FIGURES IN SILK
March 23, 2009
William Morrow, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Rating: 4 Cups
Isabel Lambert wanted more for herself than to be married off to a silk merchant’s son at the tender age of fourteen. However, upon the advice of a most mesmerizing stranger, Isabel abides by her father’s wishes, and sets her life on a course that will change history.
Peace and prosperity were finally coming to England under the rule of King Edward IV, with the help of his brother Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. Dickon, as Richard is known to his friends, is happy to serve his King, but when Edward suddenly dies, Dickon sets his eyes on a greater prize.
Isabel is married and widowed in a matter of months to Thomas Claver, whose mother Alice Claver runs one of the largest silk dynasties in all of England. Rather than slink back to her father, only to be married off again, Isabel stays on with Alice, and becomes an apprentice in the silk industry. Her years of training are made bearable by the vast amount of knowledge she is soaking in, as well as the occasional clandestine meeting with Dickon. Isabel’s dreams of producing English silk, as well as her affair with Dickon are an uphill battle, bringing about her greatest joys, and most devastating sorrows.
Anglophile or not, this story will capture your heart and your mind. Isabel is so young when she bravely throws herself into the world of business, and her intelligence and fortitude are amazing. However, when it comes to affairs of the heart, she is as oblivious as any other woman, blinding her to Dickon’s machinations. The research and attention to detail encompassing the silk trade are absolutely fascinating, and the litany of love affairs and lies, downright diabolical.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More