A Tapestry of Light
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date March 16, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: India, England Victorian Era – UK – 1837 – 1901
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
In 1886 Calcutta, Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon the skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.
When a stranger named Everett Scott appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett, friend to Ottilie's English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.
But betrayal and loss lurk in England too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn't forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in a cold, foreign land.
I would like to thank Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Trapped between two cultures, Ottilie longed to find her place. To find home. As a very Indian-looking Eurasian, she was rejected by Indian and British alike. My heart was broken for her in her grief – she had experienced so much loss! Her heart was filled with love for her little brother and she toiled diligently to provide for him – sweet Thaddeus, the glowworm, casting light on everyone around him!. Their sweet relationship was touching and uplifting.
Ottilie’s search was not just to find her place. She also struggled with her faith, doubting His goodness when she surrounded by loss. Even once she chose to believe, she still wavered. Her decision to praise God in the morning was transformational! I loved watching her faith grow from the tiniest seed.
Ottilie’s sweet Nānī (grandma) and the strong faith she exhibited even in times of grief endeared her to me. The beautiful spiritual lessons she shared were poignant. She also had endured much hardship and rejection in her life and yet was confident in her knowledge that she belonged to Jesus. Even the way she came to know Him when she was a girl was amazing!
Entrancing imagery filled my mind with the sights, sounds, and aromas of India! Some of which were lovely and others… Well, let’s just say they were not. When the scene changed and moved to Victorian England, the lovely descriptions did not end. I loved the way I could so easily picture everything that was happening in the story.
The beetle-wing embroidery fascinated me! Hearing the descriptions though, only made me want to see pictures. Search for it online if you get the chance and you will be amazed by the beauty that comes from bugs. (Technically, as Ottilie pointed out in the story, the elytra are not the actual wings but their protective casings.)
Readers of historical fiction will not want to miss A Tapestry of Light!