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 with matter, she’s 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, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.
Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
AH’s Review – 4 Skulls – A-
All of her life Adelice has been taught to hide her “gift.” In Adelice’s world, all young women are tested to see if they have the ability to become a Spinster, a woman who is able to weave the fabric of life.
The whole premise of this book is intriguing. Imagine a room full of Spinsters operating special looms and creating life, weather, everything. Occasionally, “mistakes” are discovered and they are ripped out, vanishing without a trace.
Spinsters lead very privileged lives. They are “retrieved” from the general population, taken to Coventry for further testing and training, and lead exciting lives full of parties, pretty dresses, and make up. So why wouldn’t a girl want to join their ranks?
I adored the voice of Adelice the narrator. Rarely do you see a 16 year old with such maturity and determination. Adelice’s family is taken away from her; her parents killed on the day of her retrieval. Her sister Amie is reassigned to another family and no longer has any memory of Adelice and her former life. Amie’s safety and an escape from Coventry becomes a priority for Adelice.
Crewel is set in the world of Arras, a planet similar to Earth. It is a strange place with very strict societal rules. Everything is regulated from birth to death. The sexes are segregated with families with female children living apart from families with male children. Purity laws are enforced and it is rare for males and females to mix. Population is regulated with the state deciding how many children a family may have. When a family member becomes too sick or old, they are ripped from the fabric of life and cease to exist.
There were a few little things that annoyed me in the book. There was a lot of emphasis on makeup and its application. Spinsters had a team of aestheticians devoted to their beauty regimes. For a world with such extreme purity laws, evening gowns that bared a lot of skin seemed out of place.
Crewel is a pleasure to read. Once I started reading it, I did not want to put it down. I will warn you, there is a cliffhanger ending and wow, what a way to end a book. I kept trying to page forward, hoping that there was more to read.
Crewel is a fantastic debut read. I can’t wait to read more books by Ms. Albin.
Crewel is recommended for a young adult audience and older.
Thank you to NetGalley and MacMillan Children’s Publishing Group for a review copy of this book.
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