For readers who love a heartwarming romance and a rich historical setting comes a tale of a young woman with a heavy burden, the International Cotton Exposition, and the pursuit of true love.
Eighteen-year-old Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children, is expected to stay home and "take care of Mama" by her older siblings, but Laurel has dreams of starting her own family. Operating a silk loom at the Atlanta Exposition will give her the chance to capture the heart of a man wealthy enough to take care of Laurel and any children she might bear, as well as her mother.
Langdon Rochester's parents have given him an ultimatum: settle down with a wife or lose his family inheritance. At the Exposition, Langdon meets Laurel. Marrying her would satisfy his parents's command, she would look lovely on his arm for social events, and in her besotted state, he believes she would overlook him continuing pursuing rowdy adventures with his unmarried buddies. Langdon decides to woo Laurel. Willie Sharp is not well-off and must take on an extra job at the Atlanta Exposition as a security guard. When mischief-makers cause trouble in the Women's Building, Willie is put in charge of keeping the building secure. He enjoys visiting with Laurel, who seems like the little sister he never had, but his feelings for Laurel change to something much deeper. Can Willie convince Laurel that he can give her better lifeeven with so little to offer?
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
KIM VOGEL SAWYER is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in seven different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband, Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.
Read an Excerpt
Sunday, September 1, 1895
Pine Hill neighborhood, Atlanta, Georgia
Laurel swung her feet from the armrest of the sofa to the floor and sat up. The book she’d been reading slid from her lap and landed with a soft thud on the faded square of carpet that formed an island in the middle of the scuffed hardwood floor. Ordinarily, retrieving a book—a precious thing to both her and Mama—would take precedence over all else, but the mutter of voices from the porch and the click of a key in the front door stole her attention. Which of her siblings had chosen to disturb Mama’s afternoon nap?
The door creaked open, and her brother Alfred, the oldest of the Millard siblings, stepped over the threshold with his usual air of importance. Their sister Nell followed him in. Worry smote Laurel, and she bounded to her feet. There must be a family emergency if both pompous Alfred and strong-minded Nell, who couldn’t even sit together on the Millard family pew in the Episcopal church without breaking into an argument midsermon, had come together.
“Alfred, Nell, what—” Laurel’s jaw dropped. Eugene, Raymond, and Mayme trailed in behind Nell. Never before had all five of her siblings shown up at the same time, no spouses or children in tow, for a visit. Her knees gave way, and she plopped onto the sofa’s center cushion, gaping in both confusion and apprehension.
Alfred fixed his unsmiling brown-eyed gaze on her. “Is Mama sleepin’?”
What else would Mama be doing at three thirty on a Sunday afternoon? Laurel kept the question to herself. Nineteen years her senior, Alfred tended to construe nearly everything she said as insolence. She nodded.
“Good.” Alfred flicked his hand at the others, and they removed their light cloaks and hats and draped them on the hall tree beside the door. Nell pressed her finger against her pursed lips, her frown giving a warning, and then they all chose a seat—Alfred in what Laurel always called Papa’s chair, although she had no memory of her papa sitting in it, Nell in Mama’s rocker, Eugene on the round stool in front of Mama’s loom, and Raymond and Mayme on either side of Laurel on the sofa.
Her stomach fluttered. Was this how a rabbit cornered by a pack of hungry coyotes felt? Needing to do something to calm her jumping nerves, she leaned forward and reached for the book.
Raymond clamped his hand over her knee and shook his head.
Laurel pointed at the book. “But I only wanted to—”
“Hush.” Mayme retrieved the green-fabric-covered volume of Verne’s Cesar Cascabel, smoothed the rumpled pages, and closed it, then placed it on the table next to the beautiful hand-painted oil lamp Papa had gifted Mama on their last wedding anniversary before his death over fifteen years ago.
The moment Mayme released the book, Alfred cleared his throat. As if it were a secret signal, everyone—Laurel included—folded their hands in their laps and turned their attention on him. He crossed his legs. “We’ve come about Mama.”
Laurel’s mouth went dry. “Is somethin’ wrong? Is she ill?”
Of course Mama was fine. If she had been stricken with some sort of disease, Laurel would have noticed. After all, she lived with Mama, worked with her side by side at the loom or on stitching projects, and sat with her in the parlor every evening, taking turns reading aloud from one of the books on their single, overstuffed shelf. It had been only the two of them since Mayme, the closest in age to Laurel, married and moved into her own home ten years ago, so Laurel would know better than anyone the state of Mama’s health.
Nell made a sour face. “Of course not, Laurel. Don’t be dramatic.”
Did she mean more dramatic than all of them swooping in at once? “Then what?”
