Friday, July 8, 2011

House of Silence by Linda Gillard




  • EBook: 227 pages
  • Genre : Mystery/Fiction
  • Publisher: Kindle 2011
  • Source: eBook provided by the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
  • First Sentence : ‘I used to wonder if Alfie chose me because I was an orphan and an only child.’
  • My Opinion: Cannot understand why this author had to publish her own fourth novel as an ebook! What is the matter with publishers?


Linda Gillard is one of my favourite writers of recent years and I thoroughly enjoyed her first three books. For this her fourth novel you are at present only able to read it if you have access to an eReader, or have downloaded an application enabling you to read books on your computer. Despite publishers liking her writing, for some ridiculous reason they still reject her work. What makes this even more strange is that her last novel Stargazing' won the Romantic Novelists Association Award for being the Best Love Story Of The Last 50 Years 1960 – 2010

I have read and thoroughly enjoyed all three of her previous novels, reading them in the order of publication and for me her writing has just kept getting better. Unlike many authors she still seems able to produce something different with each new novel, no standard structure to her novels as there seems to be with many writers these days. They find a successful pattern and churn out every book following that framework. It is not so with this author’s writing as she surprises me every time I read her work. There is one subject that has appeared in her earlier work and is a strong and interesting presence again this time and that is the author’s obvious love of Quilting. She certainly writes stories that appeal to many tastes and this latest offering is no exception.

In ‘House of Silence’ the house ‘Creak Hall’ itself is a major presence as mysterious tragedies are discovered as the family history reveals itself slowly with plenty of intrigue. The characters are all memorable and strong, especially the protagonists Alfie the prodigal son, a struggling actor and his wardrobe mistress girlfriend Gwen who visit the family for the Christmas festivities. The supporting characters are also well portrayed and my particular favourites were Marek the mysterious gardener and Hattie the disturbed younger daughter.

The early chapters introduce us to Gwen and Alfie and set the scene for the main part of the action which all takes place over the course of just a few days at the Tudor Manor House in Norfolk, Creake Hall which is Alfie’s family home. Gwen was alone  in life with no family so was excited at the prospect of a proper family Christmas, where apart from the gardener she was the only non family member present. Gwen soon discovers that she is staying in a houseful of strange and flawed characters, who all seem to be hiding secrets from her, especially her own boyfriend. His mother is a famous author of children’s books although no longer able to distinguish between reality and fiction and it is around her that the secrets of the past appear to hinge.

There are certainly plenty of family secrets to be revealed that will keep you turning the pages of this superbly plotted novel.  I really do recommend you sample Linda Gillard’s writing if you have not already done so.

Linda Gillard

If you are interested in finding out more about This author and her writing please visit some of the links I have listed below.

I read Linda Gillard’s previous novels before I started writing LindyLouMac’s Book Reviews but you may be interested in reading my Journal entries at Bookcrossing- LindyLouMac- Home Page

Emotional Geology – Journal Entries (read in 2007)

A Lifetime Burning – Journal Entries (I read this one in 2007 as well)

Stargazing Links to my review reproduced on this blog for the RNA Award post. (I read this in 2008)

Official Website for Linda Gillard  Please visit her website as lots of interesting information, also if you are a Facebook Fan she has a page there.

Facebook Fan Page

I am now hoping that one day Linda Gillard will get the recognition she deserves and hopefully we will soon see her novels being published in hard copy again.  Until then you need to find yourself an eReader if you are not familiar with her writing.


  1. Excellent review of this book by Linda Gillard. I wonder why her books are not being published in paper book form. It does seem sad that she is limited to e books only at the moment, especially as you are obviously impressed by her style of writing.

  2. You always turn me on to new authors. I get frustrated when my library doesn't carry them (are snobbish toward British authors???) Anyway, I can get the Kindle editions. Which would you read first: Emotional Geology or House of Silence???

  3. I am so happy to have found you on LouisianaBelles
    I love books and am reading Ken Follett's World without End. Having a kindle is helpful only when I have a book of this size (about 900 + pages)
    Otherwise, I would rather have a real book with pages. The smell, heft and feel of a book is important to me.
    I am going to see if you have a "button" so that I can add to my blog.

