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Extended Audio Sample Figures in Silk, by Vanora Bennett Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (901 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Vanora Bennett Narrator: Katherine Kellgren Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Two sisters discover passion during the War of the Roses—one in the arms of the king, the other in the world of silk.

From the author of the acclaimed novel Portrait of an Unknown Woman comes an epic tale of love and intrigue. The year is 1471. Edward IV, who won the throne with the help of his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is restoring law and order after years of war. Under Edward IV, life in England begins to improve. Business is booming once more and the printing and silk industries prosper in London.

When silk merchant John Lambert marries off his two beautiful daughters, their fortunes are forever changed. Elder daughter Jane Shore begins a notorious liaison with the king while industrious and clever Isabel finds herself married into the house of Claver, a wealthy silk dynasty. Fate delivers Isabel a challenge when her new husband is killed and she is forced into apprenticeship to her mother-in-law, Alice Claver.

It is from Alice Claver that Isabel learns to love silk and the exotic and passionate fabrics from Italy, Persia, Spain, Tunisia, and beyond. Isabel learns to make her way in this new world of silk—to find friends and enemies—and she strikes an alliance with her sister's lover, King Edward IV, that will bring the secrets of silk-making to London. As Isabel grows in power and her plan for a silk industry run by Englishwomen is set into motion, the political landscape shifts in dangerous ways. One sister will fall as the other rises and choices must be made that will change their lives forever.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bennett weaves a richly textured historical novel.” 

    Times (London) 

  • “Readers of historical fiction will be pleased with Bennett's sure-handed storytelling.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Bennett’s second novel stands out for its engrossing storytelling, multidimensional characters, and intriguing interpretation of everyone’s favorite love-him-or-hate-him monarch, Richard III.”  

    Booklist

  • “Mysterious, romantic, turbulent, and rich in historic detail, Bennett’s engrossing story of medieval England during the War of the Roses should appeal to fans of Sharon Kay Penman and Tracy Chevalier.” 

    Library Journal

  • An Indie Next Notable Title

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kayla Baldwin | 2/18/2014

    " Though it wasn't as good as I thought it would be, I still liked it. There were a few parts where I was kind of bored, and one long part where Isabel was just pining for her guy which kind of drove me a little nuts. The origins of the English silk trade were rather interesting though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Tonya | 2/12/2014

    " I enjoyed the historical look at business and the lives of the people of London. The characters were well written, and there were some unexpected quirks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jill Knight | 2/10/2014

    " A great love story historical portrayal of a very strong common girl and a would be King of England. They main character takes you on a journey of a life that was lived to the fullest even when doubt and lies step in to destroy her. I would have liked to haved learned even more about the silk making process in addition to the selling and marketing within the first portion of the book so that relating to her everyday life would have seemed more real. The genuine giving of her love to someone so unlikely to receive it kept me wanting to know the true basis of his love towards her. I was not disappointed and I highly recommend this original take on figure of history that is so often written about. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jenn Nelson | 2/3/2014

    " Ok, this book is very well written. You can tell that she did A LOT of research on silk weaving and the silk trade during this time period. However, I found myself skipping over the explanations about silk so I could get to encounters between the lead character, Isabel and Dickon, (Richard III) I would have loved to see a lot more develop there. The author wrote from multiple view points, but never from Dickon's perspective and through out the book, his was the mind you wanted to unlock the most. Still a really good book though. Nice to see more historical lit on the War of Roses. "

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About the Author
Author Vanora Bennett

Vanora Bennett is a journalist and writer. She lived and worked in Russia for seven years, writing for Reuters and the Los Angeles Times. She has been a foreign correspondent and feature writer and has contributed to such publications as the Times, Los Angeles Times, Guardian, Observer, and Evening Standard. She lives in London.