Alfred bounced his foot. Sunlight from the uncovered parlor window flashed white on the toe of his highly polished boot. “Mama turns sixty next week.”
Laurel wrinkled her nose. “Yes, I know. But she’s already told me she doesn’t want a party, so if y’all are here to help organize one, then—”
“She’s getting up in years”—Alfred, probably construing her comment an interruption, gave her a severe look—“and shouldn’t be left to take care of the house and yard on her own.”
Nell pressed her lips together and tsk-tsked. “Ideally, she would have a husband to help her.” The room was stifling despite the open windows, but even so, Nell’s icy stare sent a shiver down Laurel’s spine. “Had you not chased off the only prospect, we wouldn’t be havin’ this conversation.”
Would they never forgive her for crying every time Mr. Davis paid Mama a visit? Laurel held her hands wide. “I was barely three years old.”
Nell rolled her eyes. “It doesn’t matter. After your caterwauling, he abandoned the attempt at courtship, and Mama has been alone to this day.”
Eugene, always the quietest of the group and Laurel’s favorite of all her siblings, twisted back and forth on the stool. “At her age, it’s not likely another chance for marriage will come along.” He glanced at Alfred, as if questioning whether he’d gotten his lines right. “So that one chance she had with Mr. Davis…”
Laurel gritted her teeth. She couldn’t even recall Mr. Davis, let alone her reason for bawling when he looked at her. If Mama hadn’t confirmed the story, Laurel would suspect Mayme or Raymond had made it up to have another excuse to torment her.
She had come along late in Mama’s life, following the loss of three babies in a row, and the others always accused her of being Mama’s favorite. After all these years, she wouldn’t change their opinion, so she didn’t waste her breath by defending herself. But, oh, how hard to stay silent against the unfair accusation. She pinched a loose strand of hair falling from the nape of her neck and coiled it around her finger.
Eugene seemed to have run out of words, so Laurel turned to Alfred. “What is it you’re trying to tell me?”
Alfred uncrossed his legs and leaned forward slightly, his dark brows descending. “Someone will need to care for Mama into her dotage, and we believe the rightful person is you.”
Laurel’s mouth fell open. She touched her fingertips to her bodice in silent query.
Nell nodded so hard the knot of dark hair atop her head lost a pin. “That’s exactly right. Mama risked her life bringing you into this world. She nearly died along with your twin.”
Sadness struck with such force that tears stung Laurel’s eyes. How could she so deeply mourn someone she’d never met? She’d spent her life missing two important people—her papa and the twin her parents had named Lily.
Nell continued in a strident tone, unaware of—or, perhaps more accurate, unconcerned by—Laurel’s inner pain. “Why, at forty-two she should have been preparing to spoil her first grandchildren, but instead she was suckling you at her breast. You owe her a debt of gratitude, Laurel, and you can repay it by agreein’ to remain here with Mama until that day we lay her to rest next to Papa.”
Laurel released a disbelieving laugh. “You can’t mean that.”
Mayme folded her arms over her chest and peered down her nose at Laurel. “Oh, she does. We all do.”
“It only makes sense,” Raymond said. “The rest of us have our own homes.”
“And our own families,” Mayme added.
Raymond snorted. “You can’t expect us to ignore those responsibilities.”
“You can’t possibly be that selfish.” Mayme’s voice turned wheedling. “Not after everything you’ve already cost her.”
Laurel looked back and forth from brother to sister so rapidly her head began to swim. She held up both hands and closed her eyes. “Stop. Please…be quiet and let me think.”
“There’s nothing to think about.”
She popped her eyes open and met Alfred’s stern frown.
“We’ve given it much thought, discussed it at length, and all agree this is the best way to ascertain Mama’s needs will be met.”
“But…” Laurel swallowed. What of her needs? Her wants? She’d largely stopped socializing with her girlfriends two years back when they all became so boy besotted, it embarrassed her. But since the passage of her eighteenth birthday, she’d often contemplated the joy of becoming a wife and a mother. Why, Mama must be considering Laurel’s future, because she’d allowed Patrick Brinkley to call on her. Twice!
Twirling a loose strand of hair around her finger, she looked around the room and examined each of her siblings’ faces by turn. Was there a hint of understanding in at least one pair of Millard coffee-brown eyes? She saw none, although she suspected if Eugene raised his head and met her gaze, she might witness sympathy from him.
She dropped the strand of hair and blinked back tears. “You really want me to give up on having my own family?”
“For a time, yes.” Nell snapped the answer. “It’s only right. You’re the baby. She doted on you. Now it’s her turn to be doted upon.”
“And your turn,” Mayme said, “to be the doter.”
