The Silent Companions Review
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
I picked this up as a recommendation by a fellow bookstagrammer, Lois @lochanreadsinsta. She suggested this to me as I told her I really enjoyed horror stories, saying this was one of her favorites and it truly scared her!
When newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband's crumbling country estate, The Bridge, what greets her is far from the life of wealth and privilege she was expecting . . .
I picked this up as a recommendation by a fellow bookstagrammer, Lois @lochanreadsinsta. She suggested this to me as I told her I really enjoyed horror stories, saying this was one of her favorites and it truly scared her! She also thought it might not scare me if I’ve read Stephen King novels. She was right, I didn’t find this scary but I still thought it was a great book! Even though I only rated it 3/5 stars I still thought it was a great paranormal read.
This is the first book where I finally got the paranormal ending I was hoping for like when I was reading Lock Every Door, Home Before Dark, and The Turn of the Key. However, I went into this expecting it to turn into another one of those twisted human beings endings. I was pleasantly surprised it didn’t, about halfway through I knew for sure it was truly paranormal occurrences in that house.
It’s also the first book I’ve read in a long long time that doesn’t end with a happy ending or an even semi-happy ending. This book is through and through sinister. The ending actually made up for the lack of creepiness in this book. If it wasn’t for the ending, I probably would have rated it lower.
This book is through and through sinister. The ending actually made up for the lack of creepiness in this book.
Another thing about this book I normally don’t feel often was no remorse for the main characters. In fact, none of the characters in this story were very likable to me. I found the two main characters annoying and extremely self-interested. The secondary characters were irritating in their own ways as well. The story was captivating, I’ll admit. But I was more focused and concerned about what was going to happen in that house and why it was that way. I honestly didn’t care that much about what happened to the characters. What did happen to them felt very predictable.
I feel like there are too many unanswered questions for me to say I truly enjoyed this book. It reminds me of the movie Sinister. This book wasn’t scary for me but it was ominous. The events that take place at the bridge were sinister and unnerving. But I never truly felt scared like I have before while reading books like It or Pet Semetary or even with Bird Box. I felt scared with those books. This one left me confused and a bit unfulfilled. I took notes while reading this and I wrote this down after page 203, “I thought this was supposed to be scary? I’m not scared at all! I think I’ve read too many Stephen King novels to be truly scared.”
Overall, I can’t say I loved this book. The three different timelines made the story flow well, but not as good as others I’ve read. It was a little hard to get into, it started off a bit slow for me. However, after I was a third of the way through, I was captivated by Anne’s timeline and wanted to know what happened.
After I was a third of the way through, I was captivated by Anne’s timeline and wanted to know what happened.
Although this is labeled as a ghost story and horror fiction. I would say the level of this is quite low. As I mentioned, I didn’t find this scary but Lois found it scary. Depending on how easily you get scared will determine on if you find this scary. The ending though is worth it! Keep reading for more of my thoughts on The Silent Companions.
WARNING! Spoilers :)
I’m not sure how I feel about this ending. It feels almost expected, although I didn’t initially expect it. But I’m left confused. How did Hetta possess Sarah? Was it from the moment Sarah cut her hand from the board? Was it a gradual possession?
There seemed to be holes in this story which may have been hindered by the limited points of view. Though we get to see three different timelines we are only able to see through one person’s eyes. The past felt unjustified as we only saw what Anne was writing down in her journal. I would have maybe liked to hear more from Sarah, her fear and experiences in the bridge, how Hetta was communicating with her, how she got possessed.
I would have maybe liked to hear more from Sarah, her fear and experiences in the bridge...
The more I think about it, I can see why we only get Anne’s and Elsie’s point of view. This limits us though to not knowing when Sarah is possessed by Hetta is Elsie’s timeline and the full reasons for Hetta’s actions in Anne’s.
One of the unanswered questions I still have is what or who is truly haunting The Bridge. When Anne bought the companions, they were paintings of completely unrelated people. Yet, when Elsie and Sarah move in, they are paintings of Anne’s family and the servants who lived with them. How did the companions’ paintings change? Eventually, we learn Anne kills Hetta because she believes Hetta is evil for having created her when she was told she could never have another child, and that the companions soaked up Hetta’s blood and evilness thus the ability to haunt the house? I guess you could say when Anne kills Hetta, that’s when the house becomes haunted? But is it the companions or is it Hetta? Because Sarah is possessed by Hetta at the end? I feel like there should be another book from Sarah’s point of view to explain all this.