Book Review #218: The Silk Weaver

Author: Liz Trenow

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Language: English 

Series, if any:

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Date of publication: 26 January 2017

No. Of pages: 416


Anna Buttterfield moves from her Suffolk country home to her uncle’s house in London, to be introduced to society where she has a chance encounter with a local silk weaver, French immigrant Henri which throws her from her privileged upbringing to the darker, dangerous world of London’s silk trade. 


Romance between two individuals across the social barrier is always uplifting, but more so when the setting comprises of the unique silk trade in 18th century Spitafields. Add to that mass immigrations, racial tensions, wage riots and social constraints and you are reading a book with multiple facets. In short, the plot is fantastic. The characters are charming and have personalities that are very humane, and hence approachable. My only bone of contention would be the narration style. While the silk trading and the world of silk weavinng has been beautifully captured, the rest of the plot lacked a finesse; unliked the way the silk is seamlessly weaved, the plot had multiple areas where a distinct gap can be noted which made the task of reading a bit tedious. While the two characters are from two different nations and hence the language gap is understandable, but sometimes the whole tone felt a bit too archaic and stilted. 

The title is a perfect description of the plot. However, considering the dramatisation of the silk world, I expected a more dramatic cover image instead of a forlon image of a woman’s back. 

My opinion: It is not a bad book; I essentially loved it more for the setting. But it definitely requires lot if work. 

My rating: 3.5 out of 5


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