“So that’s settled.” Alfred slapped his knees and stretched to his feet. Nell, Eugene, Raymond, and Mayme also stood and moved to the hall tree. While they retrieved their items, Alfred turned a somber look on Laurel. “I trust you to make sure Mama’s final years are not spent in loneliness and want. You won’t disappoint me, will you?”
Laurel remained seated, her muscles too quivery to support her weight. A part of her rebelled against her siblings’ expectations, but Alfred had never vowed to trust her before. The grown-up big brother she’d always tried—and failed—to please now offered her a chance to redeem herself in his eyes.
The hopeful child residing deep inside of her shook its head. “No, Alfred. I won’t.”
“Langdon, I am sorely disappointed in you.”
Langdon choked back a snort. When was Father not disappointed in him? Langdon maintained his relaxed position on the sofa—head resting on a tufted pillow, feet crossed on the opposite armrest—but angled his face and followed his father’s progress from the library’s wide doorway to the wingback chairs in front of the cold fireplace. His mind tripped backward through the day’s happenings. Church with his parents, during which he’d stayed awake, followed by an insufferably long lunch, during which he’d engaged Mother in cheerful conversation. He’d even denied himself an afternoon cigar. For what reason had Harrison Faulk Rochester found fault with his son today?
His expression distorting into a grimace, Father held both hands toward Langdon. “Look at you. Twenty-three years old, a university graduate, and you have nothing better to do than lie about reading…reading…” He scowled at the magazine propped against Langdon’s stomach. “What is that you’ve got?”
Langdon turned the Harper’s Weekly cover toward his father. “It’s an older issue—January of ’93—but the article about the International Monetary Conference in Brussels is quite interesting.”
Father huffed. “At least you aren’t filling your brain with drivel.”
Langdon sat up and tossed the magazine aside. Father would have had a conniption fit if he’d come in while his son was caught up in the serial story about a soldier named Connors. Romantic drivel at its best. Or, as Father would term it, its worst. “If my reading magazines on a Sunday afternoon offends you, Father, I’ll gladly choose a book instead.” He rose and perused one of the twenty-four floor-to-ceiling bookcases.
Father dropped into one of the chairs and slapped the brocade armrest. “It isn’t your reading on a Sunday afternoon that offends me. Of course Sunday is a day of rest practiced by the religious and nonreligious alike. It’s your lazy attitude the remainder of the week causing my indigestion and your mother’s fretfulness.”
Mother was fretful? Langdon faced his father and folded his arms over his chest. He had shed his suit jacket and unfastened the top buttons of his shirt after the church service. Here it was after four o’clock, and Father still wore every bit of his formal attire, down to the black-and-gray-striped silk tie fashioned in its crisp four-in-hand knot. The collar of his shirt, bound by the tie, bit into his neck and forced the flesh to mushroom above the band of white. So stodgy and stuffy he appeared. Had Father ever been young and blissfully unburdened? Likely not.
Langdon crossed to the second chair and seated himself, taking care to mimic his father’s dignified pose. “I only finished with university two and a half months ago. I wasn’t aware my enjoying a few weeks of relaxation was a source of angst to Mother.” He ran his hand through his hair, sweeping the thick strands away from his forehead. “What would she have me do instead?”
“Grow up.” Father barked the words, then bowed his head and massaged his graying temples with his fingertips.
Langdon gritted his teeth and dug his fingers into the chair’s carved handholds. Those weren’t Mother’s words. Gentle Mother never spoke abruptly. And Father never spoke anything but abruptly. As a matter of fact, it seemed the only time Father spoke to him was to deliver reprimands. While living in university housing, Langdon had decided that since he couldn’t please his father, he may as well please himself. But if he truly was causing Mother heartache…
Father fixed Langdon with a weary yet firm look. “I tolerated you repeating several classes, which meant an additional year at the university. At your mother’s insistence, I’ve held my tongue when you’ve come in late night after night, often disheveled and reeking of cigar smoke, and then stayed in bed until noon.” He shook his head, his cheeks mottling crimson. “I admit, I am partially to blame. I allowed your mother to overindulge you because you are our only child. But those days are over. You’re no longer a child to be pampered. You’re a grown man, Langdon. You must behave like one.”
“You’re six years old, Langdon, old enough to buckle your own shoes.”
“You’re nine years old, Langdon, too old to cry over a skinned knee.”
“You’re fifteen years old, Langdon. You will remain at the dinner table and engage in intelligent conversation.”
Expectation after expectation rolled through the back of his mind. He’d learned to buckle his shoes, had learned to control his tears, had learned to contribute to conversation around a dinner table. All without ever receiving a word of praise. He swallowed his resentment and forced a disinterested tone. “What is it you want from me, Father?”
Excerpted from "A Silken Thread"
Copyright © 2019 Kim Vogel Sawyer.
