Reading history and reviews
Finished in 2007I'm not quite sure now why I read this, and many of the descriptions talked about the author's "beautiful writing" (which often translates to me as "long boring descriptions" when I see it in book reviews) so I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy this before I started reading it. The book is set in 17th century Spain and really consists of two stories: one concerns a silk-grower's daughter who eventually falls foul of the Spanish Inquisition, the other concerns Queen Maria Louise's miserable marriage to King Carlos II.
In the event I did enjoy reading this book, although at the end I wasn't sure what I was supposed to take away from it - the two women never meet and the two lives have only a very tenuous connection. Also both strands are told rather implausibly by the silk-grower's daughter. But the writing *is* beautiful and intelligent, maybe like silk itself, and I think that more than anything was what I enjoyed the most about the book - more than enough to overlook any of its faults. So I'd recommend this one as well.