TITLE: The Corset
AUTHOR: Laura Purcell
PUBLISHER: Raven Books
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Gothic
RATING: 5/5 Stars
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 finds herself drawn to Ruth, a teenage seamstress – and self-confessed murderess – who nurses a dark and uncanny secret. A secret that is leading her straight to the gallows. As Ruth reveals her disturbing past to Dorothea, the fates of these two women entwine, and with every revelation, a new layer of doubt is cast...
Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?
What I Liked:
- Purcell sure knows how to set up a compelling story. Her attention to detail and obvious research really shone in this story, and I was completely sucked into this gothic, chilling world. From start to finish the pacing and build of tension were well-executed and I found myself really missing it between readings.
- I loved that there were two POVs, each each complimenting the other. Ruth's story was horrifying yet compelling, and Dorothea's was a little more frivolous yet held it's own. Both characters were true forces of nature, strong heroines, and were surrounded by a well-crafted, memorable pool of side characters.
What I Disliked:
- This doesn't sound like a dislike because the plot twist at the end was superb and I did not predict it in the slightest. But it was short and sudden, and I had to reread it multiple times to fully understand what had happened. Afterwards, I was left with questions and an acute feeling that I'd missed something throughout this entire story. I think it would have been nice to have had a couple more chapters in order to really soak up the climax of the story and it's consequences.
I really loved this novel and I'm so glad that I could finish it, because it took me a long time to do so. It's a fantastic story, and Purcell writes so well. I loved the characters, as I'm a big fan of strong heroines and this contained at least two. I wish a little more effort had gone into the ending, but I have to say that the big reveal really blew me away. So much so, that I'm not even that angry it ended so suddenly! I'll certainly be picking up 'The Silent Companions', which many readers preferred, and Laura Purcell is certainly a new favourite of mine.