Excerpted by permission of The Crown Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was given an advanced readers copy of "A Silken Thread" and while I didn't get to finish reading it before its release date, I did get it finished. And honestly, I have mixed emotions about it. The overall storyline was a good one, but it ended much too abruptly. It seemed like the story was going along at a decent pace and then all of a sudden it had to be wrapped up and we missed chunks of time and story. The other thing that was confusing is there were one or two threads (no pun intended) of the story that were included but never seemed to either belong or be explored as much as they could have been. One of those threads being the mischief happening in the Silk Room. It was introduced and solved in a matter of sentences it seemed like when it could have been developed and incorporated more into the story. And as I said earlier, the ending was much too abrupt. I enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book but was left sadly disappointed with the last 1/4.
Finding Love at the Atlanta Cotton Exposition of 1895 Laurel Millard is eighteen and dreaming of love and starting a family. She’s the youngest of seven children, and she learns that her siblings have other plans for her. She is expected to stay at home and care for her widowed mother. Her feisty mother, however, has different ideas and encourages Laurel to pursue her dreams. With the cotton exposition, Laurel sees a chance to meet an eligible man and takes a job as a silk weaver. Here she does meet Langdon Rochester, a wealthy man whose parents insist that he marry or lose his inheritance. Laurel fills the bill as a perfect wife, and he woos her. However, Langdon plans to trade on Laurel’s naivety to pursue his wild life style with his friends. Willie Sharp is poor. He takes a job as a security guard at the cotton exposition to help his family. He meets Laurel when providing extra security for the Women’s Building. He enjoys her friendship and as he gets to know her, his feelings deepen. This is a well done historical novel. Atlanta in 1895 is accurately described including the feelings for blacks in the South. People could applaud someone like Booker T. Washington, but feel repugnance for a worker like Quincy, a black friend of Willie’s. The characters are a bit of a disappointment. They seemed stereotypical. Laurel is naive and captivated by the dashing Langdon, who turns out to be a rogue. Willie exemplifies the poor, hardworking, honest man. Quincy is a foil for the black problems of the era. The plot is interesting and moves at a reasonable pace for a historical novel. If you enjoy historical romances with a Christian background, you may enjoy this book. I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for his review.
Four lives are changed at the International Cotton Exposition in Atlanta in 1895. Laurel is the youngest of seven siblings who support her and her mother, but Laurel wants more from her life than to care for her mother, so she comes up with a plan to go to the International Cotton Exposition as a silk loom operator in hopes of finding a husband. She crosses paths with Langdon, Willie, and Quincy. A novel rich in history that follows four main characters and how their lives are changed and shaped by working at the fair. They navigate the societal climate and racial hostility still alive in the South. Laurel, Langdon, Willie and Quincy are all faced with challenges and choices. Laurel's mother is very wise in her faith and dishes out solid counsel. I admired Willie for his convictions and values. Quincy has worked hard his whole life, but longs for the respect of his peers despite the color of his skin. While Langdon has lived a life of leisure and has a plan to win his parent's favor and continue his lifestyle. The storytelling felt choppy to me, and it was a harder book to read because I didn't much care for one of the characters. A historical snapshot of life in the South in the tail end of the 1800's and how the fair brought people from all different backgrounds together in faith and love. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I really enjoyed A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer. First off I love historical fiction, I love going back in time, how did people live, what was their daily life like. I also love the christian aspect, so far a perfect book for me! . This book, I’ll admit, was slow to start for me, but once the setting and characters were established I really enjoyed it! Going back to 1895, Atlanta, we meet Laurel, a young girl who is reading and restless. Sunday afternoon, her momma is napping, all her siblings arrive, one by one. Laurel knows something is wrong. What she doesn’t know is they have all decided since she was the youngest, the one to hold her mother back, she needs to vow to take care of her for the rest of her life. No marriage, no life, until momma has gone to her glory. Laurel can’t believe they all decided her future for her. She loves her momma but doesn’t she deserve her own family? . In a conversation with her mother, Laurel confesses she would like a beau but none of the boys in their neighborhood and church interest her or seem to be interested. Her mother decides Laurel should apply as a silk weaver at the expo coming to Atlanta, the Atlanta Cotton Exposition of 1895.. Perhaps she can get out, meet people, meet a wonderful beau, and enjoy learning to weave silk. Laurel and her mother a excellent at the loom and sell rugs they make for money to support them. Also working at the Expo are Willie Sharp and Quincy Tate, best friends for their whole life, both Christians. Willie is hired as a security guard and Quincy as groundskeeper. Willie