Jenny Brown's Reviews > Black Silk

Black Silk by Judith Ivory
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Jul 30, 11

Read in July, 2011

I'm going to hate myself tomorrow, because it's way past my bedtime, but I picked this 400+ page book up after lunch and wasn't able to put it down until just now when I'd read the last word.

Yes, as some here have pointed out, the external plot devices are historically innaccurate. There are also quite a few other errors of fact. Flowers are blooming at the wrong time of year. A pre-Matthew Brady photographer takes candid snapshots--on wet plates.

But none of that matters because the writing carries you into a strange and engrossing world that it would be an insult to call "literary" because few literary novels are this engrossing.

Ivory/Cuevas takes us deep into the consciousness of the characters in a way few other romance writers can. I loved the subtlety, the language, the way that the characters were brought so fully to life with all their complexities and ambivalences. Will they live happily ever after? Possibly not. They are too real.

Must reading for anyone who reads to explore character and emotion. Not for those who want a quick fix of fairy tale fantasy.
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