Publication Day Book Review – The Silk House by Kayte Nunn

This story like the silk thread in the hands of a weaver… running across centuries, families, histories and countries


Weaving. Healing. Haunting. The spellbinding story of a mysterious boarding school sheltering a centuries-old secret by the bestselling author of THE BOTANIST’S DAUGHTER.

Australian history teacher Thea Rust arrives at an exclusive boarding school in the British countryside only to find that she is to look after the first intake of girls in its 150-year history. She is to stay with them in Silk House, a building with a long and troubled past, where the shadows hide more mysteries than she could ever imagine.

In the late 1700s, Rowan Caswell leaves her village to work in the home of an English silk merchant. She is thrust into a new and dangerous world where her talent for herbs and healing soon attracts attention.

In London, Mary-Louise Stephenson lives amid the clatter of the weaving trade and dreams of becoming a silk designer, a job that is the domain of men. Arriving in the market town of Oxleigh, she brings with her a length of fabric woven with a pattern of deadly plants that will have far-reaching consequences for all who dwell in the silk house.

Intoxicating, haunting and inspired by the author’s background, THE SILK HOUSE is the exceptional new gothic mystery by Kayte Nunn.


I am not sure what gothic mystery should be like but I loved it. I loved The Silk House from the first to the last page. All three women (living across generations and across social spectrum) are amazing heroines. Each one of them as deep as the next one. There are many dimensions to the characters and to the setting.

The Silk House and its secrets, its tragedies and its escapes. The school with its traditions and history, memories and future. All the little signs and whispers. The author did an amazing job creating an atmosphere to which you want to return again and again.

Was it scary? In places. Was it haunting. At all times. Once started you want to know more and more.

The Silk House is about power of the weakness, knowledge and wisdom. It is about women and womanhood and the strength we do not know we have until we do..

Five stars from me.

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