is thrilled to be hired as his father was taken ill several months ago and Willie needs the money to pay for the convalescent hospital so his father can heal. He is granted by his employer to take the 3 months off and earn excellent pay to put towards his father’s hospitalization. Quincy and Willie, best friends forever, but can their friendship last beyond their neighborhood, pressures, prejudices exist in the south, and Quincy is know to get angry. Langdon Rochester dislikes work, dislikes his father’s factory, but he loves the fancy life and the money. He is told now that he has graduated college, he needs to work at the factory and learn how it runs if he is interested in his inheritance, the factory. Another stipulation, he must be engaged within one year, settle down, stop his wild ways, or the factory will be given to his cousin, who has faithfully been working their for a few years. Since they will have a booth at the Expo, Langdon begs his father to allow him to man the booth. Anything to get out of the factory and it’s tedious boredom. After Langdon passes the test on knowledge his father grants him his wish. Langdon decides he should take this time to find an impressionable, malleable, naive young girl to woo and marry, to satisfy the obligation. Laurel meets Langdon, she thinks she is falling in love. But things aren’t always quite right. She also meets Willie Sharp as a guard to the Silk Room where she is working. Trouble at the Expo has left questions, racial divisions, destruction, and a thief to be caught. Will Laurel and Langdon find a happy ever after, he can certainly take care of her and her mother. Will Willie and Quincy remain friends after racial tension become obvious. . Such a great cast of characters! I love the subject matter, and I love how she urges us to seek God for these answers, are we living the life God has chosen for us, are
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Georgia—after the Civil War. Racial tensions caused by the ending of slavery have escalated. Centered on the Atlanta Exposition, the story unfolds with the ways that the lives of each of the main characters have been affected by the war—even 30 years later. I especially liked the friendship between Willie and Quincy. This is a tough subject and Sawyer does a good job with her story. I couldn’t really decide what I thought of Langdon, a young man seeking his father’s approval in all the wrong ways. Laurel seemed a bit of a wimp at times, but that may be my 21st century outlook. A great read—I would recommend it.
Laurel, Willie and Quincy are all exited about working for the exposition, all in different roles. Langdon can care less about it, but his father sends him to work there as well. He then determines it’s the perfect place to find a wife to please his mother. A great cast of minor characters round out this story and add depth to it. Engaging, with enough plot twists to keep the pages turning, this book is hard to put down. An enjoyable read and good balance portraying the difficulties between the “whites” and “blacks” even 30 years after the war. A complimentary copy was provided by Waterbrook. A review was not required and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
18-year-old Laurel Millard is stunned when her siblings sit her down and inform her that they expect her to give up any thoughts of a husband and family so that she can take on the sole care of their mother - who, by the way, is strong, healthy, and in her right mind. None of them want the "burden" of their mother's care, and since she was a tag-along surprise for her parents, they feel no guilt in telling her that it's "her fault" her mother is otherwise alone, so she has to fix it by giving up her dreams. Not wanting to leave her Mama alone, Laurel agrees, while secretly hoping she can find a man willing to support them both. When the Atlanta Cotton Exposition of 1895 comes to town, Laurel applies to weave silk. She and her mother have earned their keep by weaving rugs for a number of years so she knows the loom. How different could using silk thread be? And, everyone who is anyone will be at the Exposition. Wouldn't she have a better chance of meeting a wealthy suitor there? Her dreams are fulfilled when she catches the eye of Langdon Rochester, heir to the Rochester Steam Engine empire. When vandals hit the Silk Room, however, she meets Willie Sharp, the security guard tasked with keeping the ladies in the room safe. As Laurel gets to know Willie and his best friend, Quincy Tate - a black groundskeeper - she sees how divisive the issues of race, and social class have become. Can she see past her beau's wealth to his manipulative heart? Will she be able to champion Willie and Quincy in the face of terrible odds? Overall, I really liked this story. I will say that some of the racial tension didn't work for me, but I'm not sure if it felt like there wasn't enough, or there was too much. I kept telling myself this was after the Civil War ended, and the South was NOT a place where a black man could get a break. Quincy's hotheadedness is alluded to often, but he never really explodes with it. I know it would have been dangerous for him if he had, but it seems like he needed more of a boost here. Oh, and I REALLY didn't like Laurel's two oldest siblings. Her brother, Eugene, turned out to be okay, but the rest of them were a piece of work! I loved learning some of this history. It never dawned on me that having a Silk Room at a Cotton Exposition might be a problem. I mean, cotton was king, right? The clear lines between the "haves" and the "have-nots" were hard to read about. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves historical romance with a dose of faith. You won't be sorry you picked it up!
