How do you solve a mystery when the clues are hidden in the past?
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.
This is an interesting and beautiful tale..
Told in two timelines, and set in the atmospheric Yorkshire Moors, The Companion tells of the mystery surrounding the deaths of brother and sister authors Charles and Edie in 1932. Billy is chosen to be a friend to Jasper, Edie’s son.
The two young boys seem unsuited and with Jasper’s obsession with beasts and all things wild and dead, Billy sees the opportunity to better himself. He is ‘in love’ with Lizzie and even at his tender age, he sees a future with her.
Eighty years late and Anna is given the task of custodian and here we learn of the history of the time, the characters and the secrets of long ago. Erica, seems to stop Anna’s delving into the past at every opportunity.
Jasper is a tad troubled and quite often Billy wonders if he should leave the big house and go back to his Ma, his sisters and his humble life.
I adored this book, it’s historical and present theme work fabulous together. Each new revelation came as a surprise, and Sarah Dunnakey tells this story in a clever and thought provoking way.
The relationships and their connection to each other was unravelled gently and convincingly. I was completely absorbed.
I loved Frank, his friendliness towards Anna was genuine but he let her find her own way and this made the suspense delightfully fulfilling.