Tuesday 19 January 2021

The Silk House by Kayte Nunn

I'm trying to expand my reading tastes in 2021, so when I got invited onto the blog tour for The Silk House by Kayte Nunn I was keen to accept. It comes out two days from now, on Jan 21st, and if you're interested in picking it up then here's my thoughts...

The Silk House by Kayte Nunn is a split-timeline book, told from the perspectives of three women. In the modern day, history teacher Thea is in charge of the first ever intake of girls at a 150 year-old British boarding school which previously only accepted male students; she is staying at the Silk House, which has an interesting history. This timeline is contrasted with the 1700s, and the family who ran the silk merchant business here at the time - this is told from the perspective of Rowan, who works here. We also hear from Mary-Louise, desperate to become a silk designer in London. This was a man's job, it seems.

With two timelines and three strong protagonists, you might expect the storyline to get confusing. But Nunn has done an amazing job with The Silk House - past and present blend seamlessly, with everything falling into place beautifully. The research that has gone into the silk industry, witchcraft and more is incredible, making for an effortless read that will truly pique your interest.

As Thea spends more time at the school and the Silk House, she begins to wonder if something might be wrong - strange things happen, and the plot unravels why through its focus on Rowan, Mary-Louise and their lives, witchcraft, work and more. Thea's love of history allows her to delve into the tragedies that happened at the Silk House, and how they are still echoing through time to have an impact in the modern day.

This gothic novel is perfect for dark winter nights curled up on the sofa while the rain hammers on the windows: feminist themes, strong characters, mystery and history make for the perfect concoction. Beautifully written and leaving you wanting more until the very end, I would definitely recommend The Silk House by Kayte Nunn.

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