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The Companion

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  685 ratings  ·  206 reviews
They say she’s a murderess. She claims she’s innocent. But Lucy has been known to tell lies…

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 an
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting offering by Ms Blakemore that held my attention throughout. It is 1855 and we re told a story of a young woman, Lucy Blunt, who is about to be hanged for a double murder. Just days before the execution, Lucy recalls her life, and we are given some snippets of information which allow us to get deeper into Lucy's mysterious background and her life, however, she is an unreliable narrator and there is a lot of doubt on the side of the reader.
I am all for unreliable narrators,
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Mary was a little lamb,
Her soul as white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went
Death was sure to go.

He tracked her to the brook one day,
Which was against the rule.
He tempted her quite far astray
And made the lamb a fool.

She tried, she tried to turn him out
But still he lingered near
And waited patiently about
Till Mary did not fear.

What made the lamb trust him so
Most any would descry?
Oh! He loved Mary too, you know.
Tis pity she must die.

1855, New Hampshire. Lu
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's 1885 and our main protagonist, Lucy Blunt stands behind the bars of a jail cell awaiting her death sentence. Accused of murder, Lucy retells her story, but how much of what she says is the truth?

With a plot that nostalgically took me back to Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace , I was instantly taken in by the narrative and just had to keep reading. Did I actually take a moment to breathe? Whatever
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

Honestly, that was all I could think about when reading this book - how much it reminded me of Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace. Sure, it had a queer twist but that's almost all that separated this from Alias Grace. And this was nowhere as good.


Alias Grace: Yeah, this was a bummer. Books ought to be original. And because this was not I am going to keep comparing it to Alias Grace...

Time jumps: Just like with Alias Grace, we here jump b
The novel opens in 1855 New Hampshire with Lucy Blunt, a young servant in jail waiting to be hung for a double murder. She claims she is innocent and begins to tell of the events that led up to her current predicament. As a somewhat unreliable narrator the story is told from her eyes, as she is forced to leave her respectable home to become first a mill worker and then a maid after her mother dies and her father descends into drunkenness.

The atmosphere of the novel is almost gothic as New Hamps
Ankit Garg
The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore is a historical fiction novel with a treat for suspense lovers. The reader is made to believe he knows the plot all along, which is obviously turned upside down as the story progresses.

The best part about this book is the character build up. Every chapter makes the reader change their opinion about the way a certain character will lean, which is beautifully presented even though the task is complex to say the least. Using flashbacks to present important fact
Count the bodies.
One. Two.
Three if we count Mary Dawson.
Four if we count my Ned, who breathed and suckled three days and nights before succumbing to the augue.
All blamed on me.

I am not a thief though I have stolen.
I am not a murderer though I have killed.

Lucy Blunt has been found guilty of a double murder and is awaiting her death sentence to be carried out. During the last week leading up to her hanging, we find her reflecting on the bits of her life that paved her way to this present momen
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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.

Blakemore does a good job of keeping the reader off balance, as we

The Companion, initially, had me sitting in surround sound with the beautiful prose and descriptors depicting an extremely harsh winter in New Hampshire in 1855. I revisited sentence after sentence to savor the lush use of words and selected phrases to describe the rawness of the setting. Kim Taylor Blakemore sees to it that you've become immersed in this story.

Lucy Blunt knocks heavily on the door of the Burton home. It's opened by Cook who begrudgingly leaves her hot stove to all
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a book set in the 1850s since that's not my normal type of read, but I really enjoyed The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore.

The Companion focuses on Lucy Blunt who I have to say is like the queen of the unreliable narrator. All through the book I was wondering just who she did and did not kill, and if she actually was a thief as well. The book flips between past and present as Lucy reflects on her life as she waits to be hanged for her crimes.
Count the bodies.
Three if we count Mary Dawson.
Four if we count my Ned, who breathed and suckled three days and nights before succumbing to the ague.
All blamed on me.

I just finished The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore and I bawled my eyes out. This is not a happy book. There was not much joy in Lucy Blunt’s short life and we hear the haunting tale as she is awaiting her death sentence to be carried out. During that last week leading up to her hanging, she reflects on parts of her
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Companion is a dark, atmospheric historical fiction novel. Lucy Blunt is waiting execution in a jail cell for two murders. Told in present 1855 New Hampshire and weaving in the backstory of how she got to be in jail. Lucy is an unreliable narrator, but I had a lot of empathy for her and was on her side. That's the fun part of this book because you could disagree with that and we'd have a great discussion. Anyway, she's a survivor and looking for work. She stumbles on a house and is hired by ...more
Sonja Yoerg
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 Blakemore's take on the doomed narrator is her own. Lovely and haunting! ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 more like it. Technically still women’s lit, but really more 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 nowa ...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
The beauty of The Companion lies not within the plot, which is very mysterious, nor within the voices of the characters, but within the artistry that Ms. Blakemore has demonstrated as the true craft of a writer. The ability to take a story and turn it into something more where the characters step from the page.

