The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

Have you ever read a book that makes you wonder “Why”?  Have you ever read a book that literally had you in tears?  I am sure that you have.  This book was another one of those kinds of books for me.  The story is a debut novel by Kelli Estes.  It takes place in Seattle in two different time periods, one contemporary and one the the late 1880’s.  Inspired by true events, the author tells the story of two women determined to do the right thing.  Inara Erickson has inherited her deceased aunt’s estate and she finds an elablorately stitched “sleeve” which starts her thinking about what to do with this lovely piece of property that she now owns.  What does this sleeve mean?  This starts Inara on quite a journey.  As she discovers more and more, she learns of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl who muysteriously appears on this island, after having been washed ashore.  

As our main character researches, she learns about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (and I did too) which excluded people from the US based on their Chinese race.  It was followed by the Geary Act of 1892 which discriminated equally against all Chinese immigrants.  These laws were not repealed until 1943.  Ethnic cleansing?  This story is fictional but it is based on some of the horrible injustices done to these people.

I really enjoyed this book, though some aspects of it were quite implausible.  Parts of the novel were too predictable,  The renovations at the hotel were untimely in terms of construction projects.  However, in spite of all of this, the author had a message and it was an interesting way to learn about the injustices done to a people.

Woven into this story, is a means to try to make things right.  Highly recommended!!!