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The Unseen | [Katherine Webb]

The Unseen

England, 1911. Reverend Albert Canning, a vicar with a passion for spiritualism - and his naive wife, Hester - led a happy existence in the sleepy parish of Cold Ash Holt, Berkshire. As summer dawns, their quiet lives are changed forever by two new arrivals. First comes Cat, the new maid; a free-spirited and disaffected young woman sent down from London after entanglements with the suffragette movement and with the law.
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Publisher's Summary

England, 1911. Reverend Albert Canning, a vicar with a passion for spiritualism - and his naive wife, Hester - led a happy existence in the sleepy parish of Cold Ash Holt, Berkshire. As summer dawns, their quiet lives are changed forever by two new arrivals. First comes Cat, the new maid; a free-spirited and disaffected young woman sent down from London after entanglements with the suffragette movement and with the law. Over-educated for her station, Cat baulks at her life of servitude, quickly finding a place for herself in the secret underbelly of local society as she plots her escape. Then comes Robin Durrant, a leading expert in the occult, with whom Albert has been in correspondence, enticed to visit Cold Ash Holt by the vicar's tales of elemental beings in the water meadows around the village. A young man of magnetic charm and beauty, Robin Durrant soon becomes an object of fascination and repressed passion for Albert. During a long spell of oppressive summer heat, the rectory at Cold Ash Holt becomes charged with ambition, love and jealousy; a mixture of emotions so powerful that it leads, ultimately, to murder.

©2011 Katherine Webb (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited

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  •  
    Margaret M. Bell Australia 05-08-14
    Margaret M. Bell Australia 05-08-14 Member Since 2014

    ravenousreader

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book, no so good narrator"
    Would you listen to The Unseen again? Why?

    I would probably read rather than listen. I should say that I am very fussy when it comes to narrators, and Ms Wille was not up to par for me. Her characterisations were excellent, but the rest of the read was flat. The story, though, was excellent, and Katherine Webb is a gifted writer.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Unseen?

    A generally well-written book, there are several moments where the prose is just gob-smacking. Some of the descriptions were sublime.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    As mentioned above, I thought Clare Wille's characterisations were excellent, but the rest of the narration was dull, and at times felt like it was not in her natural voice. There were also some very annoying pauses after characters spoke.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    For sure!


    Any additional comments?

    Usually if I don't like a narrator, I don't finish the book. In this case, the story was so captivating that I continued, despite my misgivings about the narrator. I'm looking forward to reading and listening to more by Katherine Webb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • Adele
    Strusshamn, Norway
    12/21/12
    Overall
    "Simply magnificent!"

    A captivating and magnificent story, extremely well written and beautifully narrated! This book has made it to the top of my favourites list.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mandrill
    beeston
    11/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpected find"
    What made the experience of listening to The Unseen the most enjoyable?

    The number one aspect is the strong character "Cat". You feel powerfully drawn to her from the moment she enters the story. She is the underdog (despite her nickname) with a really gritty character you are rooting for throughout.
    The suffragette details through Cat's experiences were also presented well.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    As mentioned already, the maid Cat. She'd been 'cruelly' educated above her station. She's almost ahead of her time.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I quite like the little scenes where you get to nose about as Cat reading letters and notes she finds whilst cleaning up at the rectory. Nobody suspects a maid would be able to read.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Quite a mix of feelings from anger and frustration, hope, disgust, admiration, joy. It helps having the Victorian class structure to show up the inequalities of position and sex at the time.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd like to commend the use of the present tense in the novel. It really helps in painting a picture of the various scenes.

    I bought the audible book in a sale and didn't listen to it for a long time. Wondered why I'd bought it, however, it has ended up being one of my favourite reads of the year. I'll be looking out for other Katherine Webb publications. 5/5

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "A good story but the audio lacks something ..."

    This book was missing something ... usually with Audio books the audio adds to the characters, gives them personality and distinguishes them from one another, for me this one didn't. I loved the story but despite what I did to the audio - sped it up, slowed it down, I wanted to stop the lady reading to me, pick up the book and read it myself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Katherine
    Oxford, United Kingdom
    12/26/12
    Overall
    "Very enjoyable"

    This was a bit of a gamble for me, not having read any Katherine Webb before, and thankfully it was a gamble that paid off: I very much enjoyed it. It's a historical book, and is well written. The narration is also good, I think. I felt in turns annoyed by and sorry for the Rev - he is a little naive, but very constrsined by both his profession and the times. It's an interesting time to set a novel, I think: lots of interesting social tensions and changes that can be brought into the book. I think this has been done well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inge
    Apeldoorn, Netherlands
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Spellbinding"

    The plot and setting of this (audio) book are interesting in themselves, but it is through the character of "Cat" that the story grabs you by the throat. At first you do not notice this so much - the attention is on the development of the story. However, as the story progresses the only question in your mind becomes whether or not Cat will be able to extract herself from either her past or from what must be impending doom.

    The narrator has done very well, her voice creating a fragile atmosphere of understated emotion through which what actually happens becomes almost unbearable. Once you are into the story, you will not want to stop listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    9/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "it was disappointing."
    Any additional comments?

    I usually like stories set in two time periods but for me this isn't one of the best.
    the first hour had a lot of description in it and I was about to give up but carried on. the story settled down and I had high hopes for it.
    I enjoyed the parts of the story set in 1911, it was well written and narrated by clare wille.
    I liked Katherine (kat) who had been taught to read but having come from a lowly background had to be a maid. her strength at a young age to be faithful to her beliefs.
    the parts set in 2006 were a means of starting the story and although there were only a few of them I feel the book would have been better without them. the historical part was good enough to stand on its own.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom
    6/28/12
    Overall
    "Another Triumph for Katherine Webb"

    I read Webb's first book The Legacy and loved it enormously. I thought it would be a tough book to follow, so I approached The Unseen with a sense of reserve as the premise didn't sound quite as tantalising...however the author did not disappoint. This book was fantastic and yet again Webb used her brilliant writing skills to create historical details across two eras. Her ability to create such an intricate and interesting sense of time and place is quite wonderful.

    Put a repressed vicar, his naive virgin wife, a handsome house guest and a working class suffragette maid together and you get a fantastic story about relationships, barriers between the classes and the sexes and of course a dark secret buried in the past.

    This books strength lies also in its atmosphere, the oppressing summer heat of 1911, the rough edged taverns of the town; the pounding thunderstorms and the restrained interior of the house. There is a real sense of foreboding in the story that is tinged with a silver lining of hope. Yet the concluding chapters of the book with leave the listener chilled to the core.

    Superb!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • subangi+0412onepod
    London, United Kingdom
    4/14/11
    Overall
    "Awesome Listen"

    This is a good listen. Recommend to others and listen and enjoy. You will never be bored listening to it.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • subangi+0404conepod
    london, United Kingdom
    4/14/11
    Overall
    "Awesome listen"

    You must listen. You will enjoy and would want to listen again. Recommend to others.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

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