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Bone China de Laura Purcell
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Bone China (2019)

de Laura Purcell (Autor)

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18810130,806 (3.67)13
A gothic tale set in a rambling house by the sea in which a maid cares for a mute old woman with a mysterious past, alongside her superstitious staff--from the author of The Silent Companions. A perfect spooky read! Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft's family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr. Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the disease in the caves beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm. Forty years later, Hester arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralyzed and mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try to escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers her new home may be just as dangerous as her last. Laura Purcell's THE SHAPE OF DARKNESS is now out from Penguin!… (més)
Membre:Andy5185
Títol:Bone China
Autors:Laura Purcell (Autor)
Informació:Raven Books
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Per llegir
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Bone China de Laura Purcell (2019)

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» Mira també 13 mencions

This is my first book by this author and I did enjoy this gothic novel although I did t find it that spooky. It was tragic and full of Cornish superstition and atmosphere. Set in a Cornish mansion on top of cliffs with pounding seas below, the scene is set for a wonderful read….. ( )
  mazda502001 | Mar 15, 2023 |
Het begrip Bone China in een verhelderend licht. ( )
  Baukis | Jul 3, 2022 |
I quite enjoyed this gothic historical mystery set during the early 1800s in a creepy house that overlooks the wintry Cornwall coast. The story takes place in two different timelines, one narrated by an alcoholic lady's maid who has assumed the name Hester Why and taken a position in the remote location to escape the tragedies that have befallen her previous mistresses. Hester finds the house's occupants quite unusual. Her elderly mistress spends all her time in an icy cold room staring at china. There is a young woman who seems to have the mind of a child and who is kept confined to her room. And there is another elderly maid who pours salt into doorways and talks of protective charms. As the mystery unfolds, the story goes back in time to when Hester's new mistress was a young woman assisting her father, a doctor, with a radical treatment for tuberculosis after the loss of the rest of their family members to the disease. And perhaps the supernatural is at work--the mischievous little people that Cornwall is known for--or is it just madness? Creepy and atmospheric, this novel reminded me a lot of Purcell's first novel, The Silent Companions, which introduced me to her and made me a fan. ( )
  sturlington | Mar 7, 2022 |
Gothic in tone, this extremely atmospheric to line I set on the Cornish Coast in a house called Morovoren. A book that mixes superstition, medicine and ancient folklore. It goes back and forth, from the last and future. Intriguing characters and a storyline where I wasn't sure who or what to believe. Changelings, fairies, a new cure for tuberculous and a personal maid, Hester, with a challenging past.

I think enjoyment of this book depends on how much belief the reader is able to suspend. If they are able to keep track of the various storylines and where in the story they fit. While I found the atmosphere drew me in , I admit to not understanding how the different parts for? Parts of Hester's background story for instance. Still, I did enjoy, for the most part, this read. Curious to see where it went. ( )
  Beamis12 | Sep 14, 2020 |
''This is the bitterest winter I can recall. Too cold, even for snow. A world washed innocent and white might bring me some comfort, but no - this is the season of sleet and gunmetal skies. Everything is grey and cold. It is like purgatory, like my heart.''

A heavy winter in Cornwall. Frost, mist. Silence. Icy tears on the windowpanes, the murmur of the tireless sea, the silence in a house where the past walks, rattling heavy chains. Two women. Hester Why, escaping from a dangerous position, fragile and susceptible to her demons, finds herself in a house where the sea can be heard through the walls, where locks turn by themselves. Where her mistress refuses to walk, her eyes fixed on a collection of china. Forty years earlier, Louise Pinecroft is trying to help her father with his ambiguous experiments on tuberculosis, the plague of the era. But how can you cope with unknown forces, forged by superstition and a very harsh reality?

My review cannot do justice to the unique ability of Laura Purcell to create modern masterpieces. Her talent to weave every feature that defines British Gothic Literature and Historical Fiction in a novel with astonishing results is awe-inspiring. In Bone China, the setting couldn't be more vividly depicted. We've seen it in The Silent Companions, we've seen it in The Corset. Here, Cornwall becomes a character, the driving force behind the plot. This wild corner of the British Isles provides the perfect background for a haunting, dark story and Laura Purcell makes excellent use of the powerful material. Legends of the fairy folk, shared in careful whispers by the members of the household. Bogs, strange cries, dogs barking, staring at the shadows. The wind is coming from the moors, carrying secrets whose roots are deep like the roots of an ash tree that reaches the underworld. Changelings breaking into the world of the mortals. Figurines staring at us, witnessing and waiting.

‘’The wind dies. The curtains slap back into place. Outside I can see the ocean, writing with glee, as if this were all a game.’’

‘’The wind howls and ravens about the house, crashing the branches of the ash trees together. The waves roar back. They are wild creatures, these elements. They will tear one another apart.’’

Apart from the features of Folklore and fable, Laura Purcell poses accurate questions on issues that are extremely ‘’human’’ and tangible. The complications of social hierarchy, the ambiguous bonding between a maid and her mistress. The agony of a doctor who has witnessed his family perish, unable to intervene. The desire of a young woman to follow her vocation and serve Science, free from prejudices. The ethical complexity of the prisoners’ treatment. Is it acceptable to use them as guinea pigs? So you see, Bone China is so much more than a (brilliantly written) Gothic novel.

‘’However, the landscape was a different prospect. She loved the untamed beauty of Cornwall. How it rose, fell and curved. Its vital breath. Even the granite and moorland were not wholly bleak; here and there were flashes of vivid colour. ‘’
The dark beauty that permeates the pages of the book will haunt you. Purcell creates striking images with the foreboding and formidable Cornwall as the background. Louise walking on the beach at night, by the light of the lantern. Hester wandering in the silent corridors. Beautiful, haunting imagery. The prose is spotless, the dialogue transports you to the past and the heart of the action. And the characters...I loved Hester and Louise. I felt I knew them, I found myself understanding their choices and their actions. Purcell is outstanding in giving birth to realistic female protagonists that are quiet and powerful, sensitive and determined, broken and brave. Hester and Louise are no exceptions.

One last thing. Regardless of the genre, this novel is perfect. Plain and simple. If you want your stories neatly wrapped in a box, decorated with a shiny bow and closures where all answers are handed over to you on a silver platter, then a) why? And b) look elsewhere. But if you want to be challenged by a multi-layered story where nothing is as it seems, Purcell’s books are for you.

‘’Waves slap against the cliff face. I close my eyes briefly, picturing them rushing headlong to the place where they break and scatter. What we desire and what we have lost. Are they not always the same?’’

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com/ ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Nov 13, 2019 |
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No voice divine the storm allay'd, No light propitious shone; When, snatch'd from all effectual aid, We perish'd, each alone: But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelm'd deeper gulfs than he.

From " Castaway" by William Cowper, 1799
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Love is fragile, my mother once said.
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A gothic tale set in a rambling house by the sea in which a maid cares for a mute old woman with a mysterious past, alongside her superstitious staff--from the author of The Silent Companions. A perfect spooky read! Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft's family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr. Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the disease in the caves beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm. Forty years later, Hester arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralyzed and mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try to escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers her new home may be just as dangerous as her last. Laura Purcell's THE SHAPE OF DARKNESS is now out from Penguin!

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