In the sensuous and erotic lineage of Anaïs Nin, Marguerite Duras, and Carole Maso, Destiny Kinal has crafted her debut novel, Burning Silk, to transport the reader. From the first page, we plunge into the rarified and privileged atmosphere of an early-nineteenth-century French perfumerie on the Cote d’Azur, where fragrance scientists cross the threshold into the invisible world of pheromones, hoping to plumb those secrets in the person of the young silk maîtresse Catherine Duladier.
A decade later, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, we witness Catherine’s disciplined but desperate attempts to keep her closely held secret from rising to the surface in the pressure cooker of her family’s new silk magnanerie, where silkworms transform mulberry into the cocoon of metamorphosis and Catherine is forced to recognize that love without truth is violence. Will Catherine be able to ward off threats to her French Huguenot family’s dreams of a successful business venture in the New World? As she emerges from her cocoon, will she be able to realize fulfillment in an unconventional ménage-a-trois in a time when such utopian possibilities are being entertained in small experimental communities across the Northeast?
Their Native American neighbors, the métis Montours, hold the key to both silkworms and silkworkers becoming native to this land: assimilation.
Burning Silk is a novel about transformation, compulsion, and genetic destiny.
“Burning Silk is hot!” – Judy Goldhaft, Planet Drum, San Francisco CA
“...Rich and vivid, sensual like the silk the Duladiers are creating…laced with secrets, history, sensuality…what most historical romances lack.” – Historical Novel Reviews Online, February 2011
The Queens Quill Review
April 2, 2012
“I hardly know where to start to describe the complex and sensual tale that is Burning Silk. Layer upon layer of themes are explored, but the overarching theme is that of a young woman’s journey, her metamorphosis, from uninitiated naiveté into maturity in her profession of maitresse of her family’s magnanerie (the sacred facility in which silkworms are nurtured as they mature toward their final purpose), which is inextricably linked to her own sexual and personal awakening.”
Historical Novels Review Online
February 2011 issue
“The writing is rich and vivid, almost as though you are watching it on a movie screen. Burning Silk is also is very sensual, much like the silk that the Duladiers are creating. Destiny Kinal has woven an intriguing story that can be likened to a metamorphosis. Laced with secrets, history, and sensuality, this novel offers what most historical romances lack. I also have to say that the artwork on the cover practically screams ‘pick me up and read me.’”
Historical Novel Review
November 26, 2010
“Burning Silk is an erotic novel not for the faint of heart. The novel delves deep into the topics of sexuality and the journey into womanhood. It is a rich, complex story that is not to be rushed when reading it.”
Midwest Book Review
“Exquisitely written, Burning Silk is a fine piece of literary historical fiction.”
The Cross of Languedoc, National Huguenot Society
“The author was inspired to investigate her own maternal line when her grandmother told her they were Irish, German, Welsh, Scots and French. Fascinated by the possible French connection, she spent fifteen years researching the Huguenots and the European sites of their industry and persecution. The result is the first in a trilogy of novels about a Huguenot family which fled from France to Hesse, Germany in 1685, and re-established their reputation for making fine silk….”
The Crowded Leaf
August 25, 2010
“...an epic work of fiction, doused in rich historical language and time, exploring the role of woman as mother, daughter, sister, lover, and self. A complex, multilayered book, Burning Silk tells a story with power and identity, letting the characters develop into themselves. It exposes given certainties and changes them; a child becoming a woman, the first experience of sexuality, confronting ones innermost desires, the voices used to speak to ourselves and others. It is truly unlike any book I’ve ever read.”