The Loom by Shella Gillus
In this debut historical novel, a young woman in the pre-Civil War South flees slavery by pretending to be someone else
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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 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 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 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.
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