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The Companion

The Companion 1

by Sarah Dunnakey
Publication Date: 02/11/2017
5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $22.99 $21.50

THE COMPANION is a beautiful and powerfully-told story of buried secrets, set between the 1930s and the present day, on the wild Yorkshire moors.

Billy Shaw lives in a palace. Potter's Pleasure Palace, the best entertainment venue in Yorkshire, complete with dancing and swing-boats and picnickers and a roller-skating rink.

Jasper Harper lives in the big house above the valley, with his eccentric mother Edie and Uncle Charles, brother and sister authors who have come from London to write in the seclusion of the moors.

When it is arranged for Billy to become Jasper's companion, Billy arrives to find a wild, peculiar boy in a curiously haphazard household where nothing that's meant is said and the air is thick with secrets. Later, when Charles and Edie are found dead, it is ruled a double suicide, but fictions have become tangled up in facts and it's left to Anna Sallis, almost a century later, to unravel the knots and piece together the truth.

Publication Date:
Orion Publishing Group, Limited
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Sarah Dunnakey

When she's not writing fiction, Sarah writes and verifies questions and answers for a variety of TV quiz shows including Mastermind, University Challenge and Pointless. She has an honours degree in History and has previously worked as a librarian, an education officer in a Victorian cemetery and an oral history interviewer.

Sarah has won or been shortlisted in several short story competitions and her work has been published in anthologies and broadcast on Radio 4. In 2014 she won a Northern Writer's Award, from New Writing North after submitting part of The Companion. She lives with her husband and daughter in West Yorkshire on the edge of the Pennine Moors.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Creepily good novel set in Yorkshire

    by on

    What a marvellously creepy and unsettling novel! Ooh from that first page, this was a page turner and shivers went down my spine. I LOVED Billy Shaw and his family. Despite the poverty and the misery, there is a real sense of commnity and freinship between the characters. When I found out that the Palace was real (well sort of) it filled me with a sense of excitement. I lvoe novels which take a real building or real story and spin in into a fictinal mystery. Well, this mystery was so well done and expertly crafted that it lasted the entire novel and the pace never let up. Hardly room to breathe if I’m honest – Sarah Dunnakey you have unsettled me big time!

    It’s a novel to savour and read slowly but surely – enjoy the sense of creepiness even before that weird boy Jasper appears. I wanted to grab hold of Billy’s hand and get him out of there. Billy was a great character – his humour and fun way of seeing life belied his difficult start in life and his troubled life so far. He goes up to the house not even knowing what a companion was. Ah, and when he thinks that the characters from a book are going to be living in the house with them! It does turn out that the book 1984 does have a role to play..

    There’s so much to enjoy with this novel. The writing is clever, the language funny and spot on, the Yorkshire charm both in the landscape and the people very evident indeed. The mystery slowly unravels and really ramps up towards the end and oh what a tangled web some people weave! Those Yorkshire moors hold many many secrets – it’s not just the place where women are locked in attics and men in cloaks go wandering across them…no there’s an old house where two writers live and where a strange little boy seems to rule the roost…

    This is such an immersive read and I loved every creepy second of it. I won’t forget Jasper or Billy for a very long time .