I want to thank Bethany House Publishers for sending me a free copy of their new release, A Tapestry of Secrets. I have never read any novels by Sarah Loudin Thomas before, and it has been a long time since I’ve read a Christian novel. I am pleased to say that I adored this book! I found it to be intriguing and refreshing. One of the most appealing things was that the message of faith was beautifully woven throughout the story, subtly inserting itself into the plot.
This book is a story about family, specifically the women in one family, trying to share truths and find healing after years of secret keeping has left anger and bitterness lingering in their lives. One of my favorite things about this novel was the cross-generational relationships – mother/ daughter with Perla and Sadie and grandmother/ granddaughter with Perla and Ella. I love novels in which the story overlaps generations of a family and was pleased to find that this novel includes several generations and has a strong emphasis on your roots and not forgetting where you came from. The characters were so well-written that I felt as if I knew them personally. It was refreshing to read about a family that has faith at its center and to see characters praying when seeking answers to difficult questions.
I love that this was a contemporary story. One of the reasons I haven’t read Christian fiction in so long is that so much of it seems to be historical fiction and it’s hard for me to find contemporary stories about struggles of faith in today’s world. I enjoyed the modern telling of Ella’s story and her struggles with relationships, work, self-doubt, and life in general but I also enjoyed the flashbacks to Perla’s younger years in the 1940s and her relationship with the mysterious “Sonny.” When I received this book, I did not know it was part of a series but now I am excited to read the other books in the series. I can assure you though that if you haven’t read the other books, this book can be read as a stand-alone novel.
On a personal level, I found myself able to relate to Ella as I have also found myself trying to separate my wants and desires from those that are truly mine, those that others want for me, and those that God wants for me. I think everyone has had struggles like this – trying to listen to ourselves and our hearts about what it is that will make us really happy instead of listening to everyone else about what they think will make us happy.
From a physical aspect, the cover art was beautiful and I think fitting to the theme of the story. The book size (trade paperback) made for comfortable and lightweight reading and had that fabulous “new book smell” to which I am totally addicted.
If you enjoy Christian fiction and/ or novels about family, you should give this book a chance. I highly recommend it for women of all ages and for book clubs.
One of my favorite passages from the book:
“‘My dear, getting things wrong is nothing more than one of the steps on the way to getting them right. All you’ve done is learn a valuable lesson that many a woman has paid a much dearer price for.’” – A Tapestry of Secrets