These Tangled Threads: A Novel of Biltmore

Bethany House. Apr. 2024. 368p. ISBN 9780764242014. pap. $17.99. CF
On the edge of North Carolina’s hill country in the 1920s, the magnificent Biltmore estate employs dozens of impoverished, orphaned teenagers and teaches them artisanal trades. The goods they produce have built the Vanderbilt name and fortune, but as industrial manufacturing replaces handcrafted goods, that fortune is beginning to wane. Weaver Lorna Blankenship promises a unique design for Cornelia Vanderbilt’s wedding, but everything she produces falls flat. As she goes in search of a mysterious, almost mythical weaver to save her job and the Biltmore company, Lorna remembers a young upstart named Gentry, whom she tried to mentor, and a romance that never quite got off the ground with woodworker Arthur Westcott. The Gilded Age finds Appalachia as Lorna struggles to reconcile her past choices, especially those regarding the apprentice Gentry, with the dreams she has hidden in her heart.
VERDICT Thomas (The Finder of Forgotten Things) excels at taking a little-known slice of history and bringing it to life, similar to authors Elizabeth Camden and Laura Frantz.
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