Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Silk Weaver by Liz Trenow

In 1761, Spitalfields, Anna Butterfield's life is about to change forever as she moves from her idyllic Suffolk home to be introduced into London society. A chance encounter with a French silk weaver, Henri, draws her in to the volatile world of the city’s burgeoning silk trade. Henri is working on his ‘master piece’, to become a master weaver and freeman; Anna longs to become an artist while struggling against pressure from her uncle’s family to marry a wealthy young lawyer. 
As their lives become ever more intertwined, Henri realises that Anna’s designs could give them both an opportunity for freedom. But his world becomes more dangerous by the day, as riots threaten to tear them apart forever . . .
Inspired by real historical events and characters, The Silk Weaver is a captivating, unforgettable story of illicit romance in a time of enlightenment and social upheaval.

Today is publication day for Liz Trenow's latest novel which I have been eagerly awaiting.
Anna is sent to live in London with her aunt and uncle after the death of her mother. Her father thinks he is giving her the best chance to find a husband of means and marry. Anna has other ideas. She wants to be independent and only marry if and when she falls in love. Her aunt tries to keep her tied to the house not allowing her out on her own and she has a man in mind for Anna to marry.
This stifles Anna as she is a creative person who loves to roam the countryside and draw scenes from nature although there's not much inspiration in the middle of busy London.

Henri has fled from the poverty in France and is apprenticed to a silk weaver. He is just about to become a freeman and set up on his own but first he has to finish his masterpiece and present it to the silk weavers board, all he needs is a good design.
Anna wants to help him but finds it difficult as the lives of her aunt, uncle and cousins are thrown into turmoil. Will she accept a marriage proposal or hold out for love?

I love the historical influences in Liz Trenow's books. I didn't know that as far back as 1761 foreign trade was destroying British industry. As the silk weavers protest against French imports riots start and many men are arrested and hanged in public as a warning to others. Anna and Henri find themselves involved in the unrest and there were parts of the book when my heart beat that little bit faster.
Once again a well researched story with a great ending. 
If you haven't read any of Liz's book I suggest you try them, they are all cracking good reads.

For The Silk Weaver, Liz returns to her own unique history: her family have been silk weavers for nearly three hundred years, and she grew up in the house next to the mill in Suffolk, England, which still operates today, weaving for top-end fashion houses and royal commissions. This novel is set in the house in Spitalfields, East London where the company began, three hundred years ago. 

Liz is a former journalist who spent fifteen years on regional and national newspapers, and on BBC radio and television news, before turning her hand to fiction. She lives in East Anglia, UK, with her artist husband, and they have two grown up daughters. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Man I Fell in Love With by Kate Field

Sometimes we find happiness where we least expect it… After twenty years of contented marriage, no one is more surprised than Mary...