Twenty-one-year-old Skye Willis lives in Eufaula, Alabama, a tourist mecca of stately homes and world-class bass fishing. Her childhood friends are either stuck at dead ends or have moved on to accomplish Big Things.
Skye’s grandmother, Verna, insists on being called “Sparrow” because she suspects her ancestors were Muscogee Creek. She dresses in faux deerskin and experiments with ancient Native American recipes, offering a myth or legend to anyone who will listen.
Skye has no idea what to do with her life. She’s smart as hell, but she has no faith or knowledge there’s something out there she was “born to do.” Nor does she know much of anything about her father, who died in Afghanistan when she was a toddler. He and his family are a mystery her mother won’t discuss. But when Sparrow sets out to confirm her Creek ancestry through genetic testing, Skye joins in.
The results hit like a DNA bomb, launching them both on a path filled with surprises and life-changing events. Skye learns a harder truth than she ever expected.
Alternating chapters between Skye’s Alabama life and an intertwining tale of greed, deceit, and control in Texas, this story offers proof that all life is a woven tapestry of past, present, and future.
What I Thought:
I’ve read Beth Duke before and loved her mix of contemporary American fiction and historical elements. Painting a picture of her characters from their earlier years leads to a better understanding of their actions in the present – whether good or bad!
Tapestry addresses that most modern of dilemmas – what happens when a DNA kit drops a bomb into a family? How does the family deal with the fact that they have lied, and how does the child forgive being lied to?
At the heart of this book is human connection – the connections that are not known about, and those that bind a family. It’s also about how chance can lead us to the right places, as Skye discovers through her Grandmother both what she wants to do with her life, and also with whom she wishes to spend it.
Beth Duke is adept at adding local and period detail to her books, without it seeming forced – there is some fantastic historical information about AfricaTown (Plateau), Alabama, a settlement formed by the last known people to be illegally brought to the USA as part of the slave trade. I can’t really let you know how exactly this ties in to the plot, as it would give things away, but there is further reading at the back of Tapestry about this fascinating settlement and lots of links online to explore too.
What I loved most about this book, is that it is populated with strong women. Sparrow, Lisa and Skye form an impenetrable family unit – them against the world – and despite the squabbles that any family might have, they remain devoted to each other. This really comes to the fore in the later stages of the book and it’s great to see three such women together and written so very well.
Tapestry is published by The Art of Dixie.
This post is just one in a blog tour to celebrate Tapestry by Beth Duke. To find out more about the book, and for exclusive extracts and giveaways, why not check out some of the blogs below?
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.