Monday, May 1, 2017

The Hidden Thread by Liz Trenow

Welcome!  I hope you had a great weekend.  What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman, The Hidden Thread by Liz Trenow and Lizzie's Daughters by Rosie Clarke came out today.  They are all good stories that I enjoyed reading. 

The Hidden Thread by Liz Trenow is set in London in 1760. George III is the King of England and the naturalist movement is gaining momentum. Anna Butterfield is heading to London to stay with her father’s sister and her family.  Anna is leaving her small village and her family for the first time.  She is to try to make an advantageous match to help her family.  Anna arrives at Spital Square and there is no one to greet her. Anna ends up fainting in the street (lack of food, the heat, and nervousness).  Anna awakens to find a young Frenchmen assisting her.  But then her cousin, William approaches berating her for being late and hitting the Frenchmen for touching her.  Anna is taken to Sadler and Son where her Uncle Joseph and Aunt Sara along with her cousins, William and Elizabeth (aka Lizzie) live and have their shop on the bottom floor.  Joseph Sadler is a mercer (a dealer in silks) and has a thriving business.  Aunt Sarah quickly commissions appropriate dresses for Anna so she can be presented to society.  Anna is unused to the dresses, the many rules of society, inactivity and freedom to go out.  Most of all she misses seeing gardens which is inspiration for her sketches and watercolors.  While out with Lizzie, Anna encounters Henri Vendome, the Frenchman who assisted her.  He is a journeyman weaver to M. Jean Lavalle and he will soon be working on his master piece.  If this piece is accepted, Henri will become a master weaver.  Anna and Henri are attracted to each other, but they are from different classes.  The political situation in London is volatile as journeyman weavers want fair wages and are upset with mercers who are importing foreign silks without paying the import taxes.  Is there a chance for Anna and Henri?  Can they overcome the social divide and have a future together?  How will the political situation affect mercers and weavers?  Pick up The Hidden Thread to find out!

The Hidden Thread is nicely written and has good main characters. I appreciated a female main character who was intelligent and creative. Liz Trenow is a descriptive writer who includes minute details (about garments, the sights, of nature, etc.).  This type of writing allows for me to picture the story in my head.  The author did a wonderful job at capturing that period in time as well as the sights and smells of London.  Readers are given delightful descriptions of finished silks.  It was interesting to read about the origins of silk and what goes into making the finished product.  I was especially fascinated with the weaving process. The Hidden Thread reminds me of books written by Rosalind Laker.  I give The Hidden Thread 4 out of 5 stars.  There are a couple of slow sections, but overall I thought The Hidden Thread to be an engaging novel.  The cover of the book really does not do the book justice.  The original cover is more eye catching and so is the initial title (The Silk Weaver).  The title (to me) refers to the threads that are hidden in a tapestry—the warp threads.  It also references a special technique used by Henri for his master piece. I did feel that the book is a touch too long.  I felt a little more editing would have beneficial. I enjoyed reading The Hidden Thread.  There are some good life lessons included in the story.  The author provided an epilogue that wrapped up all the various storylines which I really appreciated.  

Thank you for visiting today and reading my book evaluation.  I am doing housework today.  If I do not sweep every other day, dog fur tumbleweeds will be rolling down the hallway.  I will review Love and Death in Burgundy by Susan C. Shea on Tuesday.  I hope each of you have a lovely Monday.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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