“In 1886, a young Chinese woman is forced out of the only home she has ever known in Seattle. Liu Mei Lin must overcome prejudices and terror while struggling to keep the traditional beliefs that are close to her heart. On contemporary Orcas Island, Inara deals with an overbearing father who will throw up every roadblock he can to get her to do what he wants. As Inara prepares to turn a family home into a hotel, she finds an embroidered silk sleeve hidden below a stair step. Wanting to learn more about the sleeve and the figures depicted on it, she begins a search to find out more about the woman who made it. This story is compelling, heart-wrenching, and an absolutely beautiful read.”
— Debbie Buck, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA
A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A powerful debut that proves the threads that interweave our lives can withstand time and any tide, and bind our hearts forever.--Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author of Belleweather and The Vanished Days
A historical novel inspired by true events, Kelli Estes's brilliant and atmospheric debut is a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, highlighting the power of our own stories.
The smallest items can hold centuries of secrets...
While exploring her aunt's island estate, Inara Erickson is captivated by an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. The truth behind the silk sleeve dated back to 1886, when Mei Lien, the lone survivor of a cruel purge of the Chinese in Seattle found refuge on Orcas Island and shared her tragic experience by embroidering it.
As Inara peels back layer upon layer of the centuries of secrets the sleeve holds, her life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core--and force her to make an impossible choice. Should she bring shame to her family and risk everything by telling the truth, or tell no one and dishonor Mei Lien's memory?
A touching and tender book for fans of Marie Benedict, Susanna Kearsley, and Duncan Jepson, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk is a dual-time period novel that explores how a delicate piece of silk interweaves the past and the present, reminding us that today's actions have far reaching implications.
Praise for The Girl Who Wrote in Silk:
A beautiful, elegiac novel, as finely and delicately woven as the title suggests. Kelli Estes spins a spellbinding tale that illuminates the past in all its brutality and beauty, and the humanity that binds us all together.
--Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author of The Beekeeper's Ball
A touching and tender story about discovering the past to bring peace to the present.
--Duncan Jepson, author of All the Flowers in Shanghai
Vibrant and tragic, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk explores a horrific, little-known era in our nation's history. Estes sensitively alternates between Mei Lien, a young Chinese-American girl who lived in the late 1800s, and Inara, a modern recent college grad who sets Mei Lien's story free.
--Margaret Dilloway, author of How to Be an American Housewife and Sisters of Heart and Snow