By Kelly Bridgewater
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.
I was introduced to Sarah E. Ladd's writing with The Curiosity Keeper. It was a different Regency novel filled with suspense and relatable characters. With each addition to her writing resume, Ladd has written more novels gripped my attention. With her latest book The Weaver's Daughter, I was taken away to a small town in England where weavers and millers fought over the importance of their job.
The writing was clear and concise. Ladd is a wonderful writer who really dives into the setting of her stories. Each setting comes to life and invites me into the setting where I can walk around with each individual character. I felt the drama that Kate felt as she struggled with her growing emotions for Henry, a local rival.
The plot was interesting. I have never seen a story like this one. I imagined an old town with black wrought iron gates and fences surrounding an old brick factories with tons of windows overlooking the town with nice shady trees filling the holes in between. I enjoyed the rivalry between the families.
The romance was predictable, like they are in most historical romances. It moved along at a nice pace, and involved many moments were I hoped Kate wouldn't marry someone else. Being an avid reader of suspense, I imagined something sinister happening to Kate from this other person. But Ladd kept it pretty tame for Regency readers. Henry, the hero, was nice and a complete opposite character from his grandfather who I met in the first couple of chapters.
The spiritual element of forgiveness ran throughout the entire novel. Everyone had someone they needed to forgive. There were hateful words and actions done, but Kate still learned to forgive and move toward a better future for her life. Henry learned, from Kate, the quality of a child's education
and the ability to be a good boss who provided but cared at the same time.
Overall, The Weaver's Daughter is a fine-tuned plot with a sparkling setting and characters who learn to forgive. I can't wait to add this book to be Keeper shelf with all Ladd's other novels. Fans of Julie Klassen would love this novel, I believe.
I received a complimentary copy of The Weaver's Daughter from Thomas Nelson Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars