Listen free for 30 days

Audible Membership

$14.95 a month

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
Access to exclusive member-only sales, as well as 30% off your purchases of any additional titles.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $22.76

Buy Now for $22.76

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Set in 18th-century Spitalfields, London, Blackberry and Wild Rose is the rich and atmospheric tale of a household of Huguenot silk weavers as the pursuit of the perfect silk design leads them all into ambition, love, and betrayal. 

When Esther Thorel, wife of a master silk weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel, she thinks she is doing God's will, but her good deed is not returned. Sara quickly realizes that the Thorel household is built on hypocrisy and lies and soon tires of the drudgery of life as Esther's new lady's maid. As the two women's relationship becomes increasingly fractious, Sara resolves to find out what it is that so preoccupies her mistress....

Esther has long yearned to be a silk designer. When her early water colors are dismissed by her husband, Elias, as the daubs of a foolish girl, she continues her attempts in secret. It may have been that none of them would ever have become actual silks, were it not for the presence of the extraordinarily talented Bisby Lambert in the Thorel household. Brought in by Elias to weave his master piece on the Thorel's loom in the attic of their house in Spitalfields, the strange cadence of the loom as Bisby works is like a siren call to Esther. The minute she first sets foot in the garret and sees Bisby Lambert at his loom, marks the beginning of Blackberry and Wild Rose, the most exquisite silk design Spitalfields has ever seen, and the end of the Thorel household's veneer of perfection. 

As unrest among the journeyman silk weavers boils over into riot and rebellion, it leads to a devastating day of reckoning between Esther and Sara. 

A Library Journal Editor's Pick of Best Debut Novels of Winter/Spring 2019.

©2019 Sonia Velton (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Blackberry and Wild Rose

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Challenges Of Character

Built on a story of silk weaving, weavers and sales the women depict challenges to telling the truth, lying or avoiding issues that lead to matters of life and death. Evil characters mixing with spoiled self absorbed ones present situations with unexpected outcomes. Worth a read especially if you like to read about situations where personal values are confronted.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Depressing

This is a dreary read. With the exception of Esther, the characters are one dimensional; they are mostly victims or tyrants, misogynists or bullies. With no relief in the tension, the characters’ fates seem hopeless. The novel could easily have been based on Esther’s talent as an artist, the making of silk and the trade. That would have been story enough. Unfortunately, the story gets hijacked by the character of Sara who spurns all kindness shown to her and subjects the household to repeated acts of jealousy and revenge. Yet, I get the sense that the author expects the reader to care about her, the most treacherous and vindictive character of all. Her redemption makes no sense given her actions throughout most of the novel. It’s as if the author inserted it as an afterthought to tie up loose ends and lighten the heaviness of the novel.. Unfortunately, it’s too little, too late.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • RueRue
  • 2019-08-22

Surprising !

One of the best historical fiction stories that I've read this year ! The plot was layered and took quite a few unexpected turns, and the alternating narrative voices between Esther and Sara, women from different social backgrounds and with opposing personalities, added intrigue and even suspense. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Both of the narrators were fantastic.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Maria
  • 2020-09-03

A Fine Piece of Literature

The story is a beautiful symbolic spun tale. It masterfully balances the circle of life‘s duplicities.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • TheresaDLC
  • 2020-12-18

Don’t waste your time or money.

When I read a book, I usually do so to escape, to learn about it. Of time, and generally just get away from normal stressors in my life. This book was so confusing not well written, the female characters were treated poorly throughout the book; and I stopped reading on chapter 6 as there was no clock going on my bed and I was sick and tired of seeing every single character being abused, treated poorly or generally a tyrant. I understand the time. And the challenges that they had, however this is a very depressing book that I wouldn’t recommend to anybody, ever.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Phyllis
  • 2020-12-03

Excellent Narration, Average Story

The author shows a fine ability to write engaging descriptions with a decent attempt at poetic prose. Yet the story falls flat. Through all the chapters, the plot seemed pedestrian with characters that were not engaging or significant. Banal and trite seem appropriate for the selfish and cruel husband, the long suffering weaver, the evil madam, the moral wife... Not an original in the lot.

The excellent narration saved an otherwise dull story.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Veronica Fleitas2
  • 2021-05-12

5 stars

Complex characters and an intricate story masterfully told through two very different voices from completely different backgrounds, which are impossible to ignore.
Captivating to its very end.
Just great. for me, one of my best readings so far this year.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ilovecats253
  • 2020-03-26

Ending as it should

I like that this novel did not end entirely happy, as many do. The ending was as it should be; as reality would be. The story is interesting and keeps readers, or listeners in this case, engaged, and entertained. I would recommend this title to those who enjoy historical fiction.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Christina
  • 2021-08-27

21st century Writing; 18th century setting

The good parts: interesting information on the silk trade and weaving.

The bad parts: Everyone is unhappy. The writer obviously dislikes the 18th century and it shows.

Her main characters are unlikeable. Esther is an upperclass dummy who continually whines but does nothing for herself or others. Her counterpart, Sarah, is an obnoxious self-absorbed girl who blames each and every person she meets, yet never once holds herself accountable.

Not surprisingly, it ends badly.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • KC
  • 2021-12-24

Poor Characters

I enjoyed the narrator and the historical portion of the story, but the characters and their relationships were not well developed. Most characters outwardly showed disdain for one another. There wasn’t anyone to ‘root’ for and the characters weee not likable. I don’t look for happy go lucky relationships but these characters were difficult to connect with.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lois
  • 2021-11-14

Unlike anything I’ve read before

This story ends with hopes of the future for the main ladies whose story is told. Esther and Sarah are worlds apart socially but each struggle under social conformity. Esther, a practicing Christian hopes to save Sarah as a prostitute and hires her as a ladies maid.
They circle around each other, both hiding secrets from the other. Be it love or ambition, motherhood, or desire they find a commonality of restriction they both desire to reform. Their individual history tightens societal acceptance. At the end of the story they reach out and stand up to defend what is important to the other. Be it in the courtroom or the birthing chamber. I’ve little knowledge of silk weaving so I’m guessing something about this is close to the author’s heart. The manipulation of the poor working class, be they women or men , who are expected to bow under authority is told on this story.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Suzanne-Marie
  • 2021-11-10

Can’t see the point

For me, at least, this was a period piece that dragged, was depressing and had very little to it. The narration was okay enough - not awful, just did the job. I can’t recommend Blackberry and Wild Rose, at all.