Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina Courtenay

What will it take to put the past to rest? Professional genealogist Melissa Grantham receives an invitation to visit her family's ancestral home, Ashleigh Manor. From the moment she arrives, life-like dreams and visions haunt her. The spiritual connection to a medieval young woman and her forbidden lover have her questioning her sanity, but Melissa is determined to solve the mystery. Jake Precy, owner of a nearby cottage, has disturbing dreams too, but it's not until he meets Melissa that they begin to make sense. He hires her to research his family's history, unaware their lives are already entwined. Is the mutual attraction real or the result of ghostly interference? A haunting love story set partly in the present and partly in fifteenth century Kent. Christina Courtenay won the 2012 Best Historical Romantic novel of the year award (RoNA) for her novel, Highland Storms.
Paperback: 336 pages 
Publisher: Choc Lit (7 July 2012)

My Review

The Silent Touch of Shadows is a beautifully written novel that is full of mystery, intrigue, twists, turns, well developed characters, ghostly spectres and best of all two amazing love stories. I was quickly wrapped up in this intriguing storyline that not only has present day characters but also a set of 1460's characters that play a big part in the main characters lives. I will admit that I was a little confused at the start when the story jumps from present day to the past, but once I got the gist of who was who the transitions were flawless. I am new to the authors work, but I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for more works from Christina Courtenay in the future.

Melissa Grantham is a professional genealogist, she has recently separated from her partner, she moves around quite a bit and has never really settled. Melissa receives an invitation to visit her great aunt Dorothy in her families ancestral home 'Ashleigh Manor'. So Melissa and her daughter Jolie head down there for a visit. As soon as they arrive Melissa has strange dreams and visions that seem real. She is haunted by a medieval knight who is looking her help, to do what she does not know. Her dreams play out a story of a medieval woman and a forbidden lover, this leaves Melissa questioning if she is going out of her mind.

Melissa decides to put her genealogist skills to work and try to work out if these people from her dreams are even real and what her ghostly visitor wants with her. A neighbour called Jake hires Melissa to research his family tree, but it is a real shocker to Melissa that he is the spitting image of her medieval knight! Turns out Jake is plagued with similar dreams, could their histories be intertwined?

Well the ending was spectacular, I loved every page. I wasn't expecting the book to pan out quite like it did, so I was pleasantly surprised. This is a real edge of your seat, must read book that will have you welded to the pages. What was all the more interesting for me was Melissa's occupation as a genealogist, which was informative and really enlightening for me. I also loved the chilling sensation I got in parts of the story, I had goosebumps, the writing really was that good. I can't urge everyone enough to go pick up this stunning book today!

Buy it on Amazon or add it to your Goodreads shelf!

4.5/5 Stars

*Special thanks to Choc Lit for the review copy*

Carly :)


  1. Thank you so much, really pleased you enjoyed it!

  2. Great review, Carly! I haven't come across this before but I really like the sound of it. I always find it's a bit of a risk to have the story alternating between two time periods but I'm glad it was done seamlessly here. :)

  3. I haven't heard of this but I love the cover and really enjoyed you're review. It's great that the confusion towards the beginning was short lived and that you loved the ending!


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