The Hidden Thread is a breathtaking novel about the intricate craft of silk and the heartbreak of forbidden love.
When Anna Butterfield's mother dies, she's sent to live with her uncle, a silk merchant in London, to make a good match and provide for her father and sister. There, she meets Henri, a French immigrant and apprentice hoping to become a master weaver. But Henri, born into a lower class, becomes embroiled in the silk riots that break out as weavers protest for a fair wage.
The Hidden Thread is an historical romance novel set against the backdrop of the silk trade in 1760s London and the silk riots of the period.
Anna moves to London following the death of her mother to find a suitable match and Henri is a young silk weaver apprentice. The romance that soon - but slowly - develops between them crosses the boundaries of class but readers can expect a 'clean read.' In fact I often felt as though I was reading a YA or MG novel.
The most interesting aspects of the novel for me were definitely the silk designs and imagining the damask patterns described in seamstress Miss Charlotte's dress shop. I also desperately wanted to see Henri's masterpiece of silk weaving, having had the pattern designed, woven and completed throughout the course of the novel. I dearly wish the design had been used to form the cover; now that would have been perfect.
The Hidden Thread also ignited my interest in seeing the silk weaving looms described in the novel at work, and references at the end for those wanting to learn more would have been a very welcome addition.
The Hidden Thread is recommended for YA readers and those looking for a light-hearted historical romance novel with a happy ending.
My rating = ***