About the Book
Book: A Tapestry of Light
Author: Kimberly Duffy
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: March 16, 2021
Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.
When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.
But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.
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This was a lovely and tender story that focused on much deeper struggles than I thought it would. Ottilie is a woman who has faced much hardship, pain, and loss in her young life. Losing her family to sickness and accident, her grief was profound and it helped shape her and her decisions. Ottilie is also Eurasian, part British and part Indian and has suffered prejudice on both sides. With only a small remnant of her family left, she was determined to do all she could to protect her brother, who now through a series of events is a new English baron.
Ottilie is a tough person on the outside. She has built up numerous walls and has fortified them to keep herself from more pain. But that has also made her very stubborn and somewhat hard to others, except to those who truly know her.
I understood Ottilie. She was in a tough situation due to no fault of her own. She could not help her ancestry, nor could she stop the disasters that had befallen her family. She was a Christian, but the doubts were genuine and I completely understood. She wanted answers and she was asking the hard questions. She wondered if God was real and if so why so cruel. But she hung on to her faith during her journey. No, it did not make life better for her, situations still remained out of her control and she could not control others and how they felt about her. She did cling to the living God more and though she was surrounded by those who did not care for her and family secrets were pummeling her, her faith, even in her doubts, stayed strong and growing. Even when she didn't notice.
This was an epic journey that immersed this reader in the sights and sounds of India and all the way to England of one woman's journey who tries to hang on to all she has left on earth and realizes she is more loved by her Father in heaven than she knew.
I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and thoughts are my own.
About the Author
Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn’t mind.
More from Kimberly
When I set out to write a new novel, I plan the entire thing from start to finish. I write down each scene on an index card and know exactly what’s going to happen when I sit down for the day’s work. I’m meticulous that way.
But I never plan my characters’ spiritual arcs. Because I want their faith journey to be organic to the story. I want it to feel authentic. It’s such an important part of each of my books and I recognize that some things just refuse plotting and need to develop in a more natural way.
My debut novel, A Mosaic of Wings, features a heroine steeped in science. Nora loves the natural world and so her faith was encouraged by studying the wings of a butterfly or examining an interesting plant. She’s not particularly sentimental or emotive so the faith element of that story had to be presented in a way that made sense for her. Nora’s faith arc is subtle.
Not so for A Tapestry of Light. I had no intention of writing a book that delved into my own struggle with doubt. But that’s what Ottilie required. And it wrung me dry.
Then built me back up.
My faith story is a twisted kind of one. Raised a Christian, I went into ministry, firmly attached myself to the faith of my childhood, and thought it would never waver.
I was wrong.
Oh, how it wavered. For whatever reason, when I hit about 30, it seemed everything I had always believed no longer made sense. It was devastating. Terrifying. And it broke me.
But brokenness is its own sort of beauty and when you recognize there is no way for you to pick up the pieces yourself, God can come in and fill those cracks and shattered places.
Those five years of doubt and questioning and facing the reality that even though I’d always loved Christ, I didn’t really know Him (and didn’t really know why I believed in Him), were some of the most painful I’ve experienced. But I believe with every bit of my being that God is in the business of redemption. Of restoration. Of filling up so that we can pour out.
And he took my own very personal struggle and helped me turn it into a story that, I hope and pray, might encourage others. I gave Ottilie my questions. I gave her my doubt. I gave her my fear and desperation and, in the end, I gave her my hope.
There’s a little piece of me in each of my books, but this one contains my heart.
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To celebrate her tour, Kimberly is giving away the grand prize $25 Amazon gift card along with a signed copy of either A Mosaic of Wings or A Tapestry of Light!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.