Saturday, 30 August 2014

Liberty Silk by Kate Beaufoy

A beautiful story taking in three generations of women, each trying to find their own place in the world.

Jessie and Scotch marry at the end of the First World War and have a fabulous honeymoon travelling in Italy and France.  Scotch is a talented artist but realises that he cannot provide the luxurious lifestyle that Jessie has grown up with.  Jessie is abandoned and has to reinvent herself to be able to survive.
Lisa La Touche moves to Hollywood to become an actress during the Second World War.  Longing for a life of glamour, she finds the reality less palatable and has to make difficult decisions that impact on the rest of her life.
Cat is a talented photographer, travelling the world to capture gritty images of war and poverty, but a serious illness brings her closer to her family and she uncovers her secret history.

Kate Beaufoy carefully weaves the stories together, using elements of her own family history which are fascinating.  I was particularly engrossed with Jessie’s story, the fashionable circle of people that surrounded her and the sadness contained within her life.  I wasn't as engaged by Cat and found her story less interesting but she is a necessary part of the story.
The extensive research behind this book is clear, the detail is lovingly written and this makes it a really good read.

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld for my review copy.