Monday, April 9, 2018

The Weaver's Daughter - Review

The Weaver's Daughter

By: Sarah E Ladd

Expected Publication: April 10th 2018 by Thomas Nelson

320 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--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 seeking 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 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.

I've been reading both historical fiction as well as Christian fiction more frequently. Sometimes this is tricky for me because I don't enjoy all time periods and I don't enjoy all Christian stories. I do typically enjoy the regency time period and Sarah E Ladd had high ratings on all of her previously published books. I can now see why.

Henry was easy to like as I often find so for main male characters. His PTSD from the war was used in just the right way to make it believable but yet not end up being a story about war PTSD. I liked that he was honest about trying to do the best he could for the entire village while not sacrificing progress. His genuine appreciation for the character of Kate was my favorite part of their romance.

Kate was at a disadvantage. Because her brother already chose a path different from the one their father had mapped out for him, Kate was able to see how her father responded and regarded her brother. Not wanting to damage her own relationship with her father, Kate endures quite a lot of verbal scolding. I appreciated Kate's struggle to be considered valuable in the weaving profession yet not being considered beause she was a woman.

The romance was enjoyable, but it was a slow building romance for sure. As a matter of fact I really feel like the story about the weaver's conflict with the mills was more of the driving component of the story and the romance took a backseat to this. Normally I might find this annoying, but I enjoyed the conflict over the fight against progress enough for it not to matter.

While The Weaver's Daughter is classified as Christian fiction and published by a Christian publisher, I really wouldn't have known this was the case based upon the story alone. There were no "preaching" moments. And as a matter of fact, the characters rarely mentioned their faith...even in passing. Principles of Christianity--namely forgiveness and the downfall of pride--were present throughout. I think this is a good example of showing and not telling. I do see a place for stories that have a more direct approach where faith and principles are concerned, but I enjoyed this one nonetheless. It was really just a nice clean story with a great moral. So if you're hesitant to read Christian fiction because you don't want to be preached to yet you like historical fiction, I really like you'll enjoy this one.

Favorite quotes:

-"We cannot control what others do. We can only control how we react to it. Being angry will only hurt you, not them."

-At one time nothing mattered more than having a beautiful wife, amassing possessions, and claiming power. Now, his heart--his soul--longed for things not so tangible: Safety. Security. Happiness. Justice. Hope. Forgiveness.

The Weaver's Daughter was a quick read for me given my limited time to read this year. I know I would have finished it much sooner had I had the amount of time that I used to. I enjoyed the history involved just as much if not more than the romance which is rare. I didn't feel like I was having a history lesson or a sermon considering this book is labeled as Christian fiction. The Weaver's Daughter gets 4 Stars. Have you read The Weaver's Daughter? What did you think? Let me know!

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