“No, Auntie Phyllis. It’s a sheep.”
At the fair with my three-year-old nephew, I could not convince him that the Angora goat we were looking at was really a goat. He saw curly fur and that meant “sheep” to him. And as we all know that three-year-olds know more than anyone else, it really must have been a sheep.
“I didn’t know you drove a Lexus.” – I don’t. I drive an old Toyota Camry.
Of course, I like to think that I look beyond physical appearances when classifying things and people in my world but I am sure there are ways that I do the same thing. Avoiding driving through certain neighborhoods because they are run down and therefore must be dangerous. Assuming frayed cuffs means someone is hurting financially. Judging that someone who is overweight doesn’t eat well.
In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus told the people “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged…
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
A Silken Thread
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publication Date April 2, 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Georgia Gilded Age – US – 1875 – 1900
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
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.
Brendan Rochester's parents have given him an ultimatum: settle down with a wife or lose his family inheritance. At the Exposition, Brendan 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. Brendan 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 life--even with so little to offer?
I would like to thank Netgalley, Waterbrook & Multnomah for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
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.