Coming January, 2020
Lake Union Publishing
2018 Recipient, Regional Arts and Culture Council Grant
2018 Winner, Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award
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’ 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 tell lies…
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
The Companion is a totally absorbing read – beautifully written, atmospheric and intriguing. Kim Taylor Blakemore’s characterization is both convincing and compelling as she evokes the gritty reality of nineteenth-century life to great effect. I loved this book. – Lindsay Jayne Ashford, bestselling author of The Woman on the Orient Express
Kim Taylor Blakemore’s novel THE COMPANION is the absorbing tale of Lucy Blunt, a young woman condemned to death and deeply haunted by her past. Blakemore skillfully immerses the reader in the tactile world of antebellum New Hampshire with her exquisite choice of details and gorgeous writing style. The novel has everything — complexity, mystery, murder, betrayal, forbidden love — even a ghostly presence. Treat yourself to a few evenings with this captivating story as you explore the mind and experience of a tortured young woman from another time. You’ll be glad you did. – Amy Belding Brown, author of Flight of the Sparrow
THE COMPANION is a brilliant study of all that makes us human–our terrors, regrets, passions, and the lies that shape our worlds. Kim Taylor Blakemore’s novel is both astonishing and captivating, and will leave readers spellbound. – Lydia Kang, author of The Impossible Girl, A Beautiful Poison, The November Girl
“The narrator is riveting, the prose gorgeous.” – Ron Hansen, National Book Award Finalist, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Mariette in Ecstasy
“Lucy Blunt’s account of her journey to the gallows is a study in female wildness, perhaps constrained but definitely untamed, in this compelling novel. The writing is honed, fresh and intensely physical, pulling the reader headlong into the heroine’s tough, sharp-eyed world. Lucy’s wit, courage and resourcefulness render her sympathetic; at the same time, her watchfulness, her almost obsessive reading of others in order to gain advantage, is masterfully conveyed. Taylor Blakemore’s understated psychology – in particular her grasp of the petty yet crucial maneuverings that take place between rivals – held me entranced until the end.” – Maria McCann, author of Ace, King, Knave, The Wilding, and As Meat Loves Salt
“Reading THE COMPANION, I felt myself pulled authentically into a distant time and tale reminiscent of Charlotte Bronte and Henry James. Blakemore’s mastery of language and character lend credence to her absorbing narrative of guilt or innocence as a young woman of mysterious identity awaits hanging. There is a body count, right from the opening of the novel. From there, the reader follows Blakemore through almost effortless shifts of time and circumstance, rendered in magnificent language, to an unexpected finality. This is a haunting tale that will remain in the reader’s consciousness for a long time.” –Diane C. McPhail, author of The Abolitionist’s Daughter
With exquisitely vivid and lyrical writing and a subtly layered narrative, The Companion is a fascinating and beautiful novel. If you enjoy Sarah Waters, you’ll love Kim Taylor Blakemore’s latest. – Lily Hammond, Author, Alice & Jean, Violet
For fans of See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt; Fingersmith & Affinity by Sarah Waters; Slammerkin & Frog Music by Emma Donoghue; The Vanishing by Sophia Tobin; The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
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