Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Liberty Silk

By Becky Gulc

**Giveaway is now closed**

‘A sumptuous summer read starring three inspiring women from three vibrant eras.

One beautiful dress is the key to three brave women's destinies…

France 1919: Jessie is celebrating the last heady days of her honeymoon. But when her husband suddenly disappears she finds herself bereft. Until a chance encounter thrusts her into the centre of the intoxicating world of Parisian high life.

Hollywood 1945: Lisa has come a long way from her quiet, unassuming life in London and is taking Hollywood by storm. But all that glitters is not gold, and as the smoke and mirrors of the lifestyle she so longed for shatter around her there are some secrets she can never escape.

London 1965: Cat, headstrong and independent, drawn to danger and passionately opposed to injustice, has no idea of the legacy that precedes her. Once past secrets are unveiled, she has the chance to find out what liberty really means...

An evocative story of survival, betrayal and the invincibility of love.’ (Synopsis courtesy of Kate Beaufoy's website.)

I was sent an uncorrected proof copy of Liberty Silk a few weeks ago now. Despite knowing that I was due to review this book to go alongside Kate’s blog tour in early July I admittedly kept reading different books first, leaving this until the week before my review was due. Why? Well, I’ll be very honest and say I’m not overly keen on historical fiction so the ‘blurb’ didn’t particularly capture my attention, I also felt a bit over-faced by the thought of three different narratives and three different periods of time, I thought it would be a book that I’d really have to concentrate on rather than just enjoy. I also didn’t have any prior knowledge of Kate as an author, but whilst this is her first historical novel she has published successful novels as Kate Thompson (one of which was shortlisted for an RNA award).

So, not a book I would necessarily choose for myself but how did I find it? If I could choose just one word it would be ‘AMAZING’, I’m sat here wondering how I can convey how good a book this really is. There is a quote from Marian Keyes on the cover which says it is a ‘beautiful, compelling novel’ and it really is, I want to shake myself for wrongly assuming this book wouldn’t be for me!

I was sold on this book from the first few pages alone. I felt immediately drawn into Jessie’s world, the love she feels for her husband Scotch, their travels on their honeymoon, the happiness, before it is all taken away and Jessie finds herself at a very difficult crossroads in Paris, but will the path she follows bring her happiness?

I was also just as captivated by Lisa’s narrative, a likeable young woman heading off to Hollywood as a young actor friend’s personal assistant, determined to make a name for herself, succeeding but not without its challenges and possible repercussions.

The book is so beautifully written, and you can tell when Kate says she read a lot of books by means of research she meant it. Various well-known names not only crop up but some feature as characters in the novel (e.g. Coco Chanel) and I loved that, it tied in so beautifully with the lives of Jessie and Lisa, helped really picture their lives in Paris and LA. Kate also writes in a way which made me feel like I was in the different locations with the characters, and in the different time periods, it felt like effortless writing which got me there.

For at least two-thirds of the novel the narrative alternates between Jessie and Lisa, so my concerns about the narrative switch between three characters was unfounded, by the time we meet Cat in the final stages of the novel I was more than ready to know her story too! The switches between Jessie and Lisa’s narratives were also so beautifully crafted and executed. Although set in different decades the stories come together so cleverly, linking characters and keeping the reader on the edge of their seat as to whether history will repeat itself across these different generations of women you come to hold so dear.

There is heartbreak and longing, true love, mystery, glamour and demise, everything I wanted to see and feel and Kate delivered the right dose of each one. I didn’t anticipate how Cat’s story would unfold but it surpassed my expectations, I was so pleased with how everything came together. Liberty Silk will be a book I remember for a long time to come. We may also be just mid-way through the year but I’ve no doubt this will remain one of my favourite reads of the year by December. Just in case I haven’t made my point yet… I cannot recommend this book highly enough! Good luck to everyone taking part in the giveaway, I hope the winners love it as much as I did!

Thanks to Transworld UK for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have THREE copies for some lucky readers anywhere in the world!

How to win: 
Please tell us which book you were hesitant to read but then surprised by how much you enjoyed it.

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted (and we do NOT count "Google +" as contact information).

Open worldwide. Giveaway ends July 14th at midnight EST.

See the other blogs participating on the tour:

39 comments:

Librarian Lavender said...

I don't think I have a book like that, I want to give everything a try, usually without much hesitation.
Great giveaway, the book sounds really good!

Janine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janine said...

When I have been hesitant to read a book, I didn't. I am like you and don't care for historical books. But, if you liked it, I know I will. From what I just read, this one does sound really good.

kinini01@hotmail.com

susieqlaw said...

Girl With a Pearl Earring

sendsusanmail at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

I was always hesitant to read the whole Bible. I had read passages but couldn't imagine reading the whole thing. I did and it was wonderful! The best book ever.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Darklittle said...

Haha it's usually the other way round. I think I'll enjoy something and it's utterly boring.
Maybe Tracy Chevalier's The Last Runaway counts. I didn't think I'd enjoy it at all but it did entertain me.

You can contact me on my blog. I hope this is okay? I'd rather not write down my e-mail publicly visible for everyone. I was hoping for a way to type it in here.

Thanks for this great giveaway :)

Bonnie Franks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie Franks said...

I just had to delete my comment as I forgot contact information! So I will give it first: bonlyn55@yahoo.com

The book I read that was in my house for some unknown reason was Up Country by Nelson DeMille. I love it to pieces and have since gone back and read several other books by him!

Beth said...

I don't often have those moments with books - I'm pretty good at picking things I'll like. But one that I wasn't really excited about because I thought it would be too sad was Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. It was sad, but beautiful!

I love multiple story-lines and historical fictions, this one sounds great!

