The Loom - A Review

Lydia knew her fate. Like every other slave on the Maryland plantation, her life would end at the loom...
Throughout the pre­-Civil War South, older slaves too worn out for anything else worked daily in the plantation¹s loom room, weaving and creating cloth for their families. Tucked away out of sight and forgotten by most everyone, the wisdom and hard-won experience of these slaves were often overlooked. But Lydia, a light-skinned house slave, listens to their words and dreams of a better life.

When running away leads to her recapture, Lydia discovers that with her pale skin, the right clothing, and pretense, she can walk into a world of freedom and wealth she has only dreamed of.

But Lydia struggles to leave behind the man she loves and the culture of world in which she belongs. Drawing on the wise community in the plantation¹s loom room, Lydia chases freedom in a way no one ever expected and finds that she ultimately must choose between the love she has and the life she doesn't.

The Loom is a colorful tale of love linked to a lie and the discovery that life is not always black or white.

This book is really different from something I would normally pick up and reminded me a little bit of an Oprah’s Book Club choice, only I didn’t hate it. (I have a long history of hating Queen Oprah’s taste in literature) The main character, Lydia, is totally infuriating at times and I could not possibly understand why she would make some of the choices she did, but then again I have always had the freedom to make my own choices. I’ve never felt anything even marginally comparable to being owned by someone, so perhaps that’s why she makes some crazy decisions that I don’t get.

It took me a little while to get on board with the writing style. I felt like many of the chapters started in the middle of thought or memory, which wasn’t very palatable to me. I got over it though because this story is rich. Rich in culture, chaos, sadness, and depth. It is uplifting in the end too – which is ultimately what saved it for me – because I hate books that don’t end well.  This books goes to a lot of dark places, but I still really enjoyed the story.

I also really enjoyed reading the authors thoughts at the end, which is something I never do. I loved the Biblical parallels should put into the story and also enjoyed the storyline involving the elderly slaves, probably because of my love of old people.  I’d say this was a wholesome read for adults and would recommend it to others.


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