Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Book Review and Giveaway: Liberty Silk
**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: