- File Size: 2443 KB
- Print Length: 374 pages
- Publisher: Bookouture (July 19, 2017)
- Publication Date: July 19, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B071FFXD4Y
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,969 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$11.99|
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The Silk Weaver's Wife: A gripping mystery of a forgotten Italian painting and a secret love story Kindle Edition
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I've read and enjoyed both Debbie Rix's previous books, so when I was offered an ARC of her newest one 'The Silk Weaver's Wife' by the publisher, I couldn't wait to start reading it.
As in her other books, the author's beautiful, evocative prose and vivid descriptions have swept me off my feet and taken me on a mesmerising unforgettable journey back in time, bringing locations and characters from a bygone era back to life in stunning vivid colour.
Told over two different lifetimes, the story revolves around two women, three centuries apart but bound together by an ancient trade and a land of divine art, architecture, culture and wine... Italy.
"There is no escape for you Anastasia."
Veneto, early 1700s. Young Anastasia Balzarelli is forcibly married by her father to a rich silk weaver against her will. She's taken to his house in Venice and imprisoned in an upstairs bedroom overlooking the magnificent Grand Canal, where she's forced to endure her husband's abuse and cry for her true love, Marco. With no hope of getting out of there and nothing else to do, she spends her long days practicing her talent of painting and drawing. She's trapped inside her room like a silkworm in its cocoon. Will she ever be able to metamorphose like the moths she paints and fly away from her desperate situation?
UK and Italy, present day. Escaping from an unhappy love affair, Millie, a journalist, is sent to Italy to write a report on the regeneration of the silk industry in the Veneto region. There she stays in a beautiful old country villa. Lorenzo, the owner, is a charming widower with a young girl, who's more than happy to show her around the silk farm, explaining the process of silk production and the whole weaving process. There Millie feels at peace and calm. An old portrait at the villa showing a girl in a room overlooking Venice catches Millie's attention and intrigues her. Who was that girl? And what's her connection to the villa? No one knows, but Millie is determined to find out.
Well Debbie Rix has done it again. She has written a beautiful story that I found interesting, intriguing and gut-wrenching at the same time. It is an enchanting journey into the ancient tradition of silk-weaving. A story featuring some real historical characters and in which fiction is exquisitely and intrinsically weaved around true facts. Even though chapters alternate between past and present, the story is never confusing.
All characters are very true to life and the dialogue realistic. I could feel their anguish, pain and terror, but also their hope, love and determination. My heart went out to Anastasia. I really wanted her to be all right and wished she could escape her husband's clutches and live a happy life.
It's evident that a lot of research was required to write this book. Through her characters and storylines, the author gives an in-depth account about the history of the silk industry and the delicate silk-manufacturing process and how it has changed over the centuries. I was so interested that I ended up googling some of the characters and even 'silk-weaving' to learn more.
A couple of years ago I visited Verona, Venice and Lake Garda, the area where this story is set, and reading this book I was transported back to this enchanting part of Italy. Through her prose, the author paints a living, breathing picture of that region as it was in the past and as it is now. It was as if I was there. I could clearly visualise the lake shimmering in the sun, the gondolas and galleons going up and down the Grand Canal in Venice and Villa di Bozzolo with its outbuildings and vineyards stretching far into the distance.
Art, nature, history and love are the main pillars of this brilliant story. If you, like me, love good, well-balanced historical fiction novels based on true facts, then I highly recommend 'The Silk Weaver's Wife'.
With thanks to Bookouture for approving my request to read and review this book through Netgalley.
Anastasia is brought up to be respectful, proper and do as her father says. Along with her younger sister and mother, they live in constant fear of her Father's moods and hate. He only ever seems to show his love to his dog and the horses. Anastasia develops an interest in art and secretly tries to pursue the same. When she is taken away from the man she loves and is forced to marry someone her father had made a deal with through his gambling, her life takes a turn for the worse. Forced to lead a life she doesn't want, she finds solace in her maid, who helps her find a way to escape the abuse and eventually find her way back to the man she loves. However, even this road is not smooth and is filled with learning and a journey of self-discovery, as well as healing. Anastasia travels across Europe and then to London where she learns to improve her art and then to apply it to the finished product of silk weaving.
Jump ahead to the current day scenario and we meet Millie who has come down to Italy to write a feature on Silk Weaving and how it has evolved over time. Ironically, this trip also proves to be one of self-discovery and developing a sense of respect of oneself. She develops a bond with Lorenzo, the owner of the villa where she is staying and his charming daughter. Millie learns to deal with her failed relationship with her boss, a married man, and as she researches more into the subject of her article, she digs up information pertaining to Anastasia.
As connections are made with the past and parallels are drawn, the author takes the reader on an interesting adventure. In many ways, the journey of the silk worm relates to the journeys led by both women they they finally discover who they are meant to be and learn to be content with their lives. The story moves across time as it unravels, going back and forth to give us a complete picture. The characters are well developed and deep, with the supporting characters playing major roles and contributing to this beautiful tale.
An inspiration, this story brings out the strength of women and how the love and support of those around them, helps them achieve wonders!
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The story is told in two timelines, 1704: Anastasia and 2017: Millie.Read more