A well written atmospheric bookIt centers around Lucy Blunt and what happens when she gains employment with the BurtonsIt waived between Lucy in prison and what led up to her going to prisonLucy is haunting in her narrative.My thanks to Nergalley and the publishers for a free ARC. The CompanionLucy is cold hearted, and throws a mean punch A damp, cold feeling followed me through her entire story I knew for sure that there was nothing I knew for sure except I couldn t trust any character as far as I could throw them A sexual tension slipped around, just under the skin of conversations, and I kept looking over my shoulder to see if anyone was coming up behind me as I read Finally, I just found a cozy, dark corner Did she or didn t she kill She s smart, she s planning every second, and knows about poison and botanicals than the usual Jill She s easy with girls, and boys well, she s not happy about it, but makes it available a calculating currency, it seems Her partners react, but she is indifferent and acting as if.Her new situation with the Burtons is it new cover or a saving grace They are blissfully caught up in their own day to day worries, and the household servants all looking out for their own Main Chances, it seems Between the narrative about the Burtons, and the events of the community, breadcrumbs are dropped, disappearing along the path on which Lucy walked in, and that s the path where it feels like the all the answers will be found Yet I never got my feet on that path to the degree that I felt I understood what happened when to whom My satisfaction was kept safely out of reach in that I got very few of the answers.even when I stayed to the very last word I have a vote for what certain answers are, but would not submit to an exam of any kind on the subject The questions for bookclubbers at the end well, that would be a C for me, at best.Yet the writing is tight and painterly, and the details attended to so carefully and fully that the actual bones of the story are strewn about in such a way that it required multiple reads for me to sort my way through the Before story and the After story, and the Present Final story Not a bad requirement, but not something a casual reader usually pursues Perhaps this aspires to something bigger Required Reading text for English 203 Still, the bleakness feels rather Bronte ish I m done with it, and the wind keeps whipping my legs in spite of blue, blue skies.A 3.5 Star Recommendation from me Thank you to Kim Taylor Blake, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. They Say She S A Murderess She Claims She S Innocent But Lucy Has Been Known To Tell Lies , New Hampshire Lucy Blunt Is Set To Hang For A Double Murder Murderess Or Victim Only Lucy Knows The TruthIn 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 ThemselvesIn 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 S Current Companion, The Delicate Balance Of Power And Loyalty Begins To Shift, Setting Into Motion A Brewing Storm Of Betrayal, Suspicion, And RageNow, 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 Bend The Truth Elegant prose and assured pacing made this historical suspense novel a pleasure to read The storyline and the atmosphere reminded me of Hannah Kent s Burial Rites, a book I adored, but Blake s take on the doomed narrator is her own Lovely and haunting Oh finally Finally, Lake Union, finally I was just about to give up on you, but then you went and published an actually good book Which is to say their normal women s fiction fare is really not for me But this one, that s like it Technically still women s lit, but really along the lines of historical fiction Oddly enough, I very recently read a strikingly similar and probably technically superior book, The Confessions of Frannie Langton Are murdering lesbians all the rage nowadays I mean, no one can ever come close to the way Sarah Waters tells it, but since Waters takes so long between the books, all efforts are welcome And this was a very credible effort Albeit from a somewhat unreliable narrator, Lucy Blunt A young woman with a secretive past, she comes to Burton estate as a maid, but soon finds herself getting too closely involved with one of her employers and gets lofty aspirations of becoming a lady s companion But the position is already taken, the object of her affection and attention is a moody addict and soon the entire thing becomes a competition threatening to get ugly Eventually, obviously it does get ugly, the story is narrated by Lucy as she s about to be hanged for a double murder, but you won t find out what really took place until the very end And the story is compelling enough that you ll probably race through it like I did just to find out the outcome It s good, it s really good This type of fiction would inevitably draw comparisons to not just Sarah Waters, but the recent and robbed by the Academy The Favourite, It s just almost deja vu similar to Frannie Langton Even the cover art What are the odds of two tragic lesbian upstairs downstairs stories set in the 1800s with servants accused of murder being published this close together Is this a new trend, In which case awesome Otherwise, just weird And yes, this one is set in America, specifically the snowy Antebellum New England, but that s just the setting, not enough of a differentiate This book still is very much the tragic lovechild of Frannie Langton and The Favourite and as such is difficult to judge on the merits of originality But on the merits of quality, it s very good A thoroughly immersive enjoyable atmospheric read Very well written, completely realized 3 dimentional characters, sustained suspense, the timelines are juggled with great skill, artistically even I didn t want to put it down, barely did, in fact, it was that good, Recommended Thanks Netgalley. Review coming soon Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author Ms Kim Taylor Blake for the opportunity to read this Advanced Readers Copy of The Companion.This is an absolutely delicious read Drawn in to the characters immediately, there was no stopping this bookdark and atmospheric with an Atwoodesque feel, this is exciting Historical Fiction.It s 1855, New Hampshire From behind prison walls Lucy Blunt reflects on the circumstances that brought her here She is soon to hang in the gallows for heinous crimesthat she may or may not have committed, its difficult to knowWeaving a rich tapestry of lusts, possessions, and hate, her story is a compelling one as she narrates her life before prison and now on death row Lucy has a strong descriptive voice that emotes feelings of suffocating hardship, which women can fully appreciate, throughout this Victorian Era story Struggling with what is about to happen, we listen helplessly as Lucy has to accept her fate and come to terms with the choices she created. 4.5 About the book pages 268 Release date 1 14 2020 Mystery Historical Fiction Lake Union Publishing Written well Couldn t put it down Captivating Great Characters Heartbreaking Definitely read another book by this author This was a Netgalley book and all opinions are mine. The Companion gives us a mystery wrapped in a historical setting with an unreliable narrator Lucy Blunt has been sentenced to death for the murder of two individuals We hear from Lucy, both in the present , 1855 New Hampshire, as she sits in jail awaiting her execution, and the past, as she tells us the story of how it all came to be We have no clue as to whether she s guilty We don t even know initially who the victims are Blake does a good job of keeping the reader off balance, as well as setting the scene It s a dark, haunting story Who to believe The pace is languid, at times I felt it dragged While I wanted to know if Lucy was truly guilty, I can t say I was fully invested in this book The book features an ambiguous ending, so if that sort of thing bothers you, steer clear I enjoyed that Blake left it to the reader to determine what truly transpired Readers who enjoyed FIngersmith will probably enjoy this one My thanks to netgalley and Lake Union for an advance copy of this book. 4.5 A long, long time ago there was a young woman who was to be hanged for murder Did she do it And if she did, why This story will rip your heart out and surprise the pants off of you near the end Wow Loved the writing The story is told from present and past events and unfolds in such a way that you can t put it down At times I couldn t follow which part was being said but I felt pulled into the story anyway Heartache and sorrow are her constant companions, but she s quiet comfortable with them And her loving people has been her undoing It s beautifully written and very sad It was like I was watching a train derail in slow motion, witnessing the train break apart causing damage to everything it touched This was a NETGALLEY gift and all opinions are my own.