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The Corset

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  286 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
The new Victorian chiller from the author of Radio 2 Book Club pick, The Silent Companions.

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?

Dorothea and Ruth. Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless. Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea's charitable work leads
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 20th 2018 by Raven Books
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Amalia Gavea
‘’Perhaps I do have the liberty to come and go as I please. But I do not attend for my own amusement. I came for you. To offer some comfort.’’

Jesus Christ, this book...Where do I begin? After the outstanding The Silent Companions, Laura Purcell creates a story that is dark, haunting, atmospheric, mysterious and complex. So different to his successful predecessor and yet equally powerful and agonizingly intense.
The Corset will surely enter the lists of the best reads of 2018, arriving just in t
Umut Reviews
This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, after reading and loving Silent Companions. Unfortunately it fell short of her previous one.
I really think Purcell is a talented writer with her atmospheric historical settings, creative plots, ability to raise tension. However, she couldn't escape certain pitfalls in this book that some writers often do.
The Corset was also a Gothic story like Silent Companions with 2 protagonists Ruth and Dotty with intercepting lives. I don't want to
Ova - Excuse My Reading
The Corset was a long awaited book for me, after devouring Silent Companions , and I feel extremely lucky to be given the opportunity to read this earlier.

I wish I could say I liked this book as much as SC but sadly this isn't the case. In general, there is no doubt that Purcell is a skillful story teller and she's done an extensive research to take us back to the times the book is in. However there are some major problems in The Corset that let me down.

***After This point, my review contains sp
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
If bad things stared happening to everyone around you, to each and every person you stitched clothing for, it's inevitable that you'd start to wonder whether it might somehow, in some crazy way, be your fault. Maybe you're jinxed. Maybe your hatred and anger and despair somehow infected the material, maybe your bad luck rubs off. Or maybe you did it on purpose? Maybe, if you tried, you could do it again...

So goes the tale of Ruth Butterham, in prison for murder, her confession of guilt meaning t
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, fiction
I got retroactive FOMO for Laura Purcell’s novel The Silent Companions because everybody seemed to be raving about it, so I knew I needed to read this one. Especially because it focuses on two women, one of them being a prisoner on trial for murder. I love books featuring unapologetically difficult women and Ruth and Dorothea definitely fit the bill.

Dorothea Truelove is a young, unmarried woman, with plenty of suitors who would rather spend her time doing charity work (do not take her to be a ki
Liz Barnsley
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My gosh, The Corset was such a cool, edgy and randomly horrifying tale, such descriptive beauty to be found here wrapped around a story that is both scary and entirely emotive.
Dorothea visits women in jail – she is sensible, pragmatic and intelligent, using the visits to gain knowledge for her scientific research. But when she meets Ruth, whose life has been dark and twisted, who believes she holds within her a terrible power, Dorothea slowly begins to question all that she once believed..
I love
Dorothea Truelove (yes, really) is a wealthy young woman who regularly visits female prisoners. While she frames this practice as charity, her true obsession is phrenology. She’s convinced that if she can only find the right subject, her theories about the connections between head shape and character will be proven right, and the women of New Oakgate Prison are the perfect guinea pigs. However, time is running out: Dorothea is 25, and her father is determined to marry her off as soon as possible ...more
Callum McLaughlin
An intricately plotted and thematically rich gothic chiller; this was just the kind of read I was in the mood for.

As with the best of its genre, there is an undercurrent of mystery and threat that brews throughout. In this case, it centres around whether or not we can trust Ruth Butterham, a 16-year-old seamstress accused of murder, who claims to possess some kind of supernatural ability. Is she telling the truth; is she lying; or is she simply mad? And perhaps more importantly, if she is a kill
Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Power, control, family, betrayal, love.

Content Warnings: Child abuse, difficult pregnancy, graphic violence.

Book Review: The Corset by Laura Purcell

I'd read a few reviews prior to picking up The Corset, so I was ready for a dark book. Or so I thought. But The Corset was far darker than I had imagined.

