Monday, April 26, 2021

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy


A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

Don’t you love that cover? Gorgeous! This novel is the sequel to A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy. See my review of that novel here.

Let’s begin with the summary:

Calcutta, 1886.

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie's English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn't forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.

And now, my review:

I enjoyed A Mosaic of Wings, also set in India, so I looked forward to reading this novel as well. I found great prose and rich setting details here, as in book one. But I also found several unfamiliar words in another language without the benefit of translation, which was a bit frustrating.

The theme of racial prejudice seemed timely, even though the novel is set in 1886. A timeless theme. I loved that the heroine was a professional embroiderer. I enjoy that hobby so it was great to read of a woman making an income by embroidering for hire. It seemed a well-researched book. You really feel immersed in that setting as you read.

Once again, as with several novels lately, the heroine’s deepest wound is her mother’s recent death, a challenging ingredient, especially if it's relatable to readers.

Overall, the story felt very heavy. I didn’t find enough light in the opening chapters to keep me reading. Maybe it’s the pandemic or other aspects of life in recent months, but this story's emotional weight didn’t motivate me to keep reading. Also, romance was absent in the opening pages. If the story had been lighter, I may have kept going to find that element. What I couldn’t be sure of was a thick enough Christian thread woven in. A hopefulness or brightness, given the tone of the earliest scenes.

Though this book wasn’t for me, I wish the author and publisher all the best.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions.   

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