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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Cookson's most fascinating heroines
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...
Published on 29 Mar 2001 by S. DWYER

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Silent Lady by Catherine Cookson
I realised very soon into reading this book that you needed to be Catherine Cookson fan in order to appreciate this book.

Her style of writing is truly unique and very much 'old school'. Which I must admit I found a little to slow for me.

I cannot deny the literary talent of this author who captures characters and settings with such detail that it...
Published 17 months ago by Mary Captus


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Cookson's most fascinating heroines, 29 Mar 2001
By 
S. DWYER "CatWhoLover" (New York State) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Silent Lady (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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 1 Aug 2006
By 
M. HENNING (South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Silent Lady (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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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typically Catherine Cookson.. A great read as usual!, 8 Jun 2001
This review is from: The Silent Lady (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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Silent Lady, 12 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Silent Lady (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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catherine Cookson's last and best book!, 30 Aug 2009
By 
P. Van Vliet Johnson (Amsterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Silent Lady (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Silent Lady by Catherine Cookson, 23 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Silent Lady (Kindle Edition)
I realised very soon into reading this book that you needed to be Catherine Cookson fan in order to appreciate this book.

Her style of writing is truly unique and very much 'old school'. Which I must admit I found a little to slow for me.

I cannot deny the literary talent of this author who captures characters and settings with such detail that it is most. breath taking. Nevertheless as mentioned previously it's really not my style of book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant read, 10 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Silent Lady (Paperback)
I grew up knowing Catherine Cookson to be a best-selling internationally renowned British author, but I hadn't read her till now. It took no more than a few pages into this novel to see she was a master at knowing how to snag the reader's interest right off.

That said, my feelings are mixed about this novel as a whole. I found the silent lady herself by far the dullest character in it. To have made someone the central pivot around which an entire story revolved who never developed as a character was incomprehensible to me. It wasn't simply that she didn't speak, but we were given no insight to her thoughts or feelings, gained no real sense of who she was. All we got from her were simple, repetitive behaviours that quickly became irritating, yet we were asked to believe that everyone she came in contact with found her endearing. If she hadn't been a conduit, leading us to a world populated by a bevy of more interesting characters who made up the real bones of this story, I'm not sure I'd have finished this book.

The story had a quaint simpleness that became increasingly apparent as it progressed and at times verged on child-like. I'd never read anything quite like it before in writing for adults. The story in places felt as if the author was living in another world ... somewhat like the silent lady herself. I'd no idea if this was a style Cookson had employed before or if it had something to do with the gravity of her illness when she wrote this book. If you're looking for a read that probes human character, you won't find it here. The people in this story were lumped into two basic types: morally upstanding and unfailingly good, or unutterably wicked. The truth in any age is that most people are a complex confusion of any number of, sometimes contradicting, qualities. The mystery of what happened to the silent lady wasn't much of a mystery to the reader, who sees the picture early on. The mystery was really for other characters in the story. Much of what happened in this tale is improbable, but it's an improbability I suspect most readers will find favour with. If you like uncomplicated reads that require no thought, grab this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Silent Lady, 21 April 2012
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This review is from: The Silent Lady (Kindle Edition)
This was a really enjoyable book to read. Enjoy all of Catherine Cookson's books and would recommend purchasing this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well Written, 1 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Silent Lady (Paperback)
This is the last book written by the famous and prolific author, Catherine Cookson. Unlike many of her previous books which were set in Northern England, this book is set in London. It tells the story of Irene Bairndor who arrives at a solicitor's office one day in 1955 having been missing for over 20 years. This is the story of her life before she went missing, whilst she was missing and once she had returned to the people who had been searching for her.
Despite being set in London, this is a fairly typical Catherine Cookson book. I know many people scorn her work but I occasionally enjoy sitting back and relaxing with one of her books. This book lost nothing despite the author being quite elderly and infirm when she wrote it. There is a touching forward by the author.
Catherine Cookson did write books which loosely followed a formula. You know from the beginning that the book will have a happy ending and somewhere on the way the main character will have to overcome extreme hardship. The plot isn't particularly complex and the twists are seen well in advance by the reader. A comment is made in the text along the lines of "I wonder where he hid all his money" and the reader knows that the main character will find this money at the crucial moment.........not brilliant in it's complexity but that didn't stop me enjoying this book. Sometimes it is right to sit back & enjoy a book that entertains without requiring too much from the reader.
Catherine Cookson is good at description. Occasionally there is a little much description and I thought the book was getting a bit repetitive in the middle. However, it soon picked up and managed not to get bogged down.
This book isn't going to set the literary world alight. However, it was a good read with a reasonable if slightly predictible plot and likeable characters. It was always clear who was the villan of the piece. I enjoyed reading this book and am tempted to return to others by this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 23 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Silent Lady (Kindle Edition)
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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