Figures in Silk: Book summary and reviews of Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett

Figures in Silk

A Novel

by Vanora Bennett

Figures in Silk
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2009
    464 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

Two sisters discover passion during the War of the Roses—one in the arms of the king, the other in the world of silk

From the author of the acclaimed novel Portrait of an Unknown Woman comes an epic tale of love and intrigue. The year is 1471. Edward IV, who won the throne with the help of his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is restoring law and order after years of war. Under Edward IV, life in England begins to improve. Business is booming once more and the printing and silk industries prosper in London.

When silk merchant John Lambert marries off his two beautiful daughters, their fortunes are forever changed. Elder daughter Jane Shore begins a notorious liaison with the king while industrious and clever Isabel finds herself married into the house of Claver, a wealthy silk dynasty. Fate delivers Isabel a challenge when her new husband is killed and she is forced into apprenticeship to her mother-in-law, Alice Claver.

It is from Alice Claver that Isabel learns to love silk and the exotic and passionate fabrics from Italy, Persia, Spain, Tunisia, and beyond. Isabel learns to make her way in this new world of silk—to find friends and enemies—and she strikes an alliance with her sister's lover, King Edward IV, that will bring the secrets of silk-making to London. As Isabel grows in power and her plan for a silk industry run by Englishwomen is set into motion, the political landscape shifts in dangerous ways. One sister will fall as the other rises and choices must be made that will change their lives forever.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Readers of historical fiction will be pleased with Bennett's sure-handed storytelling." - Publishers Weekly.

"This casual observation becomes the political reality of the narrative. Ably explores themes of romance and politics." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Mysterious, romantic, turbulent, and rich in historic detail ... should appeal to fans of Sharon Kay Penman and Tracy Chevalier." - Library Journal.

"Superior historical romance in the Philippa Gregory vein." - Scotland on Sunday.

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Reader Reviews

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Becky Dodd

Facinating
I loved this book! I loved the backdrop of the silk industry and especially the eye opening perspective of the rise of England's King Richard. I especially appreciated this perspective after reading Anne Easter Smith's A Rose for the Crown. They are a nice compliment to each other. The character development is good, the story captivating and the ending worthy. The tale of two sisters and their drifting away and then back together is heartwarming and exciting with their surprising connections to the Royal families. Definite recommended.

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Author Information

Vanora Bennett Author Biography

Vanora Bennett became a journalist almost by accident. Having learned Russian and been hired after university by Reuters, she was catapulted out of the classical-music life of her family and straight into the adrenaline-charged realm of conflict reporting. While on a trainee assignment in Paris, she fell in with the Cambodian émigré community and ended up reporting in Cambodia herself, a decade after the Khmer Rouge regime ended, as well as covering Cambodian peace talks in places as far apart as Indonesia and Paris. That led to a similar job in Africa, commuting between Angola and Mozambique and writing about death, destruction, diamonds and disease, and later to a posting in a country that stopped being the Soviet Union three months after she arrived. She spent much of the ...

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Other books by Vanora Bennett at BookBrowse
  • The Queen's Lover jacket
  • Portrait of an Unknown Woman jacket
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