“The Girl Who Wrote in Silk” has been selected as the North Idaho Reads (NIR) book for 2018 and author Kelli Estes will read from and discuss her book at area libraries during programs in April.
NIR is organized each year by area libraries and volunteers and encourages readers in the region to share a book and participate in related programs and discussions.
Participating libraries and organizations include Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Museum, Wallace Public Library, Coeur d’Alene Public Library, Lake City Public Library, and the Community Library Network: Athol, Bookmobile, Harrison, Hayden, Pinehurst, Post Falls, Rathdrum, and Spirit Lake.
“The Girl Who Wrote in Silk” is Estes’ debut novel and is inspired by true events. In the book Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt's island estate when she finds an intricately embroidered piece of fabric hidden in the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds, Inara's life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lien, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before.
Through the stories Mei Lien tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core — and force her to make an impossible choice.
Estes will be in North Idaho April 18-22 and will do library programs that will include a presentation at the Hayden Library, Wednesday, April 18, 6-8 p.m.; the Post Falls Library, Thursday, April 19, 2:30-4:30 p.m.; and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library on Friday, April 20, at 7 p.m.
Her visit to North Idaho is made possible through a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A native of eastern Washington, Estes earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Arizona State University and before her life took a literary turn she went to work for an airplane manufacturer in the Seattle area as a buyer and contract administrator.
“I’d always had a love of travel, having grown up in a travel-loving family, but this job took me to places such as New Zealand, Belgium, Switzerland and Scotland,” she said. “I should have realized I was a writer when, while visiting these countries and touring fabric and carpet mills, which I found fascinating, my imagination was on fire with story ideas. Still, I didn’t think I could write.”
And then one day, while visiting with her now-husband’s brother and his girlfriend, the girlfriend mentioned she was writing a book.
“She was the first person I’d ever met who professed to be a writer and she appeared normal, not like the fabled creatures of my imagination,” Estes said. “It was then that I realized that anyone can write. I could try to write a book! That girl, Carolynn, is now my sister-in-law and I will forever be grateful to her for opening my world to the possibility that I could be a writer.”
Not long after, Estes quit her buying job to pursue writing full-time as well as to become a wife and mother. She lives near Seattle with her husband and two sons.
Through the magic of words, North Idaho Reads will engage our communities and foster an understanding of the common threads that unite us.