For me, while reading The Companion, there was a consistent under current of Lucy not being 100% truthful. I suppose that was the point of the book, but through her writing Taylor Blakemor
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: via-netgalley
The Companion

Lucy 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 pla
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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 com
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Haunting and atmospheric, this book reminded me of Downton Abbey’s dark sinister cousin. The story alternated between a past and a present timeline. The former being the start of Lucy Blunts employment with the Burtons and the latter being her experience locked in a cell, waiting to be hanged for a double murder. The story recounted what happened during her time working for the Burtons, how Lucy ended up convicted and sentenced to hang, and her role in the murders.

Mrs. Eugenie Burton is
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review:

I'm not entirely sure how to feel about The Companion. There are a lot of things I really enjoyed about it, but just something that didn't quite click for me personally when, by rights, I should have adored it.

The Companion is a really good piece of historical fiction and Blakemore clearly knows her stuff.

The period details were incredibly rich and believable. Combined with the writing -- which was immersive and beautifully atmospheric -- the
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A first by me by this author will not be my last!!! In this mysterious and suspense filled Historical novel I was truly amazed with this authors details to the past!! Lucy the main character will definitatly leave you running through circles in her mind and yours! SHe is not nice but after all shes suffered who could be? Its not easy to be a lady in this time, and she must do what she has to to survive! This tale left me biting my nails and on the edge of my seat wondering what will be Lucy's fa ...more
I recently watched/enjoyed on Netflix , Alias Grace. Found out , series is based on Margaret Atwood book (thanks Wikipedia) . The Companion's blurb caught my eye, and I jumped at the chance to be able to read it.

The story is set in the late 1800s in America, and told from the POV of Lucy Blunt , a young, poor woman. She is sitting in a dark, dirty , wet prison cell awaiting trial for double murder. Lucy is not a reliable narrator and she has you doubting and double guessing the entire time. I g
Deanne Patterson
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deanne by:
I'm giving this one three stars. With it's dark undertone it wasn't what I was expecting.
I was expecting a historical book about a woman who goes and becomes a companion to a woman.
Well it was that but oh so much more.
The dark undertone really brings the whole book down, accused of murder she runs away to start a new life as a companion and you're just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Working your way through the book you can feel her fear as she waits to be hung for her possible crime. Dark .
Magda Fourie Fourie
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc
This book is very much worth reading. I enjoyed the two stories/timelines running alongside. I think the author did a good job to keep the tension up throughout the book, keeping me invested in the story and the characters.
Well written. I've given it three stars but would have liked to give it 3.5.
Jacinda Literature Babe
Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author Ms. Kim Taylor Blakemore 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 book...dark 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
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, arc-s
Review coming soon!
This review was originally published on my blog:

At a tender age, Mary Blunt used deception to wheedle her way into a position as maid at the mansion of the Burton family, in mid-19th century New Hampshire. It is a household with six servants who work for Mr. Burton, a textile tycoon.  His wife is blind, and retains a 'companion' by the name of Rebecca. Mrs. Eugenie Burton is childless and has resorted to taking laudanum to make her days more palatable.

When Lucy is summ
The story opens in 1855, New Hampshire State Prison with the opening, haunting, narrative ..... "Count the bodies. One. Two. Three if we count Mary Dawson. Four is we count my Ned ........All blamed on me."

Immediately - we ask ourselves - how, why. Lucy begins to cast her mind back to events that have led to her awaiting her fate at the end of a hangman's noose. Lucy's story moves back and forward, between past events and the present, as she relates to the readers of how she came to work for the
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received this from for a review.

"1855, New Hampshire. Lucy Blunt is set to hang for a double murder. Murderess or victim? Only Lucy knows the truth."

I never settled into the story and just barely grasped the edges of it. The ending was less than an ending.

2.75 stars
This was an interesting read, set in a time I rarely read about, 1850's America. It makes me happy that as a woman, I wasn't born in that time. Woman had so little control over their lives, bodies or futures, not much more than a piece of property and in some cases, even less valuable. :(

This is a psych thriller about a woman with very few options in life and almost no control over the direction her life takes. We toggle between past and present to learn how and why Lucy Blunt came to be sittin
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it
The Companion was pleasantly not what I had expected. I was quite unsure how the MC would be reflected. The story line left me consistently wanting more to answer my numerous "why" questions. A pleasant average read. Well written.
I had hoped for more character development regarding descriptions and even more to their back stories. The flashbacks were a bit harder to keep up with, so consistent and with the various incidents and lacking of more back story to support said incidents. Overall, it w
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AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Welcome Kim Taylor Blakemore 7 17 Mar 23, 2020 06:10PM  

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Kim Taylor Blakemore is the author of the historical mysteries THE COMPANION and AFTER ALICE FELL (March 2021). Publishers Weekly calls The Companion a "captivating tale of psychological suspense."

Other novels include BOWERY GIRL a NYPL Best Reads for Teens; and CISSY FUNK, a Willa Literary Award winner for Best YA Novel.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and Hist

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