Laurel, Langdon, Quincy and Willie are absolutely stunning. I loved their characters and how Ms. Sawyer added vivid detail when describing them. They popped off the page and came to life. I loved watching Laurel interact with Langdon and Willie, loved watching her come to terms with her feelings about both men. And Quincy and Willie…..I adored them! I loved how Sawyer weaved a delicate topic into the story and blended it beautifully among the plot line so it didn't overtake the story, yet shows up just how things were back in those days. Filled with tender, inspiring messages of acceptance, hope, faith and love, Sawyer gives her readers another fabulous novel that will steal your heart forever. With rich historical detail, her research of times past is evident in this novel. Definitely worthy of 4 stars, two thumbs up and high recommendations from this reader and fan! Well done, Ms. Sawyer. Well done. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.
Kim Vogel Sawyer has done it once again with A Silken Thread. She knows how to write a story full of grace and this one is no exception. Her vision of what it was like a few decades after the Civil War in Georgia was fascinating. It is a wonderful story of hope and love. I am giving A Silken Thread a well deserved five stars. I highly recommend this beautiful, well written and inspirational story. I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
It's 1895 in Georgia, the Civil War has ended by racial issues still plague the south. Laurel Millard, a young white middle class woman, Langdon Rochester, white son of a wealthy factory owner, Willie Sharp, a lower class white factory worker, and Quincy, a poor black worker and best friend of Willie all apply for and receive jobs at the Cotton States and International Exposition that will be held in Atlanta. Each has a need that they feel working at the exposition will fill. The way Sawyer intertwined the four main characters' perspectives/voices was so well done. It definitely gave this book an entirely different feel discovering what each of their thoughts and emotions were. Sawyer addressed the racial and social class issues so wonderfully. Laurel's love for all people no matter their color and her desire for all people to be treated as someone of worth shown through her speech and actions whereas Langdon was a first class church and treated the blacks as if they were of a lower class and could be ordered about and treated with disdain. The friendship between Willie and Quincy had its ups and downs but they certainly demonstrated that friendships could find common ground between different races. Hats off to Sawyer for penning a complex and interesting novel that drew me in from start to finish. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
Although I had a hard time getting into this book, I did enjoy it. I think that the author did a great job tackling the tough topic of racism. I enjoyed the 4 different points of view. After reading this, I plan on reading more from this author. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Prejudice of many kinds occur all the time, with division between races and social status being at the top of the list. I was raised to believe that all men are created equal regardless of their differences, and I know for a fact that I am not the only one. Willie Sharp is a God-fearing man who is caring for his disabled father and has a heart of gold. Though he is dirt poor, he is thankful for every blessing that God has given him, and tries to live his life to the fullest. Though there is still racial division in the south in Willie's neighborhood it doesn't matter what color you are, everyone is poor and doing everything they can to keep their heads above water. Willie looks at his best friend Quincy and doesn't see his dark skin but instead his companion, a friend that he's grown up with, and Quincy feels the same way. Laurel Millard has a sweet and caring spirit and is also helping care for a parent. Her and her mother are weavers, and when a major convention comes to town and needs a weaver, she jumps at the chance. Willie and Quincy are also hired, Willie as a security guard, and Quincy as a groundskeeper, all of them excited about this wonderful, and unique, opportunity. Langdon Rochester is Willie's bosses son, a manipulating young man who only cares about his wants and gives little regard to anyone else. Langdon is a wolf in sheeps clothing and when he meets and begins courting dear, sweet Laurel you want to reach through the pages and shake her! The book is so well written you find yourself transfixed and vested in the characters and what they're dealing with. The racial and social prejudice is so incredibly frustrating but sadly it's true to life, as well as the struggle of knowing God's will in any given situation. A Silken Thread is a wonderful reminder that we are all connected, if only by a thread. It also reminded me how important it is to stand up for what I believe in, to stand strong in my convictions, and to remember the truth will come out in the end. I absolutely adored this book, despite the sensitive subject matter, and believe it's a narrative that everyone should read. *I have reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from WaterBrook through NetGalley. All opinions are completely honest, and are my own.
One of my favorite authors is Kim Vogel Sawyer as I can always count on a beautifully written historical novel. This one did not disappoint! The story follows Laurel, a young woman destined by her siblings to remain unmarried in order to care for their widowed mother in her later years. But a determined, strong-minded Laurel takes a job at the Atlanta Cotton Exposition in the Women’s Building demonstrating her silk loom work in the hopes of finding suitable mate. The arrogant, wealthy Langdon Rochester befriends her in his search for a wife in order to gain his inheritance. But it’s the lovable characters of Willie and Quincy who stole my heart. I found this a very fun, interesting read! I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Publishing through Net Galley. The opinions in this review are my own.
