Author: Gennifer Albin
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret – she wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time and matter, Adelice is exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, power and beauty, the ability to embroider the very fabric of life. It also means entering a world secrets and lethal intrigue. But unlike the others, Adelice isn’t interested in controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have and will do anything to hide her talent from the Guild. But when she slips up during her final test, her gift is identified. Now she has one hour to eat her mum’s overcooked dinner. One hour to listen to her sister’s school gossip and laugh at her dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything is OK. And one hour to escape. Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back . .
To the people of Arras life as a Spinster must seem incredibly glamorous – luscious apartments, servants to cook and clean for you, a full wardrobe and mixing with those in charge – but there’s more to the Coventry (where they live) than there seems.
I loved the idea that over time humans have discovered essentially the fabric of life and are using it to create a *cough* peaceful society. Taking the raw materials (atoms – or that kind of thing I guess) of the earth and weaving it into a new world – one where no one goes hungry and everyone is at peace with each other.
But as there always is with these stories there’s a darker undercurrent going on – though it may not have been originally intended, this peace comes at a cost – someone is monitoring the whole thing, monitoring what people think, how they act and what they eat. If say for instance someone behaves out of the ordinary they can essentially have them ripped (read killed) and all evidence that they even existed wiped from the memories of everyone.
Which brings me nicely to the point that I hated Cormac, he was slimy and generally not very pleasant. Being the one in control kind of meant he could do anything he wanted, he used people’s feelings and emotions to get what he wanted and to force them to do things that would normally be out of character. Especially that of the Spinsters.
The Spinsters are the women who maintain the Arras (the world the story is based in) without them Cormac wouldn’t have a world to control.
One such Spinster is Adelice, her family shy away from the idea of Arras and would rather their daughter didn’t become a Spinster and I loved the idea of how they tried to prevent her from becoming one. I actually really loved Adelice as a character to, she feels like someone with a lot of fighting spirit and doesn’t necessarily take what she’s told as gospel.
Overall, Crewel is a fast paced, gripping read which I was sorry to see the end of, coming towards the end I thought it might have been a stand alone but I’m so glad that there’s more to come.
Thanks to Faber & Faber for sending me a copy