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Winner of the Student Only Book Review Competition

March 6th, 2019

Twice a year we run a competition just for WB students. It’s free to enter and there is a small prize of £25 for the winner.

Our most recent competition was to write a book review in 200 words. We had lots of fantastic entries which gave everyone at WB HQ a chance to add to their reading lists. A big thank you to those who entered.

And the winner is….

Ann Williams who is enrolled on our Article Writing course.

The Review:

Blackberry and Wild Rose
by Sonia Velton
Pub Quercus 2019
ISBN 978 1 78747 075 9

Set in mid-eighteenth century Spitalfields, this is the story of two women, Esther Thorel, wife of a Hugenot silk weaver, and Sara Kemp, a country girl whose journey to London leads her, not to a better life but to a brothel from which she is rescued by Esther.

Unusually the story is told through the eyes of both women, alternating chapters progressing the story as their lives become ever more intricately woven together. Far from slowing the narrative this helps to pace events which become increasingly tense as the wider community react to the impact of cheaper imports on their skilled craft until they reach a dramatic climax which tests both women to the full.
The book is well researched, the background details revealed as the story unfolds much in the way that the pattern of the silk is created in the skilled hands of the weaver.

Though very different in background and character, it is hard not to have sympathy with both women as their hopes are repeatedly raised and dashed, yet both are stronger for the battle. A well-paced, colourful novel and I hope to read more from this debut author soon.

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