The writing and the story are addictive. I could not put this book down. The story is told by Dorothea's present narrative and Ruth's reflection on her past as she tells her story. I have t
Evie Braithwaite
Purcell has already proven herself victorious when it comes down to the gothic genre with her debut novel, The Silent Companions. Her follow-up, a creepy Victorian thriller, is just as enthralling.

As with her debut, Purcell employs interweaving narratives to tell her chilling story. The Corset depicts the juxtaposing lives of two young women who sit at opposite ends of the social spectrum. Dorothea Truelove is a well-off, beautiful lady, who refutes all her father’s attempts at having her marrie
Vanessa Wild
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A creepy, gothic Victorian novel told from the viewpoints of two very different women, Dorothea Truelove and Ruth Butterham. Dorothea comes from a wealthy family, has a fascination for the shape of people’s heads and visits female criminals in prison as part of her charity works.. One such female is Ruth who is awaiting trial for murder and who believes she has caused deaths via her sewing, a supernatural force.

This is a dark and atmospheric tale with disturbing and ominous undertones. There are
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aar, arc, mystery-thriller
I've given this a B at AAR.

Laura Purcell first came to my attention as the author of a couple of very fine pieces of historical fiction, and earlier this year, I awarded her fabulous, spooky supernatural/gothic mystery The Silent Companions DIK status at AAR  and gushed about it to everyone who crossed my path!  I’ve been waiting eagerly to read her next novel The Corset, another mystery set in Victorian England, this time, featuring two very different women who are brought together in the gloom
Sally Boocock
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly well deserved 5 stars goes to Laura Purcell for this gripping novel. After reading the Silent Companions I wondered how she could top it but this novel was absolutely amazing. Telling the story of Ruth Butterham who is in prison for murder. She is visited by Dororthea Truelove who tries to discover whether Ruth is guilty or not. Is it possible to kill with a needle and thread or is Ruth a victim or murderer?The story of these two women who both have their secrets slowly unfolds to ...more
Karen Mace
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such an eagerly anticipated read for me after being terrified by The Silent Companions, and although The Corset didn't have that same horror element for me, it still had so many chills and creepy moments that I raced through it and loved being transported back into the world of Ruth and Dorothea.

They are very different characters and that's the strength of this story. You get to enjoy their very different outlook on life brought together by Dorothea visiting Ruth in prison and listening
Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)
I adored Silent Companions last year and that despite the fact that I normally don't read spooky books. Needless to say that I had high expectations for this one and although I think this is a very decent read, it did not live up to my expectations and also - in my mind - to SC.

The story is told from two characters POV and this can often be a challenge in a novel, especially, when one character has a much better, more intriguing storyline than the other. Dorothea's storyline was for me very wea
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Corset is another beautifully written Gothic thriller by Laura Purcell. I have read her first novel The Silent companions, so I was thrilled to receive a copy of this.
The story is set in Victorian England about two women. Dorothea Truelove, a wealthy woman who is on the committee of New Oakgate Prison. Who spends her time visiting the inmates in prison and then there is Ruth Butterham, 16-year-old seamstress who has an exceptional talent. She is on trial for murder. The two women are poles a
WOW - brilliant, loved every word of this ravishing historical thriller.

I do wish I hadn't read this book!! Only because I'm pretty darned certain it's going to such a hard act to follow that I'm going to find each and every new book I pick up for months, lacking in comparison and I'm saddened and green with envy that everyone who is yet to read this, still has it's delights to look forward to.

The description had me chomping at the bit, the cover had me swooning and I KNEW without doubt that i
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
The writing is exquisite and sublime. Very gothic and delightfully dark. The idea that someone might be able to sew evil into every stitch they make when mending or making clothes is creepy. The novel as a whole explores this along with the art of measuring someone's head to see if they have criminal tendencies. There's lots of chilling facts and ideas here but for me, the plot wasn't as nicely stitched as it could have been. No one thread running through it which kept it taunt throughout. Loose ...more
Lady R
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bloody brilliant! And that ending!
I really enjoyed her debut novel The Silent Companions but I absolutely adored & devoured this one. Atmospheric, chilling, thought-provoking & keeps you guessing right until the very last page.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, richly dark, suspenseful and achingly sad, this gothic tale had me really gripped. Laura Purcell has become a favourite of mine .
Rosie Blake
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, creepy, absorbing read. I loved it.
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Actual Rating 4.5 Stars

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

Disclaimer: An ARC was provided via Bloomsbury India in exchange for an honest review. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

This was my first book by Laura Purcell (I somehow skipped Silent Companions, but I am definitely picking it up soon!) but The Corset definitely cemented Ms. Purcell as one of the authors I definitely need to watch out for in the future. 

