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Blackberry and Wild Rose av Sonia Velton
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Blackberry and Wild Rose (utgåvan 2019)

av Sonia Velton (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
6910295,251 (4.06)2
'Sumptuous and moving. Velton weaves her tale with the threads of betrayal, thwarted dreams and good intentions gone awry' Laura Purcell 'A richly imagined and brilliantly twisty tale' Anna Mazzola 'A plot as finely detailed as Spitalfields silk' Stacey Halls WHEN ESTHER THOREL, the wife of a Huguenot silk-weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God's will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping 'madam' is too good to refuse. INSIDE THE THORELS' tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress's blindness to the hypocrisy of her household, while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause. IT IS SILK that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household and set the scene for a devastating day of reckoning between her and Sara. THE PRICE OF a piece of silk may prove more than either is able to pay.… (mer)
Medlem:Carmelreader
Titel:Blackberry and Wild Rose
Författare:Sonia Velton (Författare)
Info:Blackstone Publishing (2019), Edition: Unabridged, 304 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Blackberry and Wild Rose av Sonia Velton

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Blackberry and Wild Rose has been well researched. It is set in eighteenth century London amid the Huguenot silk weavers, and tells the story of two women, Esther, the wife of a master weaver, and the other, Sara, a young girl who had been working as a prostitute until Esther helps her to escape that life. This fast-paced story is told from the perspectives of the two strong female characters.

The cover excited me before I'd even started listening to the story. Its design reminded me of the ornate fabrics used in those times.

Esther Thorel's husband, Elias, is a master silk weaver. He would have had more doors opened to him, had he married within the Huguenot community, but he chose to marry against his family's wishes, and accepted that he had to had to take a back seat in all things. The Thorels are childless but his priority is his business, not his wife. Esther longs to create her own silk designs, but Elias dismisses her, telling her she does not understand his business, and should go back to her charitable works.

Sara Kemp is the daughter of a servant. Her mother sends her to London to make her way in the world, giving her the address of someone who will help her settle. Unfortunately, Mrs Swann, a brothel keeper, sees the pretty young girl alight from the coach and lures her to the Wig and Feathers tavern, where she is drugged, robbed and put to work as a prostitute.

While Esther is delivering bibles for Pastor Gabeau, she witnesses a young girl being badly treated by an older woman, and intervenes. This is how Esther first meets Sara, and decides to help her into a respectable position.

I absolutely loved this beautifully narrated audio book, and was enthralled from the first chapter. I was captivated with the comprehensive descriptions of the working of the silk looms which helped me visualise the journeyman weaving while his draw boy controlled the warp thread. I was also interested in the economics of the time, learning about the Indian calicos and cheaper silk imports which threatened the weavers' livelihoods.

Blackberry and Wild Rose was compulsive listening and I'd highly recommend to readers who enjoy historical fiction. ( )
  Deborah_J_Miles | Oct 1, 2020 |
Loosely based on the life of Anna Maria Garthwaite, a famous Spitalfield silk pattern designer of the 18th century, called herein Esther Thorel. Many of her works can be seen in Britain's V & A Museum. Bittersweet novel, but fascinating for its details about weaving of that period. The title derives from the name of Esther's first attempt at design.

Highly recommended. ( )
  janerawoof | Sep 24, 2019 |
Set in 18th century London, this story transports you immediately to the world of the Huguenot silk weavers. The descriptions are vivid from the underbelly of London's whore houses to the upper middle class homes of the silk merchants. This novel revolves around two women, Sara Kemp, a prostitute and Esther Thorel, the wife of a very well-respected silk merchant. And although Sara and Esther have very different social stations in life, as women, their choices are dictated by the men around them. I loved this story - great pacing, complex characters and such a compelling story. ( )
  jmoncton | Jun 29, 2019 |
This is the debut historical novel for Velton. She sets her story in the 1760s amidst the French Huguenot silk weavers of London. The book is told from the points of view of two disparate women – one a silk weaver’s wife and the other a young woman forced into prostitution. Both women want something different for their lives, but see no way to change the lives they are living.

With its unique setting told by two women, expectations for this book will be high. However, while Velton did the research of the era and got it down on the page so that the reader can almost feel like she’s in 18th century London, she was unable to do the same justice to her characters. On the surface, the two women seem well-developed, but as the reader gets deeper into the book, it is hard to differentiate between them despite their differences. Hopefully, Velton will continue improving her craft and learn how to write more fully developed characters.

If you love historical fiction, you should add this book to your TBR list/pile. While it has flaws, they are not fatal and can be overlooked in order to fully enjoy the late 1700s and silk weavers of London.

Thanks to Quercus and NetGalley for the eARC. ( )
  OldFriend | May 26, 2019 |
Silk and sedition!

A fascinating tale using as a backdrop the troubles faced by weavers in eighteenth-century Spitalfields, London, whose jobs are under threat as the market is flooded by cheap Indian calico.
Two woman are the catalysts for much that happens. Master weaver Elia Thorel's wife Esther Thorel, is a gifted painter who wants to be involved in her husband's work.
The other woman is Esther's maid Sara Kemp, a young woman who ended up in the hands of a heartless procurer, a older woman who preys upon innocent country girls at the Coaching stop. Esther effects a rescue of Sara, a rescue that will have devastating effects on her household.
At the same time Esther's stern unbending husband Elias, a Huguenot silk master has taken on sponsorship of a talented journeyman, Bisby Lambert, with the promise of helping him to become a master weaver.
The story takes a different turn for all involved when Bisby teaches Esther how to turn a particular painting, Blackberries and Wild Rose, into a pattern for the loom, and subsequently into a gorgeous silk piece. That this happens in secret in the attic where Elias has Bisby working gives the story a complex twist.
Elias is a pompous fellow who regrets going against his family's wishes to marry Esther. He has made her pay for that. A most dislike able man.
Meanwhile Bisby's fellow weavers are preaching sedition and rebellion, and as tempers rise, the outcome is made more shocking by treachery and deceit as Bisby's is unwittingly Vaughn up in their actions.
I found the novel complicated, with multiple threads weaving the action together. Threads that would become tangled knots as ambition and love vie with deceit and dishonesty.
The portrait of the times and the angst rings true. The characters however seem somewhat aloof despite all that is happening. What I found most intriguing is the story of the silk design, the regulations about who can do what and the work involved in manufacturing such a piece. I was quite devastated by the ending and yet given all that has gone on before, how could the story end otherwise?

A Blackstone ARC via NetGalley ( )
  eyes.2c | May 15, 2019 |
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'Sumptuous and moving. Velton weaves her tale with the threads of betrayal, thwarted dreams and good intentions gone awry' Laura Purcell 'A richly imagined and brilliantly twisty tale' Anna Mazzola 'A plot as finely detailed as Spitalfields silk' Stacey Halls WHEN ESTHER THOREL, the wife of a Huguenot silk-weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God's will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping 'madam' is too good to refuse. INSIDE THE THORELS' tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress's blindness to the hypocrisy of her household, while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause. IT IS SILK that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household and set the scene for a devastating day of reckoning between her and Sara. THE PRICE OF a piece of silk may prove more than either is able to pay.

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