Drowned Murmurs by Honor A Dawson

Drowned MurmursDrowned Murmurs by Honor Amelia Dawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Drowned Murmurs is based around a cottage in Cornwall that Michaela has inherited from an Uncle she knew nothing about. Ignoring her Mother’s pleas to sell it and forget about it Michaela and her husband Sam decide they will move in and renovate.

There are sinister tales about the cottage which come from family, neighbours and village gossip and when Michaela starts having visions about a woman named Catherine she believes she is not only dreaming but re-living some of Catherine’s experiences. No one has a good word to say about Catherine and her abilities to be good Mother, but Michaela feels empathy for her and wants to prove her innocence.

I really enjoyed the parts of the book that involved the visions of Catherine and her life there was a lot of emotion and historical detail which drew me in to her circumstances, the parts of the book which were set in Michaela’s life were also full of much emotion, but so much of it was aggressive anger and coldness that I didn’t connect with her as much as I should. She was surrounded by cold angry characters, her Mother and Grace fuelled her anger and I was desperate for some warmth and love so that I could like Michaela. There was a kitten for Michaela to show love to but it’s part didn’t work for me.

Michaela’s determination to find out Catherine’s story is rewarded by the end, sadly too late to save Catherine and her own belief that she caused the deaths of her children, a very sad and quite dark tale.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Babus reviews Drowned Murmurs by Honor A Dawson

Today’s book review comes from Babus, she blogs at http://ajoobacatsblog.wordpress.com


Babus chose to read and review Drowned Murmurs by Honor Dawson


Here is her review.

Book Review: Drowned Murmurs by Honor A Dawson


Drowned Murmurs tells us about the eerie occurrences in the lives of two women 100 years apart: In present day, Michaela has just inherited Primrose Cottage from her Uncle Jim and along with boyfriend, Sam is renovating this much neglected property against the wishes of her mother, Judith and the written recommendation from her Uncle Jim. The cottage also comes with a history of rumours about a curse and myths about a ghostly Catherine. Catherine Cooper lived in Primrose Cottage 100 years prior to Michaela. She moved in after marrying well-to-do Jack Cooper who was from a wealthy and prominent local family who owned the copper mines nearby. During the course of her arduous life with Jack, Catherine lost a number of children in infancy at the cottage. Local have always upheld that Catherine was to blame for the demise of her children. Michaela disagrees with this local folklore after she has a number of visions about Catherine and concludes that she has always been wrongly accused and held accountable for the deaths of her children when she was innocent and living with a volatile husband, Jack.

Michaela comes up against hurdle after hurdle trying to find out about Catherine’s life, which seemed odd as the locals associated Primrose Cottage with Catherine and a curse but clammed up about it as soon as Michaela and Sam showed any interest. Michaela’s mother, Judith has her own skeletons linked to the Cottage and is another opposing force to both Michaela’s renovations and investigation into the life of Catherine. As the toll of the renovations, stress of her dilapidated living standard and the stress of arguing with her mother and neighbour affects Michaela she starts becoming more emotionally labile and relating to Catherine.


I found this book quite engaging to begin with as it was very reminiscent to reading a Susan Hill horror (Susan Hill is one of my favourite authors). I found the story about Catherine very gripping and felt that the parts dealing with her life were well written and kept a good pace, however I found reading about Michaela was not as interesting and this is where the book departs from my previous experience of reading Susan Hill, as she becomes more moody, morose and generally unlikeable for a protagonist. I felt we kept being told the same things about what she was thinking and feeling without much progression in the story. Also there were many typos that needed correcting and a good proofread and editing was much needed too. The book ends relatively well with all loose ends being tied up and explained, however, the story could have had a better impact if it was shorter and a little more to the point when telling us about Michaela.


There was real potential in this horror suspense novel to be a very effective read but some of that was lost through the lack of proof reading and editing that would be required to make this a great read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Cathy reviews Drowned Murmurs by Honor Dawson

Today we have a review from Book Review Team Member Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/


Cathy chose to read and review Drowned Murmurs by Honor A Dawson.


Here is Cathy’s review.

Set in an old house in Cornwall the story parallels the lives of two women. Michaela in the present day and Catherine, who lived there in the early 1900s and is one of Michaela’s ancestors. Michaela has inherited the house from an uncle she never met. She and her husband, Sam, are renovating the property for themselves. The house has a less than favourable history and Michaela and Sam are warned against settling there.

After having several visions about Catherine and the distressing events in her life, Michaela confides in Sam and decides she wants to prove Catherine innocent of the accusations levelled against her. Michaela is convinced the rumours surrounding Catherine are unfounded.

Catherine’s story is very sad and I appreciate the difficulties she faced as a woman without rights of any sort in the days of terrible inequality. The cultural and environmental factors of the time were not focused on the welfare or support of women. I could feel Catherine’s frustration and feelings of injustice at her helplessness.

The premise of the story is interesting and makes you wonder if evil and tragedy can live on and affect future generations.

‘You think this is about Bloomer?’
‘Are you completely stupid?’
He perched on the bed and reached out his hand. She knocked it away. ‘Just go, I want to be alone. And don’t bother me again.’

Sadly, I couldn’t empathize with Michaela. She comes across as very abrasive, especially to Sam, and, to be honest, I was quite surprised he took all that was dished out as meekly as he did. Although the possible cause is discovered and she is redeemed somewhat, as it’s written in the book ‘it explains but doesn’t excuse.’ For all that she wants to dig and find out the truth when Sam sees a suspicious photograph Michaela doesn’t want to take it further, saying it’s none of her business.

There are several missed edits which was quite off-putting and frustrating after a while.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com