Thanks for the chance to win!
Beth
bharbin07[at]gmail[dot]com

Ro said...

I don't think I ever hesitate to read any book. I am always open to new authors and new styles of writing and subjects.

MAS Bookworm said...

Speed of Darkness by Elizabeth Moon , and now it's a book a love!
@Masbookworm

Rhonda g said...

rhondajgothier@yahoo.com. By Nora Roberts...DARK WITCH the first in a trilogy. Surprised how good it was. The O'Dwyer trilogy.

Donna C said...

While it is usually the other way around for me (I look forward to a book and then find I don't like it as much as I thought I would), I would have to say Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Not my type of story, but it was recommended to me, and I liked it!

Dcimo2@aol.com

Bube said...

Where There's Smoke by Sandra Brown - and become one of my favorite books :)

bubacka07@outlook.com

Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Charlotte said...

Sorry, at this time I can't think of any books to tell you about.
CABWNANA1@bellsouth.net

Kathy A. LaMaster said...

October Sky
kathy@ec.rr.com

Colleen Turner said...

Beautiful cover! I can't think of one that I was necessarily hesitant to start that ended up blowing me away, but I did wait a very long time to read The Hours by Michael Cunningham and ended loving it so much I hugged it when I was done :). Thanks for the chance to win the book..historical fiction is my favorite!
candc320@gmail.com

Jessica Meddick said...

I am always hesitant to read historical books but this one sounds really good!

Thanks!
-Jessica M
walkingcorpse11@hotmail.com

Bonnie K. said...

Life Drawing by Robin Black. I wasn't sure how I would like the book about a quiet and private couple. I ended up really liking the book.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

PoCoKat said...

I am hesitant to read books that have paranormal elements but I've read a few that are actually believable.

littleone At Shaw DOT ca

Vivian Vereeke said...

I had read some of Francine Rivers' books and enjoyed them, so when I saw another book she wrote, I bought it without reading the back very closely. When I finally did, I saw that it was a retelling of the story of Hosea updated to wild west times. I'm not fond of westerns, so I put off reading it. When I finally did, I loved it. Not only was it an enjoyable read, it really made me think. It's definitely one to read over and over. I also found out that I really get a lot out of books that take characters from the Bible and expand on them so we can better understand them, the times they lived in as well as the social climate of the time. I just make sure they are trusted authors or at least Biblically accurate.
vjvereeke@hotmail.com

Jennifer L. said...

I received Twilight as a gift and I held off reading it for awhile. But I enjoyed it once I did read it.
jentam777 at gmail dot com

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

There haven't been a lot of books that I started that I during like but I am bad and usually give up on them if I can't get into it! I happen to love historical fiction and I'm sold if it's set in London too!!

Jhuelsebuschsbcglobal.net

Melanie Backus said...

If I have a doubt, I just don't read it.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

Doesn't happen; don't read books I'm not interested in

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Amy Mays said...

Like No Other by Una LaMarche. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get into it but I absolutely loved the book and it was so different from what I was expecting.
amymays53@gmail.com

Anita Yancey said...

I was hesitant to read Children of the Fog by Cheryl Kay Tardif, but it turned out that I really liked it. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Mary Preston said...

I was hesitant to read THE BOOK THIEF. Not sure about it at all. What with Death being the narrator. I LOVED it. It made me cry.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Donna E said...

WONDERLAND CREEK by Lynn Austin
We read this for our church ladies book club.

donna [dot] durnell [a]t sbcglobal [dot] net

Kayla Gothier said...

The Twilight series as i usually dont go for the non realistic reads.

Kaylagothier@yahoo.com

Jenny B said...

Me before you by Jojo Moyes.

Jenny_bix(at)yahoo(dot)com

cyn209 said...

I've pretty much enjoyed all books that I've started........

cyn209 at juno dot com

Ro said...

Pretty much will read everything and anything...and finish even if I don't really like it. Always looking for a surprise or twist that makes it worthwhile.

Nova said...

I can't think of any that i didn't like from when i wanted to read it until i finished it. i usually only hesitate to read something out of my "normal" range of books, but if i see good reviews or recommendations, i will usually try it.
sparkle40175@hotmail.com

Dorothy Langman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dorothy Langman said...

I had n't read any Suskind and was pushed into that direction by Alan Rickman's film #Perfume. I was n't disappointed The Story of a Murderer is a 1985 literary historical cross-genre novel by German writer Patrick Süskind. The novel explores the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may carry. Grenouille, is a unique character as he learns the perfumer's art we learn that his motives are suspect - scent is all he is concerned with, and he wants to learn to distill and extract odors of living things and objects, not just flowers and other plants. The book follows his relationship with scent and how he covets the life essence of young women, leading to a self-initiated refuge, and a compulsion to find these unobtainable scents and eventually a spectacular resolution of the plot. The language is highly descriptive and you can visualise and almost smell the scent dropping off the pages. Patrick Suskind's prose is rich and evocative Perfume is an unexpected story but it is also lyrical and mesmerising. I'm so glad I read it!
Dorothy_Langman@hotmail.com

Katherine Ivan said...

I recall being hesitant to read THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas. While in school, many of the classics were rather dry for my palate. But, man, was that a clever story full of humor! You'd think at least one of my teachers could have said so. Maybe they didn't know? LOL kateivan {at} aol {dot} com

Melissa said...

Thanks for participating and telling us which books pleasantly surprised you. Mine would definitely be The Night Circus!

Thanks to Transworld UK for sharing this book with our winners.

Random.org chose THREE winners from all entries with contact info (one entry per person).

Congrats to:
Librarian Lavender
Jessica Meddick
bn100

lamp said...

It would be great to share a bit more on this matter. I’m glad I come across your site really informative post. Thanks for sharing this material.

www.n8fan.net