Kate’s loyalties bind her to the past. Henry’s compel him to strive for a better future. In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions?
Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder–including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father’s pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.
Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war seeking refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather’s plans to modernize the family’s wool mill, ignoring the grumblings from local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family’s livelihood and legacy.
Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stocktons, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry’s side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with a powerful decision that will forever affect her village’s future. As unlikely adversaries, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, their village, and their souls—even if it means risking their hearts in the process.
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Get swept back in time to January of 1812
The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd sweeps readers back in time to January of 1812 in Amberdale, West Riding Yorkshire, England. Kate Dearborne lives with her father at Meadowvale Cottage and helps him with the weaving business. She is shocked when she learns her father has no intention of leaving her the business. Silas Dearborne wishes her to marry a John Whitby, a weaver who will run the business while Kate tends to the home (she is allowed to supervise the dye house). Silas clings to the old ways along with other men in the area, but the mill owners are bringing change to the industry with machines. The issue has divided the town, and, in Leeds, the mills have been attacked. Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton Mill, returns home after fighting in the Iberian Peninsula for the last three years. On his way home, he encounters Kate and she captures his interest. Henry is surprised at the changes that have taken place during his absence and does not agree with all of them. Henry does, though, feel that the machines are needed especially if they are to keep up with the demand for their goods. Then tragedy strikes the Stockton family and Henry will face major challenges. Fate keeps bringing Kate and Henry together despite their being on opposing sides. Soon Kate will need to make a choice that will change many lives including her own. What will happen to the weavers of Amberdale? Is there a chance for Henry and Kate?
I like how the author introduced three of the characters in the prologue of The Weaver’s Daughter. We get a glimpse of their personalities and it sets the stage for the future. The book is well-written, has a gentle pace and multifaceted. Sarah E. Ladd has a descriptive writing style. She creates a rich environment with her words. I could picture the village with the cottages and businesses as well as the people moving about on foot and in their conveyances. In the description of the mill, I could visualize the people working to create the finished cloth. The whole weaving industry was changing, and it was just the beginning. A process that used to be completed by hand was now being taken over by machines. However, the machines were far from perfect. They still needed to be monitored and many workers received debilitating injuries. It was deplorable that children worked in the mills, but it was a fact of life. This circumstance would not change for another hundred years (longer in the United States). The author did a remarkable job at weaving the history into The Weaver’s Daughter. The characters are well-developed, complex and realistic. The romance between Henry and Kate builds throughout the novel. They slowly get to know each other and do not rush the relationship. They know that they cannot think only of themselves. The Christian element is light and handled deftly. The mystery was well crafted (many will be surprised by the culprit’s identity). The Weaver’s Daughter is filled with tension, love, suspicion, heartbreak, loyalty, drama, and conflict. For readers who enjoy the Regency period, you will not want to miss The Weaver’s Daughter.
My review of The Weaver’s Daughter
I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own.
The Weaver’s Daughter is a Regency novel set in Yorkshire, England. Two families, the Dearborne and the Stockton, are at odds because the wool industry is changing.
I loved it! This an amazing and inspiring book. My favourite quote is by Mary Dearborne, she says, “We cannot control what others do. We can only control how we react to it. Being angry will only hurt you, not them.” This is the theme of the story and rings true for the two main characters Kate Dearborne and Henry Stockton. The two main characters each react to the loyalties to their families, to themselves, to their futures.
For Kate, that is dividing her loyalty between her father and brother, who left the family wool business because he saw where the future was heading, into modernising the wool industry. For herself, to follow what father wants for her future or to be an independent woman able to follow her heart. It becomes even more complicated when her heart leads her to Henry Stockton.
For Henry, he must reconcile his ild self with his new one. He must divide his loyalty to the duty of what his grandfather has bestowed upon him or forge a new path which leads his heart to Kate Dearborne.
When I read this book, it brought tears to my eyes and I fell in love with the characters and beauty of the Regency. Sarah Ladd brings readers inspiration and faith. The Weaver’s Daughter is my favourite book by Sarah Ladd. This is a must read! I look forward to the next book!