Cologne, 1351: Elisabeth and Stephen Hardenstein are twins, but they could not be more different. While Elisabeth is inspired by the family business, absorbing everything her father shows her about the cloth trade, Stephen enjoys a leisurely life and pays little attention to their father’s teachings. Elisabeth recognizes her true vocation as a tradeswoman, and though the odds are stacked against her, she pursues her passion.
When the twins’ father suffers a tragic stroke, the tables turn. Suddenly Stephen is interested in running the draper’s shop his father left behind, and he takes the lead in managing the family business. But Elisabeth can’t sit idly by and watch as he makes bad decisions and accumulates debts. Stephen pushes her to marry as soon as possible, even proposing a suitor, but Elisabeth has her own ideas about matters of the heart. Are her talents in the art of negotiation enough to win her both the job of her dreams and the man she truly loves?~Goodreads Blurb
How about a little Girl Power in 1300’s Germany? How about a lot? The Draper’s Daughter has plenty to spare. It is full of strong women characters, not only working with the men around them, but at times surpassing them. I became so caught up in the story that I finished this eBook in one sitting. I so wanted Elisabeth to succeed no matter how many roadblocks were thrown up in her way. I will admit to a little author hate when things continued to go wrong, but I think in the end it made for a better story and a stronger cast. I would definitely read another book by this author/translator team. Translating from German to English can be difficult and some of the language was a little stilted but it quickly picked up.
For a Historical Fiction piece, I would have enjoyed a bit more history and a little less fiction. I would simply classify this as fiction, since you need more than a past date and a real town to make it historical fiction. The dynamic between women was also intriguing. While most were willing to help, it wasn’t a strictly men vs women book which can be a common trope.I was concerned as the story went on that we would end up with nothing but villains and cowed men, but once again the author surprised me. This is definitely a good example of getting your cake and eating it too.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and AmazonCrossing in exchange for honest feedback*
Author's Notes:Born in 1970, Ellin Carsta is a successful German author who publishes under various pseudonyms. She is married with three grown children. Although writing books is her passion, she also enjoys sports, especially jogging and cross-training.