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Blackberry and Wild Rose

Narrated by: Heather Long, Beth Eyre
Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Jessie Burton and Tracy Chevalier, a rich historical debut set among the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields in the late 18th century.

When Esther Thorel, the wife of a Huguenot silk weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God's will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping madam is too good to refuse.

Inside the Thorels' tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress' blindness to the hypocrisy of her household while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause.

It is silk that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household and set the scene for a devastating day of reckoning between her and Sara.

The price of a piece of silk may prove more than either is able to pay.

©2019 Sonia Velton (P)2019 Quercus Editions Limited

Critic Reviews

"Sumptuous and moving." (Laura Purcell, author of The Silent Companions)

What members say

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-26-19

Detailed & wrapped up in fine silk

Great narration of an intriguing story line. All the fine details and descriptions believable transporting you to another moment in time. Heartwarming and moving. Would definitely recommend.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Midnight Chance
  • Midnight Chance
  • 05-14-19

bittersweet and simple

This is a bittersweet and simple story set in the late 1700s. I loved hearing of the looms, the fabrics and the elaborate dresses the women wore. The harsh realities of poverty and hanging was depressing but very interesting to learn about.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Mrs. M. Morrison
  • Mrs. M. Morrison
  • 04-23-19

Captivating

I don't always write a review but wanted to on this occasion because I so enjoyed this book. A really interesting story which was well-paced, interesting characters and setting. I hope this author has more of the same quality up her sleeve, I will certainly be keeping a look out, and I will also be recommending this one to my book group members.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mrs. Sandra Brown
  • Mrs. Sandra Brown
  • 03-26-19

Wept buckets

What a lovely few days I have spent with this book really enjoyed it from beginning to end

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vivienne Burke
  • 01-30-19

BlackBerry and Wild rose 🌹

I loved everything about this book, from the minute it began to the very last word .Superb !

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for GrandGennetay
  • GrandGennetay
  • 06-22-19

excellent

I very much enjoyed this and learning about weaving history. Only 4 stars for the performance because I found the two voices very similar and occasionally confused who was who; but both readers were clear, good readers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Max
  • 05-25-19

Superb writing

I loved this - beautiful, gripping storytelling about an interesting piece of history, told from the point of view of two different women. Lovely narration to top it all off.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Giulia
  • Giulia
  • 08-16-19

A little disappointing

This got off to a very promising start, but a disappointing middle and end! I spent years researching textile guild records, so was thrilled to discover a story set in that world - and it is impeccably researched in the technical details and the period context. The plot, however, was more like a dull, heavy woollen than a lustrous silk: it plodded along predictably, and suffered from a sad lack of likeable characters. I was rather hoping things might take a Sarah Waters-like, sapphic turn, but they did not. The two narrators were ok (though one of them made me feel like I was listening to The Archers), but they could not save this stodgy story.

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Profile Image for Lucy Indisguise
  • Lucy Indisguise
  • 06-12-19

A quite realistic story well told

The beginning is not for the soft hearted as it details the fate if a young girl forced into prostitution. Nevertheless the reader also follows her escape from it and is witness to her life as a maid.
An un-beautified account of the different roles in an 18th century silk weaver's merchant home with emphasis on the female roles and insight of the demise of the weaver's struggle to survive and the merchant's desire to make more profit while competing against the new Asian market.

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Profile Image for B Hall
  • B Hall
  • 05-10-19

loved it

great book keep me hooked . Nice narrator. overall goid read. would recommend to a friends