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HOUSE OF SILENCE by [Gillard, Linda]
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4.3 out of 5 stars 246 customer reviews

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Length: 289 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

Award-winning author Linda Gillard lives in the Scottish Highlands. She's been an actress, journalist and teacher and is the author of six novels, including STAR GAZING, short-listed in 2009 for "Romantic Novel of the Year" and HOUSE OF SILENCE, a Kindle bestseller selected by Amazon UK as one of their Top Ten "Best of 2011" in the Indie Author category. Linda's latest novel is THE GLASS GUARDIAN, a paranormal love story set on the Isle of Skye.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1233 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004USSPN2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 246 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,584 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

By Welsh Annie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 April 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With so many authors, their name on the cover tells you exactly what you're going to find inside. Not so with Linda Gillard. The only thing you're sure of when you pick up something she's written is that it'll be superbly written, meticulously plotted and that a couple of days of your life will disappear as you have to read to the very end.

"House of Silence", sadly only available for the Kindle (for shame, publishers!) ticked every possible box for me. A strong lead heroine in Gwen, a magnificently drawn supporting cast (Hattie my favourite...), brooding Marek the gardener - then there's the house itself, and the wonderful detail about the quilts, real and metaphoric. Secrets, lies, discoveries, tragedies, joy and redemption, this is a story that will appeal to all tastes - plenty for the romantic, interesting family history, part detective story. I loved every clicked page of it - absolutely superb stuff.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Linda has three previously published books, and many loyal fans, and yet her agent was unable to find a publisher who would take on House of Silence. She has finally decided to release it as an ebook, and it has been very well received. I very much enjoyed her previous books, so Linda kindly sent me a copy of this one to take a look at.

As previously mentioned, the book starts with the building relationship between Gwen and Alfie, both of whom have difficult backgrounds. Gwen's family all died when she was young, including her mother, and it becomes obvious to us, if not to Gwen, that this has caused it's own damage. Alfie also has difficulties with his family - but they are still around, full of complications, and expecting him to visit at Christmas, as he always does.

Alfie seems very reluctant to let Gwen join him, but eventually he agrees, and so as they travel, he tells her a little more about the various people she will meet. It's only once they arrive however, that we really get to see these wonderful characters. Like Alfie and Gwen, these character are worth reading about because they're flawed and real. And for me, this is the strength of Linda's writing, giving us real, interesting characters.

I don't mind saying that this isn't my favourite of Linda's books, as I do like it when she pushes just a little further. Emotional Geology and A Lifetime Burning are my favourites, the latter being a much more controversial book. However, House of Silence still has a lot to offer, and the second half of the book kept me gripped, reading the twists and turns to find out where it would take me.
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An engrossing psychological mystery about a young couple - Alfie, an actor, and Gwen, a wardrobe mistress - who decide to spend their first Christmas together in a spectacular stately home owned by his mother, a successful but reclusive, elderly author, despite Alfie's apparent misgivings for reasons he is unwilling to disclose. There his four very different sisters congregate for the festive season.

The outwardly likeable cast of characters soon turn out to be hiding something that increasingly spooks the isolated Gwen, and the unravelling of the mystery provides the central focus of the novel.

This intriguing and engaging story is reminiscent of Stella Gibbons' "Cold Comfort Farm" for its batty, very English characters, and the haunting setting and coming-of-age subtheme reminded me of Dodie Smith's "I Capture The Castle".

Linda Gillard has cleverly woven together experiences from her own life - acting, teaching, textiles, writing, and illness - to create a moving story with themes of motherhood, family, identity and belonging. I'd hesitate to call it either a romance or a comedy, though there are strong elements of both, nor is it exactly a thriller (more of a mystery). It's simply an intelligent, thoughtful, memorable and satisfying novel which, with its restricted cast and limited number of sets, it would make a great stage play (I'd much prefer that to a movie - at key points there'd be gasps across the auditorium!)

It's notoriously challenging to pull off a novel told through multiple viewpoints, but I understand why Gillard has taken this approach. While wanting to tell the story, Rebecca-like, largely from Gwen's viewpoint, other perspectives bolster the narrative and add further depths.
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'House of Silence' is the story of Gwen, a woman with a terrible past who is still living with her grief. Gwen meets Alfie on the set of a regency drama, Gwen works in wardrobe while Alfie has a small part. Gwen and Alfie begin seeing each other, at times, Alfie is remote and secretive which Gwen finds confusing but wants to be a part of his life. Alfie reluctantly takes Gwen to his family home at Creake Hall for Christmas. Alfie shows animosity towards his family which confuses Gwen further but as their time begins Creake Hall, Gwen finds out more and more secrets about his Alfie and his family. What will Gwen do?

I have read three books by Linda Gillard so far, 'Emotional Geology', 'A Lifetime's Burning' and 'Star Gazing', I enjoyed them all immensely as I did with 'House of Silence'.

Linda Gillard has a amazing talent in her creation and development of characters, characters you are care about and identify with. With 'House of Silence' all of the characters are memorable and leave a lasting impression. Gwen, the main character is down to earth, talented, likeable and strong. Her background has left a lasting impression, Gwen's is still coping with her grief but has created a front to show the world that she is coping.

Alfie was very much a complex character, at times you did not know why he acted the way he did and as the story progressed, you realise he had reached a point where he did not know how to act, did not know who he was.

Along with Gwen, Marek was my favourite character, the mysterious Polish gardener (which added even more to his mystique) he was a subtle character but made a impact, like the rest of the characters he had a past, which he faced as best he could and tried to moved on.
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