I thoroughly enjoyed reading Chaikin's Daughter of Silk! For those who haven't studied the French language in high school or college, you may have some difficulty and need to search the glossary to understand some of the words, as Ms. Chaikin incorporates many French words and expressions into her novel. However, if you have some understanding of French, even a little, this makes the novel more realistic, and more like watching a movie, as if you can hear their voices with that lovely French accent. There is also the historical setting, with events leading up to St. Bartholomew's Massacre, a despicable event where many Huguenots (those in France who chose to be Protestant rather than Catholic) were murdered by the thousands. Chaikin attempts to relate to us that this was truly a political power struggle whereby certain ruling and/or powerful members of the French elite who were nominal Catholics had specific reasons for their desire to rid the country of the Huguenots. True believers who were Catholic were not necessarily involved in this anti-Huguenot plot.
Extremely interesting and fast-paced. A great novel to have your World History or Western Civilization students read, particularly if you're studying the Reformation. Keeps you on your toes and difficult to put down for a good night's rest.
First of all let me say that I am a huge fan of Ms. Chaikin, so I was totally stoked to receive the sequel to this lovely book, Written on Silk to review. But upon finding that it was a sequel I opted to read the first book first.
Rachelle is a lovely young Huguenot grisette, dressmaker in the court of Catherine de Medici, or Madame Serpent, as she is called for her snake-like eyes. Rachelle catches the eyes of the handsome Marquis Fabien, a controversial courtier who's loyalties are questioned. Rachelle becomes a maid of honor for Catherine's daughter Marguerite, and is swept into a world of religious intrigue. As a Huguenot, Rachelle position is precarious at best. Royal intrigues swirl, and betrayal lurks in the house of de Medici.
This book is the whole package. Excellent for fans of suspense in a rich historical setting. The book was peppered with French words, that simply "took me there." I admit that it did interrupt the flow of the book a bit to be flipping back and forth to the glossary to find out what French word meant what. But my overall opinion is that it enriched the experience. The historical setting was well researched and the characters were well developed. I shivered whenever Catherine de Medici entered the scene, she was absolutely chilling!
This is a book for those among who like suspense, tension, betrayal, and twisting plots. I would caution you though that the setting of this book is not exactly conducive to a morally clean setting, but Ms. Chaikin handled it very nicely. It was just mildly suggested that some of the ladies at court were not very reputable.
To be completely honest with you though, this book kept me up late at night, steadily flipping the pages trying to find a "good stopping place," which I couldn't find!
I believe that fans of Gilbert Morris, will really like this book. (I'm a huge Gilbert Morris fan).
I enjoy reading Lynda's books but found this one very difficult to get into. I didn't like how much french was encorperated into the book. I felt that I had to flip back and forth between the definitions to understand what the people are saying and it made the reading much slower and less enjoyable.
I really liked this book. It developed the characters and plot well and also painted a picture of the French culture during the conflict between the Huguenots and the Catholics. I recommend it to anyone and also suggest reading the rest of the series.
I'm fascinated by the Protestant Reformation in any country, so the time period alone earned brownie points with me, but time period or not, this is a wonderful book. I loved the familial closeness of Grandmere, Rachelle, and Idelette, the contrasting characters, and the court intrigue. This is one of those books with a romance you root for, a villain you love to hate, and spiritual substance to spare. I had to read it twice to get the full impact, but by then, I was looking forward to the next one. Nice work, Linda.