About the Book
Book: A Tapestry of Light
Author: Kimberly Duffy
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: March 16, 2021
Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.
When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.
But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.
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Well written, with lush descriptions that bring to life in vivid detail the two cultures that Ottilie is torn between. After the death of her mother, Ottilie struggles to support her grandmother and brother with her beetle-wing embroidery, but when news comes from across the waters that her brother is heir to a title she makes the difficult decision to move with Thaddeus to England, knowing that her Eurasian blood will make her even more of an outcast there than in India.
This book does a great job of showing rather than telling with regard to the characters, their interaction, and relationships. And while this book has a more steady pace, I think that each scene did its part to progress the plot. I love learning about the different cultures as well as the history, and the beautiful art of the beetle wing embellishments.
Ottilie is a woman who has faced much loss, but loves her brother fiercely. I admired her for bravely moving to another country, knowing that it would be especially difficult for herself. I also really liked her faith arc, and how serious seeking doubt was portrayed. I also enjoyed the complex depth of many of the other characters, like Alberta and Everett who are burdened by the conventions of society.
Overall, this was a well done and enjoyable read, well researched, with layered characters and a steady pace. I also think that this book did an excellent job of feeling authentic to the time period in the manners, culture, and characters, perfect for fans of classic Masterpiece Theatre. Well worth the read!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
About the Author
Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn’t mind.
More from Kimberly
When I set out to write a new novel, I plan the entire thing from start to finish. I write down each scene on an index card and know exactly what’s going to happen when I sit down for the day’s work. I’m meticulous that way.
But I never plan my characters’ spiritual arcs. Because I want their faith journey to be organic to the story. I want it to feel authentic. It’s such an important part of each of my books and I recognize that some things just refuse plotting and need to develop in a more natural way.
My debut novel, A Mosaic of Wings, features a heroine steeped in science. Nora loves the natural world and so her faith was encouraged by studying the wings of a butterfly or examining an interesting plant. She’s not particularly sentimental or emotive so the faith element of that story had to be presented in a way that made sense for her. Nora’s faith arc is subtle.
Not so for A Tapestry of Light. I had no intention of writing a book that delved into my own struggle with doubt. But that’s what Ottilie required. And it wrung me dry.
Then built me back up.
My faith story is a twisted kind of one. Raised a Christian, I went into ministry, firmly attached myself to the faith of my childhood, and thought it would never waver.
I was wrong.
Oh, how it wavered. For whatever reason, when I hit about 30, it seemed everything I had always believed no longer made sense. It was devastating. Terrifying. And it broke me.
But brokenness is its own sort of beauty and when you recognize there is no way for you to pick up the pieces yourself, God can come in and fill those cracks and shattered places.
Those five years of doubt and questioning and facing the reality that even though I’d always loved Christ, I didn’t really know Him (and didn’t really know why I believed in Him), were some of the most painful I’ve experienced. But I believe with every bit of my being that God is in the business of redemption. Of restoration. Of filling up so that we can pour out.
And he took my own very personal struggle and helped me turn it into a story that, I hope and pray, might encourage others. I gave Ottilie my questions. I gave her my doubt. I gave her my fear and desperation and, in the end, I gave her my hope.
There’s a little piece of me in each of my books, but this one contains my heart.
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To celebrate her tour, Kimberly is giving away the grand prize $25 Amazon gift card along with a signed copy of either A Mosaic of Wings or A Tapestry of Light!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.