Be aware – t
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it

Twitter was fizzing with excitement about this book even before it was published a few weeks ago. I had serious FOMO and was really pleased when I managed to get a slot to read it on Pigeonhole in the weeks before it hit the shops. Unfortunately, I was side-tracked by a library book, which was due back and could not be renewed, so I missed the opportunity of reading it with in 'staves' with everyone else. I regret this as I would have really enjoyed discussing it with fellow readers.

In case you
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I was eagerly awaiting this book as I just loved The Silent Companions. Unfortunately this one just didn't do anything for me at all. It was nothing like TSC but that's not a fault in itself, it just didn't grab me the same way. I couldn't put down TSC but that was definitely not the case here.
There were some gory parts in this, especially in the first part of the long drawn out story, that I thought were unnecessary.
Then there was so much torture and brutally and it wasn't needed. In fact it go
Kiran Hargrave
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sublime successor to The Silent Companions. Ruth is a wonderful creation - so mournful - and there is a truly sinister figure in the form of the Captain. Excellent.
Pheadra Farah
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If after completing a book I have to think about what to rate it, it never gets five stars. The Corset left me with no hesitation. A full five stars for this brilliantly written gothic thriller that encompasses hate, love, fear, strength, crime and punishment.
It is the tale of two women, in many ways totally different from one another, and yet in many unseen ways, two sides of the same coin. Dorothea Truelove is a wealthy 25-year old single woman who sits on the committee of New Oakgate Prison.
The Corset was off to a rickety start for me. I find the thought of phrenology terrifying, or, to be more specific, the thought of it being used as a base for one's opinions and beliefs.

The young socialite Dorothea Truelove believes that the shape of a person's skull can tell much about their personality and combines this scientific curiosity with her compassion for helping others, by visiting incarcerated women at the New Oakgate prison.
Sure she's won the jackpot when news of a new arrival at
Lauren Roberts
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An atmospheric, chiller thriller of epic Gothic proportions!

The story centres around two ladies. One genteel lady Dorothea Truelove who spends her inheritance and time visiting prison's to talk to women criminals. Dorothea has an interest in skulls (phrenology) and wonders if the shape of a person's head can make someone a criminal or if they are a victim of circumstance.

On one prison visit Dorothea meets 16 year old Ruth Butterham who has been accused of murdering her mistress and that is wher
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
A gothic masterpiece. Dark, chilling, harrowing and heart breaking, but inventive and evocative, this story weaves its way into your subconscious and the threads stay with you. I was worried that the ending wouldn't be able to live up to the rest of the story ... but it most certainly does. One of my best of 2018, I thoroughly recommend this novel. It's STONKING!!
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another exceptionally twisted and cleverly plotted novel by Laura Purcell. 'The Corset' affirms Purcell’s status not only as one of the greatest authors of the Gothic genre, but of the 21st century. A terrific novel by a truly outstanding, and talented, writer.
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Laura Purcell is a former bookseller and lives in Colchester with her husband and pet guinea pigs.

Her first novel for Raven Books THE SILENT COMPANIONS won the WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award 2018 and featured in both the Zoe Ball and Radio 2 Book Clubs. It will be followed by THE CORSET in September 2018.

Laura’s historical fiction novels about the Hanoverian monarchs, QUEEN OF BEDLAM (2014) and
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“But instead I shared the fate of all girls who are poor of pocket: I was tied to my work, like a needle tethered by thread.” 0 likes
“But then I have noted that murderous thoughts seldom trouble the pretty and the fashionable.” 0 likes
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