I was attracted to this book because of the absolutely gorgeous cover which, as it turns out, is based on a design by Anna Maria Garthwaite, whose work was inspiration for one of the characters.
Blackberry and Wild Rose is set in London during the 18th century. Spitalfields is home to the Huguenot silk weavers and the main character, Esther Thorel, is married to one of the masters. When she rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel, she believes she is doing God's will. But, as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished!
My husband is descended from Huguenot silk weavers but I knew little about them, so I found this story completely fascinating! It's well-written, with lots of detailed descriptions, both of the weaving process and life (especially for women) in the 18th century. This is the kind of story where the main characters are not completely likeable and their behaviour, sometime petty, has huge ramifications on all their lives. Despite this, I found their story totally engrossing; the only minus being that I'd have preferred the ending to have gone in a different direction!
I thoroughly enjoyed Blackberry and Wild Rose and have no hesitation in recommending it, especially if you love historical fiction with lots of lush period detail, and books such as Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist.
Thank you to Sonia Velton and Quercus for my copy of this book, which I requested direct from the publisher and reviewed voluntarily.