Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Review: The Corset by Laura Purcell

The new Victorian chiller from the author of, The Silent Companions.

 Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer?

Victim or villain?

 Dorothea and Ruth.

 Prison visitor and prisoner.

 Powerful and powerless.

 Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.

 When Dorothea's charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person's skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

 The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea's belief in rationality and the power of redemption. Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 2nd, 2019
by Raven Books

The Corset was released in the UK last year and set for a June 19th, 2019 release in North America titled The Poison Thread.

I ordered this from the UK because of the cover also since I was so enamored with Laura Purcell's previous book, The Silent Companions I was anxious to get my hands on this baby.

I love the blurb, it doesn’t give any of the story away but leaves much to the imagination, giving hints to an eerie Gothic tale of murder and mayhem with a touch of the supernatural...well maybe...

Told from alternating pov’s I was treated to scenes of Victorian England society from both sides of the fence. From the prim and proper to prison and low-class workers. From fancy dinner parties to those wondering if they will be fed just one meal a day. The author vividly illustrated the setting, both visually and emotionally.

I’ve never heard of phrenology before, and yes I did pull out a dictionary. What an original concept and the author pulled it off nicely.

The Corset is a story of guilt, injustice, and revenge, it’s a coming of age story as both women struggle in a society where women are meant to do as told and not think for themselves. Where their happiness depended on how obedient they were. Definitely a book and author I recommend.

This book is part of my ‘2019 reading off my shelf’ challenge.

click on cover to see my review

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