In the sensuous and erotic lineage of AnaIs 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 maItresse 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 mEnage-a-trois in a time when such utopian possibilities are being entertained in small experimental communities across the Northeast? Their Native American neighbors, the mEtis 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.
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