~ I was given an advance reader copy of this title in exchange for an honest review, I’m not associated with the author or publisher in any way and the views expressed are completely unbiased and entirely my own. ~
My rating: 2*
‘Bone China’ is a gothic historical fiction novel, and is the latest offering from ‘The Silent Companions’ author Laura Purcell.
The premise of this tale is really intriguing to say the least, especially as someone who’s never read any of the authors previous works. Based in Cornwall in an undisclosed era (I think Victorian) ‘Bone China’ tells the story of Hester Why, who, in a bid to escape her past, assumes a new identity and takes up a position nursing elderly mute patient Miss Pinewood, owner of Morvoren House. There she encounters a household who’s staff are preoccupied with superstition and practising strange rituals, and is sufficiently perplexed.
The story jumps between Hester’s present day and near past and then back again, offering something of and explanation as to how her current circumstances came about. This wasn’t too bothersome, however, just as I was becoming intrigued by the various goings on within the household, the timeline then changes again, going back 40 years to the perspective of a different character – namely Miss Pinecroft when she was a young lady and physicians daughter-come-assistant. This made things feel disjointed and clumsy.
As well as this, Hester isn’t a particularly well realised character, so it was difficult to invest in her. She isn’t very likeable, and there isn’t a sufficient understanding as to why she does the things that she does to justify this as far as I’m concerned.
The motivation for why she ends up in the situation that she ends up in also isn’t adequately developed, and ultimately feels abrupt and rushed in order to get her where she needs to be for the story to begin.
I found that there we’re just too many elements at play which never really weaved together effectively. I was mostly frustrated waiting for the pay off of each individual aspect which ultimately just never really came to fruition in any satisfying way, unfortunately.
~ Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this title ~