Sunday, April 21, 2024

These Tangled Threads: (A Southern Historical Fiction Book Set on the Early 1920's Biltmore Estate) by Sarah Loudin Thomas [Revies & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9780764242014
Bethany House
Paperback $17.99
My thoughts: Set amidst the beauty of the North Carolina Smoky Mountains, the story is based primarily on the little village at the foot of the estate of the Vanderbilt's "Biltmore Mansion." The story, though primarily in the village, touches on the relationship of workers in the village with the mansion properly. It meanders through the mountains of North Carolina and even touches West Virginia a bit.

The period of 1916 through mid-1920s was presented as a hard life in the Appalachian mountains, the pre-depression era, and after a major flood hit the area sweeping away much of life. The author creates characters appropriate for the time period who have been rescued from being orphans whose parents simply threw them away to kind clergy and gracious lady-of-the-manor persons.

The creativity of reclusive Appalachian ladies whose artistic weaving is at the heart of the story as is their hard-scrabble life. The author's descriptions of the designs woven into the fabric by these artists and the source of their design makes one wish to actually see and touch the cloth.

The story employs split timelines which does confuse the reader at times. I would prefer a more straightforward read as far as the time element goes. I felt this a deterrent to my personal enjoyment and the reason for my slow reading of the book.

Though all the characters were well fleshed out and knowable, I frankly only liked one character, Arthur, the now grown man who was an abandoned orphan raised by the local clergyman. He was kind, generous, smart, and a gifted artisan.

I have visited Biltmore and it is a beautiful place. The surrounding mountains envelope one with their majesty. The mansion is stunning. The gardens lovely. It has been said that the mansion was built in the style of English manors where there was a village that provided workers for the manor.

About the book: Set in the shadow of Biltmore Estate, a poignant tale of friendship, restoration, and second chances.

Seven years ago, a hidden betrayal scattered three young friends living in the shadow of the great Vanderbilt mansion. Now, when Biltmore Industries master weaver Lorna Blankenship is commissioned to create an original design for Cornelia Vanderbilt's 1924 wedding, she panics knowing she doesn't have the creativity needed. But there's an elusive artisan in the Blue Ridge Mountains who could save her--if only she knew where to begin.

To track down the mysterious weaver, Lorna sees no other way than to seek out the relationships she abandoned in shame. As she pulls at each tangled thread from her past, Lorna is forced to confront the wounds and regrets of life long ago. She'll have to risk the job that shapes her identity, as well as the hope of friendship--and love--restored.

About the Author: Sarah Loudin Thomas ( is the author of numerous acclaimed novels, including The Finder of Forgotten Things, The Right Kind of Fool, winner of the 2021 Selah Book of the Year, and Miracle in a Dry Season, winner of the 2015 INSPY Award. She worked in public relations for Biltmore Estate for six years and is now the director of Jan Karon's Mitford Museum. A native of West Virginia, she and her husband now live in western North Carolina. Secret word: tangled

Where to purchase
Read to an excerpt

Begins April 21
Ends May 20 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine alone, and are freely given. Winner's prize copy is provided and mailed/shipped directly to the winner by author or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes. 


  1. I have read all of Sarah's books except The Finder of Forgotten Things (and These Tangled Things). :D

  2. Miracle In A Dry Season sounds like a book I would want to read.

  3. I would like to read The Finder of Forgotten Thing as well as These Tangled Threads (of course). Her website has a few more that I’d enjoy reading. I’ve only read Until the Harvest, so I have some really fabulous choices.
    Perrianne Askew
    perrianne (DOT) askew (AT) me (DOT) com

  4. I would like to read The Christmas Heirloom. I like to read Christmas books to feel cool during the desert heat.

  5. Sarah has great Pinterest pins. The Right Kind of Fool.

  6. I was at the Biltmore on Tuesday. This book is one I can’t wait to read now.


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