Book Review: The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk Book Cover The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
Kelli Estes
Historical Fiction
July 7, 2015

A mysterious silk sleeve reveals a tragedy that could ruin one woman's family more than a hundred years later. 1886: Washed up on Orcas Island, Mei Lien is the lone survivor of a cruel purge of the Chinese from Seattle. She is determined to tell her heartbreaking story the only way she knows how: through needle and thread. A century later Inara Erickson uncovers details in the delicate stitching that could have far-reaching repercussions. Should she bring dishonor to her family by telling the truth, or tell no one, and dishonor Mei Lien? This brilliant debut is an atmospheric, beautifully woven tale about the importance of our own stories.


As I read the first few pages of Kelli Estes’s intriguing debut novel, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk,  I was hesitant.  Please do not misunderstand me, there is absolutely nothing slow about the beginning of the story, as the reader practically jumps feet first with protagonist Liu Mei Lien into the icy waters of Puget Sound.  My hesitation came upon the first chapter as I came to realize that the storyline would be alternating between Mei Lien in the 1800s and present day Inara Erickson.  Having previously read a book with a similar storytelling style, which I was not a fan of, I was concerned that “The Girl Who Wrote in Silk” would leave me feeling the same way:  unenthusiastic and forcing myself to finish the story.  I can safely say that Ms. Estes’s writing proved much more spellbinding as I was completely hooked by the second or third chapter.

the girl who wrote in silk - kelli estes

As someone who has always had an interest in history I was vaguely aware of the poor treatment of the Chinese immigrants out west around the turn of the century.  The novel brought these hardships of this time to light while telling a beautifully heartbreaking story of Mei Lien, her family, and her struggles.  By intertwining her story with Inara Erickson, Estes brought awareness of these injustices to present day.

Truly this book has everything I could have asked for in any novel:  mystery, history, a touch of adventure and action, with just enough romantic interest and chemistry.

I highly recommend The Girl Who Wrote in Silk to anyone, especially those with an interest in American and/or Chinese-American history, mystery, or just plain, good ol’ fashioned fiction.


Have you picked up a copy of The Girl Who Wrote in Silk yet?  Let us know your thoughts about this review and/or the book!


2 Responses to “Book Review: The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

  • Ashleigh
    3 years ago

    Sounds like a really interesting book! I will add it to my GoodReads so I can get it later! 🙂

Trackbacks & Pings

Geek Out With Us!