Title: The Hidden Thread
Author: Liz Trenow
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
This book is described as breathtaking in its blurb and I cannot think of a better word. Breathtaking indeed! So needless to say I loved it. I loved that it was about silk, threads and weaving. I loved the richness of London in the 1700's and the little quotes from 'manual's' and other books that were the 1700 equivalent to today's self-help books.
Not unlike Pride and Prejudice this book is about a woman whom is not happy being a part of the 'typical' high society she could be immersed in. Instead our lead gal, Anna, is a bit of a romantic; a painter/artist that is looking for real love, not just a good match to a wealthy man. The love story here is poignant, honest and unbelievably adorable. I'm not a crier but I will admit to at a few moments being choked up by the sweetness of it all.
There is one thing that The Hidden Thread is not, it's not an action book, not a thriller, has no magic or intrigue in it, and isn't about anything more complex than two people and their stories that collide. Going in with clear expectations that you will learn a lot about weaving and silk; and knowing that it's well researched and written will go a long ways to your enjoyment.
Even though the writing is not overly flowery, nor is the story anything particularly original, I still adored this book. It was breathtaking in that Liz Trenow clearly knows how to tell a story with depth that evicts emotions for average people in believable and realistic situations. It's in the vein of Gone with the Wind, Pride & Prejudice or more recently The Minaturist or The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. Just a story about people and the time they lived (and loved) in.
The Hidden Thread is historical fiction at it's finest and I can't imagine changing anything in it that would improve it. Finding out the authors connection to the people and time period at the end of the novel just re-enforced for me how much time and effort clearly went into researching the time period and silk industry. And how can you possibly fault an author who admits to their fictional liberties taken!! It's a rare treat that I can walk away from a historical novel and not feel the need to wiki the real details. I look forward to much more of Trenow's literature in the future.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.