    All the best,


  4. I have not heard of this author before. I will be definitely looking up her books. I enjoy books about family secrets, so I will add House of Silence to my TBR.

  5. I think it is odd that an award winning author cannot be traditionally published. I am going over to amazon and see what I can find out. I am definitely going to read more about Stargazing. Well written review (as always) and it does remind me of the book I just finished, The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted. The house in it is magical! I have a Nook app on my iPad, so I might be able to get her latest.

    Ricki Jill

  6. Linda Gillard is one of my fav authors.

    I am still amazed that publishers turn this amazing author down but I think you have the answer. Linda's books do not fit a mass market niche, crossing sub-genres and all her books are very different.

    Unfortunately, I have yet to read House of Silence, losing my downloaded copy in my laptop crash. Will purchase again when I get my laptop back. :)

    thanks for the review


  7. I only discovered Linda's books this year - cannot believe what I have been missing out on.

    Looking forward to her new book but have a couple of other ones to be going on with. Kindly sent to me by Linda.

    Lovely review and sums up the book very well.

  8. looks like I am missing out something.. I am taking your words on her.. I am going to pick one of her book soon.. Better to start from the first one!

  9. I really enjoyed this post and will definitely be checking out the author's books. The publishing industry has become nearly impossible for authors, even really good authors, to break through. It takes years to write a book. Then, authors can spend one or two years finding an agent. Even if an agent is found and accepts the book, it can take another one or two years to find a publisher. Many books are never accepted by agents or publishers. Hence, there is a very strong movement happening where good authors like this one are deciding to go the self-publishing route. Not only that, the price of their books is usually far below what a publisher would list it at. There are many gems like this one out there. Well worth seeking out.

    Mirella Patzer
    Author of The Blighted Troth

  10. Thanks Linda, for this wonderful review. :-) I've just come back from a writers' conference and the talk was mostly of e-publishing and how it offers opportunities to authors who write cross-genre books that traditional publishers regard as "umarketable" (which was the adjective applied to HOUSE OF SILENCE.) My own publisher asked me to re-write it as a romance to make it easier to market in the wake of STAR GAZING's success, but I declined to do so.

    My books are all different from each other, which publishers hate. Readers are more broad-minded fortunately! HOUSE OF SILENCE has been more successful as an e-book than the pb could ever have been - I've sold 10,000 copies in just over 3 months. So I'm now in the very fortunate position of being able to get my stories out to my patient & loyal fans plus 100s of new readers.

    Editors have universally rejected my next book, UNTYING THE KNOT (for all the same "difficult to market" reasons), so I shall be e-publishing that one in September.

  11. Thanks for the review. You have convinced me to read her with this sentence alone:
    Unlike many authors she still seems able to produce something different with each new novel, no standard structure to her novels as there seems to be with many writers these days.

  12. Thisisme@ I will always prefer real books but sadly it seems we will see less fiction published in paperback form. LG seems fairly happy about this if you read her comment and explanation on this post.
    Patricia@ Do tell your library that LG is stocked by so she should be good enough for them also! I would want to start with her first book if it was me which is Emotional Geology.
    Butterbean Row@ Hi Charlotte How nice to meet you. Ereaders are now becoming indispensable especially when travelling but will never replace my beloved books.

  13. Misha@ I hope you will enjoy 'House of Silence'

    Ricki Jill@ I am going to check out your review for this the Provence Cure,, noticed it in my Google reader feed, might just have to add it to my wishlist. I think you will enjoy LG's writing. Her response here to the situation here for writers is very interesting.

    Dizzy C@ Yes and it does seem reading LG's response here that she is not unduly concerned. I do not think you will have to repurchase I think you will find it is held at Amazon as a purchase you made earlier?

    Jo@ Good to have you call by and comment. LG is an author I am sure you are already delighted to have discovered.

  14. Jyoti@ Absolutely she is great and do start with Emotional Geology if you can. I think her writing has improved with each new novel.

    History and Women@ Great comment Mirella, thankyou, I think you will also find LG's comment here of interest.

    Linda Gillard@ Thankyou so much for taking the time to call by and leave this comment and explanation. It is much appreciated by me and I am sure by any readers of this post.

    Bookquoter@ I think and hope she is the sort of author that will appeal to you.


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