Author Vogel Sawyer takes on such subjects as racism and classism, and does it well. The history of 1895 is well written and kept my interest. Learning about the Atlanta Cotton Exposition aroused my curiosity and kept me reading, as did learning about silk weaving. The characters in this story were strongly developed. Some I liked and some I didn’t. Some I couldn’t decide about. All the qualities of a good book. Very engrossing, romance and mystery were throughout the story as was the theme of depending on God. Vogel Sawyer isn’t shy about Christianity but there is nothing preachy about this story. If you enjoy Christian historical fiction you’ll enjoy this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book bt was not required to leave a review.
A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer is an interesting historical read. Laurel is the youngest of her siblings and has been told that she is responsible for taking care of their mother. I am assuming this is not a series since her siblings are not portrayed in a good light so we would not be interested in reading about any of them. Laurel gets a job at the Atlanta Exposition operating the silk loom. I enjoyed how the family visited her and the exposition. Getting to know her stern boss and her background was intriguing. Laurel has caught the eye of Langdon. He is a spoiled selfish son of the factory owner. His dad has given him the ultimatum to grow up which includes finding a wife and starting a family. He is not a likeable character. You don’t feel any sweet romantic feelings between them even though the majority of the book is him courting her. A very touching story is Willie. Willie takes care of his dad who has had what appears to be a stroke. He has a best friend that is a black man. Willie’s story showed up the love of a neighborhood that helped him. In addition, it provided a glimpse into friendships of interracial nature. I recommend A Silken Thread if you enjoy a thought provoking historical story.
A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer I received an unedited proof edition of this book through NetGalley because I asked to read and review it. This is my unbiased review. I liked this book, it is a historical Christian fiction book. Even though it was not a final copy, the editing was very well done. I cannot remember an error at all. The characters were well defined and realistic. The plot flowed well. It was well written, but for me, it was not an "I cannot put this down" type of book. It did not keep me glued to the pages and I would not likely re-read this book. The plot revolves around the south just after the Civil war. It shows, probably in a kinder way, the feelings of the whites against the blacks. It also deals with the basic honest or dishonesty as the case was of people in general. It showed how a Christian should act and did bring in God but it was not preachy at all. I have read and enjoyed other books by Kim Vogel Sawyer, but this doesn't live up to the others. I think if you want a light read, you will enjoy the book. I rated it 4 stars out of 5.
Prejudice and pride Willie assumed Laurel was rich because of the manner of her dress and because he saw her travel in a carriage. Laurel assumed that Langdon could make her happy because he was rich. Langdon assumed Quincy was lazy because of his skin color. A Silken Thread is a multi-faceted story of Atlanta at the end of the nineteenth century. Revolving around the International Cotton Exposition, it examines issues of prejudice thirty years after the Civil War through the eyes of four young adults who worked at this event. Each of the four had sections of the story devoted to their perspective and each of those sections had a completely unique voice, almost to the point that you could tell who was being spoken of by the language used. The hero, Willie, had such sacrificial love for his father. When his father had a stroke, Willie took on the responsibility of working and caring for him. And better still, he didn’t even consider it a sacrifice - it is simply what you do for your family. Laurel is an interesting woman. Being the youngest by far in a large family, she had grown up with domineering siblings and was used to taking orders and not standing up for herself. She had insecurities and desired to please her family. She was a bit naive, maybe even more than a bit, but I didn’t find her annoying. Yes, I did want to shake some sense into her in a few places but, fortunately, she had a great brother, Eugene, who cared for her enough that I knew she would be okay. My feelings about Quincy vacillated between liking him and not. His temper, while some would say was justified, was born from a life of feeling insignificant and even demeaned. I loved how his “mam” was such a wise woman and her way of bringing the scriptures to light for him. I did feel that he was written in a way to make him look quite ignorant, though, and that bothered me. I understood that he wouldn’t have been well educated, but the ignorance and almost naivety he displayed felt like a stereotype. I especially loved the way the author’s heart came through in the story. It is so evident that she loves the Lord and desires her readers to embrace the spiritual truths that she shares here. They were clear and not twisted to fit the story. While there was romance, A Silken Thread has an element of mystery and danger. The romance appeared to be secondary to the story itself and while the friendship was established well, how it blossomed into romance was not expounded on and almost felt like it was tacked on at the end. The themes of integrity, surrendering to God, and seeking the Lord for wisdom were paramount. In addition to liking the main characters, I especially loved Langdon’s dad and respected him so much! And loved the pastor of Willie’s church. Rusty the cat and the relationship he had with Willie’s pa was so very sweet! There were some matters that lacked resolution. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say the heightened danger Willie was concerned about seemed to just be forgotten after the frame-up and it was never revealed who was responsible for the incident that resulted in said frame-up. Readers who enjoy seeing a slice of life from another time and being challenged spiritually should consider this story. Read with a Preview at AmongTheReads.net I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
Kim Vogel Sawyer weaves a wonderful story of struggles faced in Atlanta, GA (and throughout the south) during the time of Reconstruction. My daughter and I enjoyed reading this story together. I would highly recommend it to others.
