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4.7 out of 5 stars329
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 March 2001
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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on 8 June 2001
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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on 1 August 2006
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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on 26 October 2014
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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on 31 March 2011
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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on 12 September 2011
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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The best thing about Catherine Cookson's books is how she brings characters alive within moments. I love the way they are 'real' - whether good or bad.

From the very start, this story had me hooked and although we don't see much from Irene's point of view, it is about her - and what a wonderful hero she is. We see her faced with an unbearable life and how she survives...I don't give spoilers. However, the rest of the characters are all influenced by her in many ways - from love to hate to sorrow to adoration. She is an amazing character and although she is 'silent' she has a very strong voice.

This story is a compelling read - one of her best - and it's difficult to say much without giving too much away. The author's writing style is fantastic and touching genius as the characters pull along the reader to the very end.

Extremely well done and highly recommended.
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on 13 June 2012
Typical Catherine done it again. the characters were very real. i found myself crying at times as Catherine really pulled me in. What a wonderful story. how many times have we looked down our nose at a vagrant...... makes you think
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on 25 September 2012
This was my first Catherine Cookson book.
I found it was thoroughly well written with such characters that enticed you to read more. Having read 1.5 more of her books, I feel this was a very good story and made you feel grateful for all the luxuries you now realize you have!
So far my favourite story of hers has been the dwelling place, however this story was well written and I found that I wanted to read more and more each night. I recommend this story.
It was a wee bit long winded at times, but this was to thoroughly describe characters and scenes which I feel lent to the book in the end.
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on 22 February 2016
It is amazing that Catherine Cookson managed to write this one last novel when she was so ill. Unusually for Cookson, The Silent Lady is set in London from the time of the Depression to the 1950's.

I'd like to say I loved this book, (and some of the characters were indeed lovely) but unfortunately I found it overworked and the plot was frankly implausible. The class divide as ever rears its ugly head, something that comes up time and time again in CC's novels and seemed to have been a personal obsession, but makes dated reading now.
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