Jess (Primrose)'s Reviews > The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes
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really liked it

I closed the book with a tightness in my throat and sorrow in my chest. The main thought swirling in my head was "People really never change". Maybe I'm feeling hypersensitive after all the horrible events that have happened lately in the cause of hatred; a mass shooting, murder of a respected British MP, threats against mosques in a local city, and some of the day to day vitriol spewed in social media comments. Increasingly I question where has compassion gone in our society? It wasn't found in Pacific Northwest society in the 1880-1890s (and probably later than that) for the Chinese peoples living and supporting the cities there. The Girl Who Wrote in Silk highlights a perhaps lesser known period of United States history in which legislation was passed requiring the deportation of Chinese people back to China. It mentions legislation in which it was forbidden to hire Chinese workers for business owners. Mass deportation, crimes against a people, violence, death, and social prejudices that should make everyone of us squirm in shame. I know I did as I read this book. It was truly a shameful period in history.
But Estes also highlights the human capacity to forgive and remember the mistakes made by forebears so not repeat them again. If only this was true across the test of time as history seems to repeat itself, just using different races/cultures as scapegoats. However, in the case of Inara Erickson as she explores her family's history which turns dark; she discovers redemption in an attempt to right a wrong done to a Chinese family many years ago. Inara's story intertwines with the telling of Mei Lien's story which begins in the late 1880s in Seattle. Inara discovers an embroidered sleeve hidden in the floor boards of her family's estate that she is restoring to a boutique hotel. When she contacts a local professor regarding the find; she embarks on a journey of discovery in Mei Lien's life, loves, and heartbreak. When the Mei's story takes a deeply personal turn for Inara, choices have to be made. Choices based on justice, decency, secrets, and love.
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Reading Progress

June 6, 2016 – Shelved
June 6, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
June 13, 2016 – Started Reading
June 17, 2016 –
page 0
0.0% "still working on it.. For some reason, I'm slow to warm to this one. Which is odd- because the premise is usually a go to one for my enjoyment."
June 18, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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message 1: by Ellie (new)

Ellie M Wonderful review. I have read a couple of books set in this time period and related to the Chinese community at the time and I should probably add this to my list of books to read as it might fill in gaps in my knowledge.


message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Masterson What an absolutely heartfelt and wonderful review, Jessica! You just made me tear up.


message 3: by Angela M (new) - added it

Angela M Lovely review. It's on my list .


Jamise // Spines & Vines Stunning review! Adding to my to read list.


Jess (Primrose) Thank you Ellie, Jennifer, Angela, and Jamise for your kind words and taking the time to read my review. I hope you enjoy this one when you read it!


Teri Pre This is what I wanted to say but didn't have the words for. In 100 years, I wonder what authors are going to say about OUR compassion.


message 7: by Crumb (new) - added it

Crumb This book looks right up my alley.. I have to read this.. Thank you for a great review.


SallySaw Outstanding review!


Jess (Primrose) Thank you Shelly!


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