"A Must-Read!! 5 out of 5 stars"
Oh my! I don't know how I learned about this book, but I'm recommending it to all my bibliophiles/book lovers!
Two women... different centuries... their lives forever woven together by a single item... an embroidered silk sleeve.
What do you remember about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882? I don't know that I ever learned about this, or if I did, the history lesson has escaped my memory. How about the Geary Act of 1892? Did you know about the ethnic cleansing of Chinese immigrants? I'm embarrassed that I don't remember learning any of this.
The title of the book, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, caught my attention. The story takes place on Orcas Island, near Seattle, Washington and opens with Inara Erickson returning to the island to visit their family's summer home. Although the summer home has a tragedy attached to it, Inara feels a connection to the home she can't shake. A recent MBA graduate, she's getting ready to begin a new career, but her discovery of the embroidered silk sleeve and her love of the island peacefulness takes her life in a new direction.
In chapter 4, Mei Lien enters the story and the year is 1886. Her elderly grandmother, father and Mei Lien were dragged from their small family store in Seattle and taken aboard the Prince of the Pacific, which is bound for China. Although Mei Lien was a legal U.S. citizen, her family members had immigrated and ALL Chinese residents were being driven out of Seattle.
This story follows the lives of Inara (current day) and Mei Lien (1890's) as their lives unfold on Orcas Island. Their relationships with their fathers - connections with nature - struggles with their personal identity are key themes in this book.
The book includes a discussion guide, a conversation with the author, Kelli Estes, and peaked my interest in reading more about Chinese embroidery, the tragic purging of the Chinese people from Seattle.
It was amazing to learn this was Kelli Estes' first published book, and that she had graduated from Arizona State with a degree in business management.
Let me know what you think about this book by leaving a comment on this post. I'll keep checking back!