The Weaver’s Daughter (2018) by Sarah E. Ladd is a FANTASTIC standalone novel. This book comes in all forms including eBook, and is 356 pages in length. With a full-time job, a very busy six-year old at home, and packing my house up so we can move, this story took me two days to read. I received an ARC version of this novel in paperback form from the author via her publisher, Thomas Nelson. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in my review are my own. I give The Weaver’s Daughter 5+++ STARS. This novel is a Christian Historical Romance set in England in 1812.
About the Book
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 have loved and enjoyed every book Sarah Ladd has written, but The Weaver’s Daughter is my new favorite. The storytelling in this book is so fast-paced and engaging that I could not put the book down.
I absolutely LOVED three things the most about this book:
1. Characters and Perspective
- This story is told through the points-of-view of Kate, Henry, and Frederica.
- Each character — Kate, Henry, and Frederica — is unique and integral to the story, so reading each character’s perspective made the story all the more rich and engaging.
- The characters are SO well developed and well written. I definitely want to be Kate’s friend, Henry is an excellent Hero, and Frederica is perfectly awful. But, they are more than just caricatures. They do more than just fit into a particular character mold. All three are believable and realistic in their own rights. I wasn’t just reading a fictional story with made-up characters; The Weaver’s Daughter is a story about people who could have genuinely walked this earth and lived through the struggles shared in this story.
2. Henry Stockton = one of the BEST hero’s ever!
- First of all, Henry is swoon-worthy! He is tall with broad shoulders, strong, dark haired, and has eyes so blue it’s like looking into an idealistically perfect ocean. I will shamefully admit that I did enjoy his character from a purely shallow perspective. LOL!
- BUT, Henry is way more than just a handsome man. He is a wounded man. Henry has been to war, and it has changed him. Instead of a shallow, selfish boy, he is now a man matured and hardened by the things he personally witnessed throughout his many years in the Napoleonic wars. I found this part of Henry’s character to be exceptionally realistic. My father was stationed in Vietnam during four of the most insane years of the Vietnam War. I can personally attest to the behaviors of a man suffering PTSD caused by war, and Henry has PTSD. I appreciate that Mrs. Ladd illustrates this truth and didn’t sweep the aftereffects of war under the carpet. I personally hate when an author creates a character who is supposedly a war veteran but has absolutely no signs of the wear and tear war does to a person.
- Henry is SO respectful of Kate. He values her opinions and criticisms, and takes to heart her suggestions. Over the course of the story, Henry blossoms into a truly compassionate and giving man because of his many interactions with Kate. This is my most favorite aspect to The Weaver’s Daughter. Henry truly wants to be a good man, a man God would want him to be, and sees what it means to value human beings as he watches Kate interact with her community. Henry wants to emulate Kate, and therefore becomes a better man BECAUSE of her.
- Henry stands up to bullies even when it is scary to do so. I dislike bullies immensely. The Weaver’s Daughter is full of bullies who want to hurt others. Instead of hiding from them, Henry stands up to them. He shows no fear. I loved and admired this aspect of his character.
- Oh yeah, the first kiss is amazing!!! It happened exactly when it was supposed to, and Henry, as the initiator, could not have been more breathtaking!
3. A Nod to Romeo and Juliet
- I love when authors incorporate motifs from other story lines. It’s fun to see how they make the beloved ideas and concepts their own. Sarah Ladd did an excellent job of utilizing the Romeo and Juliet motif of lovers from two families who hate one another. I love when love overcomes adversity. Kate is a Dearborne and Henry is a Stockton. Dearbornes and Stocktons do not trust one another, and they haven’t for decades. The more time Kate and Henry spend together though, the more they realize that maybe the two families have been wrong to have such distrust and dislike for one another. Maybe a bridge could be made between the two families after all? Maybe peace can be a reality? You will have to read this wonderful story to find out!
I know I say this every single time, but there really are like a thousand more amazing things I could discuss about this book. I didn’t even get to the history aspect — I was completely fascinated by the wars between the Weavers and the Millers during the 1800s in England. I had NO idea about this bitter aspect to history. A lot of peoples’ lives changed during the Industrial Revolution, and not always for the best. In all honesty, “Progress” seems to hurt more than it helps.
Oh my, did I love this book. I am very sad that my time with Kate and Henry is over. I am definitely keeping this book for a second, third, 20th re-read! If you are looking for a book to love and re-read again and again, then I cannot recommend The Weaver’s Daughter enough. Run to your nearest bookstore (or computer!) and purchase a copy of this fabulous story. You will not be disappointed that you did.
I am giving away ONE (1) ARC paperback of The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd. The giveaway begins today, 4-29-18 at 10:00 am (PST) and ends on Wednesday, 5-2-18 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!
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