'Sumptuous and moving' Laura Purcell, author of THE SILENT COMPANIONS
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's 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.
Sonia Velton grew up between the Bahamas and the UK. After graduating from university with a first class degree in law, she got sucked into the legal world and qualified as a solicitor at an international law firm, specialising in human rights and discrimination law. Sonia relocated to the Middle East in 2006. Eight years and three children later she then returned to the UK and now lives in Kent.
A sumptuous and moving debut. Velton weaves her tale with the threads of betrayal, thwarted dreams and good intentions gone awry — Laura Purcell, author of The Silent Companions