Judith Ivory's "Black Silk"

Black Silk - Judith Ivory

Fantastic, masterfully written from the first page to the last. The first I've read by Judith Ivory, but definitely not the last.

Thinking about the book a little more critically after my initial euphoria has worn off, I have to agree with the reviewer who pointed out that the subplot about the paternity suit against Graham was weak - the likelihood of a hysterical pregnant girl gaining admittance to the men's club was extremely low (how did she even know he was there?) and same thing for the chances of her getting decent legal representation for the trial. And at the end of the book, we never did find out if the orphan recovered from his illness or not, even though a fair bit of verbiage was expended on Graham's finally getting the baby and its difficulties in the nursery. Same thing with the twins - that whole subplot was left without a real resolution and I wondered why they were brought into the story in the first place. Might be interesting to read a version of the book where these two elements are completely removed to see what difference they make ...

But aside from these quibbles, this book really is an amazingly good read.