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The Silent Lady [Kindle Edition]

Catherine Cookson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The woman with the shocking revelation who presented herself at the offices of the respectable firm of London solicitors was, the receptionist decided, clearly a vagrant who had been sleeping on the streets. The clothes that hung on her frail body were filthy and she seemed unable to speak.

When she asked to see the firm’s senior partner, Alexander Armstrong, she was at first shown the door – but when Mr Armstrong learned the name of his visitor, all the office staff were amazed at his reaction. For Irene Baindor was a woman with a past – she had been a young woman of class and musical talent, wife to a wealthy and powerful man and mother to a beloved son. But behind closed doors her husband would act with such cruelty that Irene would be left without most of her voice and memory. Her emergence from obscurity was to signal the unravelling of a mystery that had baffled the lawyer for twenty-six years.

What Irene – who became known as The Silent Lady – had been doing, and where she had been, gradually emerged over the following weeks as Armstrong met the unlikely benefactors who had befriended her and who revealed the remarkable life she had in a sheltered environment. Now, at last, she was able to confront her tortured and violent past and find great happiness and contentment with the help of old friends and some newer ones.


Product Description

Amazon Review

A considerable number of her dedicated readers were saddened by the news of Catherine Cookson's death--not just for the loss of a much-loved woman, but also for the stilling of one of the most distinctive and reliable voices in fiction. Therefore the news that there were nine posthumous novels with her publisher was received with much pleasure. And rather than being evidence of the author winding down, they have shown that Cookson was ever refining her characterisation and the consummate plotting for which she was so noted. The Silent Lady has all of her characteristic touches, most notably a heroine at odds with herself and those around her.

At a distinguished firm of London solicitors, a female vagrant who appears to have been sleeping on the streets, presents herself. With her filthy clothes and inability to speak, it's no surprise that she is initially shown the door, until the firm's senior partner, Alexander Armstrong, learns the name of his visitor. Irene Baindor is a woman with a remarkable past and her reappearance is the signal for the ending of a mystery several decades old. Irene (the eponymous "Silent Lady") has encountered benefactors who have helped her to rebuild her life. And now she is able to come to terms with a brutal, disturbed past and attain happiness with both old and new friends.

As with all later Cookson books, it is difficult to predict the course that her constantly surprising narrative will take--clearly, the author had decided to retire some well-worn formats and strike out in entirely new directions. Although the customary romantic elements are well in evidence here, this is essentially a mystery in which the reader is swept through an intriguing narrative that moves from darkness into light. Irene represents something new in Cookson heroines, and her presence renders this one of the author's most thoughtful and affecting narratives. --Barry Forshaw

Book Description

Written in 1997 when this remarkable author was nearing the end of her life.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1253 KB
  • Print Length: 351 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743227611
  • Publisher: Peach Publishing (24 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TO69JO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,673 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Cookson's most fascinating heroines 29 Mar. 2001
Format:Hardcover
The Silent Lady is listed, sadly, as Cookson's final book. It is sad to think there will be no more posthumously published manuscripts from this wonderful author. The last book is clearly one of her best. While it departs somewhat from her usual style, having a little mystery connected with it, she depicts this heroine as someone I would really like to know better. Even more than the heroine, I think that her protector and the ownder of the boarding house is a fascinating character also. I did not want to put this book down as I definitely wanted to know how the heroine made out in the end. It is difficult to say much about the way the book progressed without giving away the plot. Take it from a long-time Cookson fan (I started reading Cookson's books when I discovered them in the 1970s) - this is one of the most fascinating and satisfying I have read.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A fantastic book typical of the great lady. The book certainly held my interest from the very first page. As an avid Cookson fan, I may be a little one sided, but I have never read a "bad" Cookson, but this book would have been worth the price just for the dedication alone. To think she wrote the book when she was so ill! She will surely be missed!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read 1 Aug. 2006
Format:Paperback
A gripping tale from the beginning. Great story from a great author. The main character will stay with you for a long time after you have put the book down.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Silent Lady 12 Sept. 2011
Format:Paperback
This final novel by Catherine Cookson was one of her best. The forward written by her is a revelation in itself, detailing her personal physical difficulties under which the book was written. The story is intriguing and keeps one guessing until the final pages. The central characters are finely drawn and emphasis is given to each one in turn. Trying to see into the mental workings of the Silent Lady keeps one turning the pages and reading late into the night.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 11 Dec. 2014
By IP
Format:Paperback
The perfect gift for all readers of historical fiction is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Cookson is a favorite author. She gives a full life outlook in her novels. The crux of this one is to understand how a vagrant type person could be wearing such quality clothes when she shows up at an attorney's office and then collapses. AND it is quite a story that unfolds. Unfolding, being the key word here. It was a fascinating journey
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catherine Cookson's last and best book! 30 Aug. 2009
Format:Paperback
Her last book and in my opinion Catherine Cookson's best novel ever since The Fifteen Streets.
The fact that her health was frailing and her only way to get this story written was to dictate it (with difficulty) gains her even more admiration as far as I'm concerned.
The opening pages I found very moving and when it got to the story I was hooked from the first page, picking it up at every opportunity. One of those stories that stays in your head in between reading because the characters and situations are so intense and life-like!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not her best book..... 26 Oct. 2014
By Bayla
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm so glad that tbis wasn't the first Catherine Cookson book that I picked up as I think that it would then have been the last! I usually find her novels compelling reading, but this time I found it tedious & somewhat farfetched, with an over-abundance of rather sketchy characters. All in all a disappointing read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem 31 Mar. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a great book, Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I find it amazing that someone as frail as Miss Cookson was towards the end of her life could have the presence of mind to conjure up such a story, the book may be called Silent Lady but the images created were anything but silent. For me one of her best books.
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