulation and jealousy Then what What is this book I sure as h don t know and that s sad ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. It s 1885 and our main protagonist, Lucy Blunt stands behind the bars of a jail cell awaiting her death sentence Accused of murder, Lucy retells her story, but how much of what she says is the truth With a plot that nostalgically took me back to Margaret Atwood sAlias Grace , I was instantly taken in by the narrative and just had to keep reading Did I actually take a moment to breathe Whatever the case, this is one January read that you want to enjoy during cold winter nights Goodreads review published 05 01 20 Expected publication date 14 01 20 The novel opens in 1855 New Hampshire with Lucy Blunt, a young servant in jail waiting to be hung for a double murder She claims she is innocent and begins to tell of the events that led up to her current predicament As a somewhat unreliable narrator the story is told from her eyes, as she is forced to leave her respectable home to become first a mill worker and then a maid after her mother dies and her father descends into drunkenness The atmosphere of the novel is almost gothic as New Hampshire experiences one of the bleakest and most bitter winters as Lucy competes with the companion of the lady of the house to win her favours The slow build up of secrets, betrayals and lies is well written and I enjoyed the suspense of not knowing who died until late in the book As the narrator, Lucy s character was well developed as events are seen through her eyes, but I would have liked to have got a better feel for both the lady of the house, Mrs Burton and her companion Overall, an atmospheric, haunting tale of secrets and jealousy With thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for a digital copy to read. They Say She S A Murderess She Claims She S Innocent But Lucy Has Been Known To Tell Lies , New Hampshire Lucy Blunt Is Set To Hang For A Double Murder Murderess Or Victim Only Lucy Knows The TruthIn 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 ThemselvesIn 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 RageNow, 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 Count the bodies.One Two.Three if we count Mary Dawson.Four if we count my Ned, who breathed and suckled three days and nights before succumbing to the augue.All blamed on me.I am not a thief though I have stolen.I am not a murderer though I have killed Lucy Blunt has been found guilty of a double murder and is awaiting her death sentence to be carried out During the last week leading up to her hanging, we find her reflecting on the bits of her life that paved her way to this present moment of imprisonment and imminent death But how much of her musings can we trust to be an authentic version of her innocence The strength of this book is in the writing It is a character driven book, and the gothic and gloomy atmosphere of the setting plus the pace of the book works well to portray the ambiguity and suspense surrounding each character I was really drawn into this book and Lucy s character Lucy isn t a saint but she is a survivor..she has had to learn to be a survivor against her will from a very young age and you can t help but sympathise with her Despite her best intentions with regards to people and life, she always finds herself in situations which can be best described as in the wrong place, at the wrong time..life has just not been fair to her It s ironic that the only people who show her any kind unconditional love, respect and acceptance are the ones she befriends in prison.a place that boasts the worse of mankind is the place where Lucy is finally made to feel human.My thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union publishing and the author Kim Taylor Blake for giving me an e Arc of the book. The Companion gives us a mystery wrapped in a historical setting with an unreliable narrator Lucy Blunt has been sentenced to death for the murder of two individuals We hear from Lucy, both in the present , 1855 New Hampshire, as she sits in jail awaiting her execution, and the past, as she tells us the story of how it all came to be We have no clue as to whether she s guilty We don t even know initially who the victims are Blake does a good job of keeping the reader off balance, as well as setting the scene It s a dark, haunting story Who to believe The pace is languid, at times I felt it dragged While I wanted to know if Lucy was truly guilty, I can t say I was fully invested in this book The book features an ambiguous ending, so if that sort of thing bothers you, steer clear I enjoyed that Blake left it to the reader to determine what truly transpired Readers who enjoyed FIngersmith will probably enjoy this one My thanks to netgalley and Lake Union for an advance copy of this book. The Companion by Kim Taylor Blake is a historical fiction novel with a treat for suspense lovers The reader is made to believe he knows the plot all along, which is obviously turned upside down as the story progresses.The best part about this book is the character build up Every chapter makes the reader change their opinion about the way a certain character will lean, which is beautifully presented even though the task is complex to say the least Using flashbacks to present important facts about the leading character is a tool perfectly deployed in this case The gloomy surroundings in which the story is based adds to it.The prose is written for the patient reader there were times when I wanted the story to take some turn but I was offered with and useless details.Even though I am an advocate of open to interpretation endings, this one didn t quite fit the bill Too much is left unsaid.Thanks to the author and the publisher for the ARC.Verdict Read it for the character build up. Hmmmmm.The Companion, initially, had me sitting in surround sound with the beautiful prose and descriptors depicting an extremely harsh winter in New Hampshire in 1855 I revisited sentence after sentence to savor the lush use of words and selected phrases to describe the rawness of the setting Kim Taylor Blake sees to it that you ve become immersed in this story Lucy Blunt knocks heavily on the door of the Burton home It s opened by Cook who begrudgingly leaves her hot stove to allow Lucy to enter She s to take the place of Mary, the previous maid Mary met with a horrendous fate She was found a short distance from the house drowned in the creek.a frozen creek I might add.Lucy carries letters of recommendation with her tucked deeply into her bag if needed But she soon is taken into the inner chambers of Eugenie Burton, the blind lady of the house When Rebecca, the original companion of Eugenie takes ill, Lucy is slipped into her companion position And here is where things become tangled and complicated Blake doles out snips and pieces of Lucy s previous life She s an intricate little thing with quite the backstory Then Blake catapults us into the following months where Lucy sits in the squalor of the New Hampshire State Prison about to be hanged for murder..murder she insists that she didn t commit The avenues are a bit muddled as we readers try to unpack what may be true from what definitely is not true And there s quite a lot to sort through here which bogs down the original opening version of the story It soon becomes overkill Did I actually say that Kim Taylor Blake is a gifted writer I would welcome her next book with open arms This one suffered from too much unnecessary detail and multiple rabbit holes The clean lines of this story were enough Sometimes heavy lifting becomes just that.I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to Lake Union Publishing and to Kim Taylor Blake for the opportunity. 5I wasn t quite sure what to expect from a book set in the 1850s since that s not my normal type of read, but I really enjoyed The Companion by Kim Taylor Blake The Companion focuses on Lucy Blunt who I have to say is like the queen of the unreliable narrator All through the book I was wondering just who she did and did not kill, and if she actually was a thief as well The book flips between past and present as Lucy reflects on her life as she waits to be hanged for her crimes There were quite a few moments that made me cringe, and this definitely isn t a light read I really like the author s writing style and I thought it was very fluid I didn t really know what to expect from the end and it came as a surprise to me which made me happy While I don t think the pacing is super fast or anything, it was definitely engrossing enough that I read it in under 3.5 hours This would be a great read for a cold, rainy day.Final Thought I don t want to say too much about The Companion because I think this is a great one to go into blind if possible As long as you know this is a dark mystery set in the 1850s, with an unreliable narrator I think that s all that really matters There is a lot of evil and unlikable characters in it, but the plot was interesting, and I really enjoyed the setting I will definitely be reading books by Blake Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy All opinions and thoughts are my own.