on April 10th 2018
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Kate's loyalties bind her to the past. Henry's loyalties compel him to strive for a better future. In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions?
Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder --including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father's pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.
Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war seeking refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather's goals to modernize his family's wool mill, regardless of the grumblings from the local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family's livelihood and legacy.
Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stocktons, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry's side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with the powerful decision that will forever affect her village's future. As unlikely adversaries, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, and their village, and their souls - even if it means risking their hearts in the process.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Nothing had prepared Henry Stockton for what awaited him in the small village of Amberdale upon his return from war. The animosity between millers and weavers has reached a point where deadly attacks are carefully planned to eliminate the millers, whose new machines threaten the weavers’ very livelihood. The Stocktons are millers, Henry has come home to continue the family’s legacy, and maybe to rekindle a romance from years ago, but the war has changed Henry.
THE WEAVER’S DAUGHTER caught my eye because it does not deal with dukes, rogues, or spies, but with the lives of ordinary people during the Regency. However, it does deal with class issues, which I found way more powerful than what we are used to. In 1812, industrialisation has begun and progress is disrupting the foundation of British society. In THE WEAVER’S DAUGHTER, Sarah E. Ladd takes us to Yorkshire for a glimpse into what ailed the cloth industry, and the author had me completely mesmerised. The author’s extensive research and her meticulous attention to historical detail vividly recreate a moment in time; this is the sort of book that, if you stop, you blink a few times to get back to the twenty first century. The backdrop of the cloth industry plays a critical part in every aspect of the story, as Henry Stockton, the well-off miller, and Kate Dearborne, THE WEAVER’S DAUGHTER, come to acknowledge that they are attracted to each other, but Kate’s father forbids her to even speak to Henry. She had been prepared to hate Henry on principle, but he is not the devil her father made Henry out to be.
THE WEAVER’S DAUGHTER is such a gripping story with innumerable layers that I found it almost impossible to review. Ms. Ladd is a formidable storyteller, making us experience every facet of the conflict that shakes the village, and that perturbs Kate and Henry’s lives in more ways than one. The romance develops very slowly, it could not have been otherwise; the spark between Kate and Henry is akin to a microscopic flame hovering over a powder keg: society dictates that they should remain enemies, but can they change that? Do they want to, do they dare to? What could be the outcome? People are hurt and killed, allegiances shift, betrayals occur, lives are ruined, and some shocking developments have lasting consequences. Ms. Ladd has created characters of indescribable depth, and some unforgettable secondary characters such as Charles, Kate’s brother, and Mollie, Henry’s sister, whom I hope will have her own story, or even Frederica, who finds herself in a situation she never expected.
Sarah E. Ladd’s writing is sublime; her prose is exquisite and incandescent, flowing and utterly flawless, always faithful to the era’s language; light yet descriptive. The dialogues are stunning in their accuracy and tone, down to simplest endearments, and without a hint of stiffness. THE WEAVER’S DAUGHTER should not be missed by readers who really appreciate historical reality with their romance; it is absolutely outstanding.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.