Our Review – The Silk House by Kayte Nunn
Past secrets swirl into current day when a young Australian history teacher arrives at Oxleigh College, a boarding school for boys that has just started admitted female students.
Arriving dusty and tired on the day before term commences, Thea Rust is enchanted when she hears the voices of a choir effortlessly rising and falling in harmony, until she realises there are no students there as yet. Her feeling of unease is compounded when she enters the Silk House, the boarding residence for the new eleven female students.
We learn that the Silk House was a merchant trade house in the mid 1700’s when we are transported back onto the past when Rowan Caswell, a young maid lands the position of a lifetime as the maid in waiting for the master of the house.
Rowan, one of eleven children, has been secretly schooled in the arts of healing, able to create herbal tinctures and potions, taught by her mother and grandmother. She also has ‘the sight’, a gift she is at pains to hide from all.
The third female protagonist in The Silk House is Mary-Louise Stephenson, whose delicate botanical paintings are transformed and woven into silk design. She is talented and ambitious, but finds it impossible to be accepted as a contemporary in the male dominated industry of silk.
The Silk House is a gently haunting tale that had effortlessly moves from past to present. An accomplished author, Kayte Nunn is best known for The Botanist’s Daughter, however I far and away loved this gothic tale of silk, tradition and privilege more.
Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books