Paperback: 354 pages
Publisher: Avon, September 2012.
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentences: 'Perhaps because death leaves so little to say, funeral guests seem to take refuge in platitudes.' He had a good innings ... Splendid send-off ... Very moving service ... Such beautiful flowers ... You are so wonderfully brave, Lilly.'
Review Quote: 'An evocative and engaging novel for fans of ' The Postmistress and Suite Francaise from back cover of paperback.
My Opinion: An enthralling read.
I had picked this book up at the local library as it sounded like a good read, when the very next day I came across an excellent newspaper article about how Liz Trenow got inspiration from her family background in the silk weaving industry. It is a fascinating article and inspired me to start reading the book at once and what an enthralling read it is. The historical setting in a silk mill during the Second World War is captivating and along with the romance and intrigue of the story, one also gains a fascinating insight into the history and production of silk.
Narrated in the first person by the heroine of the tale Lily Verner, it is easy to immerse yourself in her story. Feeling emotional and with many things to think about Lily is at her husband's funeral as the novel opens. A week later whilst with her granddaughter, they come across something, which along with Emily telling her grandmother of her plans to do a parachute jump, triggers memories. She drifts back to those long ago days and tells us the story of how thanks to the imminent start of WWII all her plans change and she finds herself unexpectedly working in the family silk factory. Life at the factory turns out to be far more inspiring than Lily had expected, also somewhat harrowing thanks to the war, although there is love amongst the sadness.
In summary if you are looking for a romantic read that has plenty of poignancy and emotion then I think this is one you will enjoy.
Liz Trenow's family have been silk weavers for nearly three hundred years and she was born and brought up in a house next to the family silk mill. Her father and later her brother, went to work each day at the mill, silk therefore played a large part in her early life, though at the time she did not really appreciate this fact.
Photographs and biographical information courtesy of the following sites.
Express - My family of silk weavers inspired me Amazon Author Profile Liz Trenow - Official Author Website