The Unseen

  • by Katherine Webb
  • Narrated by Clare Wille
  • 15 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

So So

I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the story for the most part, good murder/mystery element, but I felt the move from present to past could have been done better. I could see how the 2011 sections linked the story but the connections were weak, and Leah's love interest seemed unnecessary.
It was too slow in parts, and seemed to have unnecessary padding in places making it drag even more. A predictable and rather unsatisfactory ending, I only kept going to see if I was correct in my assumption of how things turned out - and I was.
I also didn't take to the characters, Hester was too simpering and Albert just plain irritating.
Not a winner for me, however Clare willie's narration was done well.
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- alison

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.

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- Margaret M. Bell "ravenousreader"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-14-2011
  • Publisher: Orion