March 2009 Indie Next List
“You will immerse yourself in London of 1471 in Figures in Silk, another gracefully intriguing blend of historical fact and fiction from the author of Portrait of an Unknown Woman.”
— Nicola Rooney, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
In 1471, merchant John Lambert marries off his two beautiful daughters. The elder, Jane Shore, soon begins a notorious liaison with King Edward IV. The other sister, industrious and clever Isabel, is wed to the scion of a wealthy silk dynasty—and faces a monumental challenge when her husband is killed. Forced into apprenticeship to her mother-in-law, Alice Claver, Isabel learns to love the exotic fabrics from Italy, Persia, Spain, Tunisia, and beyond, discovering both loyal friends and dangerous enemies in this breathtaking new world. But Isabel's most powerful alliance will be with sister Jane's royal lover. And when the political landscape shifts perilously, one sister ?will fall while the other rises—as dire choices are made that will change their lives forever.
About the Author
VANORA BENNETT is the author of six novels, including Midnight in St. Petersburg and her much-heralded fiction debut, Portrait of an Unknown Woman. She has also written two works of non-fiction. She studied Russian at the University of Oxford and in the USSR, then began her career as a journalist at Reuters and went on to serve as the Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. She has won the Orwell Prize for political writing for her work at The Times (London) and an Overseas Press Club of America award for her writing on Russia. She lives in London, U.K.
“Vanora Bennett knows what drives her characters, both fictional and historical, and they seem as real and easy to relate to as your next-door neighbor. Bennett’s medieval England comes alive in ways a reader can immediately relate to, even while being transported away from the modern world.”
-Christian Science Monitor
“Readers of historical fiction will be pleased with Bennett’s sure-handed storytelling.”
“Describe(s) late medieval trade and artisanship in fascinating detail. Stands out for its engrossing storytelling, multidimensional characters, and intriguing interpretation of everyone’s favorite love-him-or-hate-him monarch, Richard III.”
“A substantial historical novel set in turbulent 15th century England. Ably explores themes of romance and politics.”
“A richly textured historical novel.”
-The Times (London)
“A splendid blend of romance and history.”