Thursday, May 24, 2018

Summer Break

Hi all,

As Abby mentioned in her "Dear Abby" post last Friday, we are both planning to take a Summer-long break, but will return after Labor Day.

I have taken August off the past few years, but this is the longest break I have taken since I started blogging.  I want some down time to just relax for the Summer, but I also want to rethink some blog goals.

I am looking forward to a long stretch of reading.   When I was in my teens and 20's, I adored the Jalna series by Mazo de la Roche.  This is a family saga told in 16 books.  It is set in Canada between 1854 - 1954.  It is a big sweeping historical fiction series and reminds me a bit of Upstairs-Downstairs and Downton Abbey.   I have been waiting until I had a long, uninterrupted reading period to start this re-read.  I'm very excited to read these books again.

My best friend and I are also planning to rewatch the entire Mad Men series.   We both have the book Mad Men Carousel: The Complete Critical Companion, and plan to read that episode-by-episode as we go along.

Otherwise, I am sure there will be time for trying some new recipes, playing the guitar, and enjoying some time in the sunshine.  (I will still be working in my shops this Summer, and you can keep up with my work and vintage life on Facebook at my Birdhouse Books page.)   Of course, Abby will be helping with everything!

I look forward to catching up with you again in September!


Book Review - The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Synopsis
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 hoping to find a 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 out the 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.


Purchase Links

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My Review
The Weaver's Daughter is set in 1801 Yorkshire, England, in the small village of Amberdale.  This novel tells the story of Kate Dearborne, a weaver's daughter, and Henry Stockton, whose family owns a large wool mill.  Although their families are at odds, Kate and Henry feel drawn to each other.  This sets a series of major events in motion.

I found the time period and setting for this book very intriguing.  I knew very little about everyday life during the early 1800's, and nothing at all about weavers or wool mills.  The historical setting was beautifully rendered and I felt I learned about early mills through the pages of this book.  Learning interesting tidbits about history is one of the things that attracts me to historical fiction.

The book explores both the characters of Kate, a small town girl whose father is a weaver, and wealthy Henry, whose family owns the town wool mill.  They have an immediate attraction and a Romeo and Juliet type story sets in motion, as their families are very much at odds.

This novel features well developed characters (especially Kate and Henry), and the author's descriptions are wonderful.  This is my first read by Sarah E. Ladd, but I have already downloaded two more of her books onto my Kindle.  I am eager to read more!

The Weaver's Daughter begins at a leisurely pace but the pacing picks up as the action for the story does as well.   There is a suspenseful storyline involving a murder and the fate of the Stockton mill.

This book shines light on the lives of women in the early 1800's.  Kate wants to be recognized as a weaver and a business person, but her father sees her only as a helper and the potential wife of a man who can help his business.   Henry's sister deals with the scandal of a pregnancy without marriage.   There is also a storyline about children working in the mills, and the need to protect them and insure their safety.

I recommend The Weaver's Daughter for fans of historical fiction.  This is a setting that is not featured in many novels and I think other historical fiction readers will enjoy this unique aspect of the book.

Author Bio
Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever.


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I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours.