The Silent-footed Butler


Read some responses from people who have read The Silent-footed Butler. If you have read the book, why not send me some feedback, letting me know what you thought of it.

Review by: Vyvian Bronk

I've now read The Silent-footed Butler cover to cover, and was gripped. You've captured what it's like to be a teenager so vividly - it transported me right back. The passion of your relationship with Simon was brilliantly evocative, and the contrast with your mother's experience as a music student during the war really thought-provoking. I also loved your portrayal of the tough love of Scottish family life - I recognise that approach to children and grandchildren very well.
Let me say a big thank you for giving us the chance to spend some time in Chris's company again. You've recovered and preserved how fantastic he was, and rounded out those too-short golden times we had in the NYO with his wider life. It still makes me cry, of course, to think of Chris. I think your chapter about the accident is very well done - the speed and facts of what happened, and people's letters are very moving. But the book also has the effect of putting Chris's death into a wider context of other deaths in your family, and that gives me some strange comfort.
I didn't know that you had such ill-health to contend with as a child, Cathy, and how very difficult your father was. And all those lies and myths about the family! Your mother was obviously an amazing person, and so were all three of you children. What creative lives and treasure troves of letters and drawings you all produced, in addition to the outpourings of music and great friendships. I think you're a real star, Cathy, to have risen above the damage your father's personality and cruel behaviour obviously did, and the book is a fine achievement. You've made a wonderful collection of people's stories to match Chris's amazing collection of skeletons!

Vyvian Bronk

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The Silent-footed Butler by Cathy Giles