It’s the day after Valentine’s Day and I’m ready to fall in love. 

I’ve looked…


 I’ve flirted…

Throughout the pre-Civil War South, older slaves too worn out for anything else worked daily in the plantation’s 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 a world in which she belongs. Drawing on the wise community in the plantation’s loom room, Lydia chases freedom in a way no one ever expected and finds that she ultimately must choose between the love she had and the life she doesn’t.

We’ve had our first date… the first few pages. I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. 

The Loom is Shella Gillus’s debut novel.

*at CBD and Amazon the back clover blurb gives the main character’s name as Sadie and focuses as much on a plantation owner’s wife, Caroline. But the back cover copy of the book I have in my hand calls the main character Lydia, and makes no mention of Caroline. Both takes on the blurb (aside from the confusion over the main character’s name) sound equally intriguing.

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