A Silken Thread is just what you would expect from Kim Vogel Sawyer -- another work of great historical fiction! As always, she shares a story filled with faith, family, and hope. In this story, Kim Vogel Sawyer has tackled some difficult subjects and done so with great style. Issues of racism and social class conflict are not pretty elements to read about. But the realism she injects and the great character development she presents bring those topics to light in a very engaging and touching way. As you follow the characters stories, you will certainly be pulling for them to find their way forward from their seemingly impossible challenges into a better way of life. I highly recommend A Silken Thread to fans of great historical fiction. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
I finished reading "A Silken Thread" by Kim Vogel Sawyer and it was really good! 5★. She made me emotional and I loved it! Set in 1895 in Georgia, Laurel Millard sets out looking for love. But will she choose wisely? Thank you @waterbrookmultnomah #Partner for allowing me to review this book.
A Silken Thread is a novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer centering on 18-year-Laurel Millard, who lives in Georgia in 1895. Laurel selflessly takes care of her ailing mother, but also dreams of falling in love. I liked seeing Laurel’s strength, dedication, and perseverance throughout the book. Sawyer brings this period piece to life, and I can clearly imagine the characters that she so deftly paints and portrays through her captivating story. I liked learning about historic Atlanta and all of the places that Sawyer transported us to. Sawyer writes different chapters from the perspective of different characters, giving readers a nice change of perspective as we progress through the book. Sawyer is a talented writer. (I received this book for review.)
A Silken Thread is a tale of friendship, social inequality, racial prejudices, faith and love. It was interesting to learn about the Cotton States and International Exposition that occurred in Atlanta in 1895. It is located in what is now Piedmont Park. The authors descriptions brought the venue alive. I found A Silken Thread to be well-written and it progresses at a gentle pace. I like how Kim Vogel Sawyer incorporated the historical (she captured this period in time) and Christian elements into the story. They are interwoven with the characters storylines and enhance the book. The characters are complex and realistic. Laurel is a naïve eighteen year old who wants to find someone to love her. A man who will make her heart sing the way her father did for her mother. She is not worldly or sophisticated which draws Langdon to her. Laurel is a Christian woman who does not understand people’s prejudices. Willie is a kind man with a big heart. He wants what is best for his father and is willing to work hard to make it happen. Langdon is a selfish man who only thinks of himself and how he can manipulate others to get what he wants from them. Quincy has a sweet family and a good friend in Willie. The point-of-view switches between the four characters as their stories unfold. One of my favorite lines In A Silken Thread was that we should treat others as we want to be treated (Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you). Having faith, importance of prayer and following God’s path for your life are some of the Christian elements incorporated into the story. I thought the author captured how each character would speak. I liked learning more about silk, the process of extracting it, and how it is woven. It is explained in easy to understand terms. The author addressed sensitive topics deftly in A Silken Thread (racial injustices, social inequality). Friendships are tested in A Silken Thread along with individuals’ beliefs. There are discussion questions at the end of the book. A Silken Thread is a compelling and poignant historical novel.
A Silken Thread By Kim Vogel Sawyer Set in 1895 Georgia this book follows four individuals as they interact during the Atlanta exhibition. Race, class, faith, and romance are all intertwined to create an intriguing glimpse of time past. I enjoyed all the characters in this book. When reading any book I look for encouragement and words of wisdom for my own life. Although fiction, I was happy to find areas in this book to highlight and think about for growth personally. One thing that was disappointing is the ending. Although it ended well, the characters relationship felt a bit rushed and abrupt. Things felt a little fast paced for the time period and from references noted earlier in the book. Overall this was an enjoyable book to read. I would definitely recommend this to those seeking a clean historical romance. I received this book in exchange for my honest review from NetGalley.
Once again Kim Vogel Sawyer has come up with a solid piece of Americana and a great story. This story takes place at the Atlanta Cotton Exposition of 1895. The story explores the relationships between black and white people in that time period and place. Ms. Sawyer has developed some complex characters that tell the story well. The details of the Exposition are interesting as well and give an excellent portrayal of what interested and entertained people in that era. As always, I love the way the author pulls the characters’ faith into the story and makes it an integral, albeit matter of fact part of the tale. It would be an honor to be friends with these folks and I’m only sorry that they are not real people that I could get to know. This is the magic of Ms. Sawyer -- she makes me want to step right into the story. I received this book as part of a group organized by the author / publisher to promote the publication of this book. All thoughts expressed here are my own. I joined the group because I am a big fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s writing and once again she more than met expectations.