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The Whispering Muse by Laura Purcell


The Whispering Muse by Laura Purcell
UK Publication: Feb 2023
Reviewed by: Book Worm  
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

One word review – Devilish

Synopsis from Goodreads: At The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End, rumours are circulating of a curse. It is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage. Suspicious of Lilith, the jealous wife of the theatre owner sends dresser Jenny to spy on her, and, desperate for the money to help her family, Jenny agrees.

What Jenny finds is a woman as astonishing in her performance as she is provocative in her nature. On stage, it’s as though Lilith is possessed by the characters she plays, yet off stage she is as tragic as the muse who inspires her, and Jenny, sorry for her, befriends the troubled actress. But when strange events begin to take place around the theatre, Jenny wonders whether the rumours are true and fears that when the muse comes calling for payment, the cost will be too high.

My Thoughts:  For me this quote from the book sums it up perfectly “Playhouses are not like other places. They are a portal, between our realm and countless others.” The story transported me to the world of the theatre and not to the glory of the action on stage but the inner workings and unseen people who bring that glory to life.

The book is divided into 5 plays each one relating to what is happening off stage in the lives of the characters and each relating to the play that the actors in the book will be performing.

As the reader is taken deeper into the life of the theatre the lines between reality and fiction begin to blur and superstition begins to creep in.

I loved the gothic atmosphere of the book and the way Purcell allows the reader to decide, coincidence or curse and as you guys know me so well you know I am thinking…curse of course.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who like gothic fiction, those who enjoy an atmospheric story and those who are not bothered by the fact that happy endings are not for everyone.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 


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