Description: Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.
But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant's daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.
With only her father's secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances--along with her father's precious dye--help her become one of the city's preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can't outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.
My Thoughts: When I saw that Tessa had a new book coming out, I was extremely excited. Her book, Land of Silence, was probably my favorite of last year, and with this telling the story of Lydia, I couldn't wait to start it.
Unfortunately, it didn't live up to her last book. The catalyst for Lydia's move to Phillipi is rather similar to what happened to Elianna, what with both their fathers being injured by horses which led these women to picking up their fathers' trades. But for Lydia, rebuilding the business takes years, most of which is spent listening to others tell about their back stories, summarizing various characters past hurts in a few pages.
Now, I might have liked the novel better had I not read Land of Silence first. After reading that book and finding it nearly perfect in every way, I couldn't help but compare this one to the other and wish that it were just as unique and impactful. However, there are those who will probably like this better than her last, since the previous was particularly heart-jerking where as this one is more cozy, with Lydia finding numerous friends to bolster her courage along the way.
I still intend to read everything Tessa writes in the future, and I'll keep this on the shelf alongside her others. But I probably will not read it as many times as I have the rest.
I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book from the publisher.