Spinning Silk – T. Cook


This was the way with spiders. How were they always willing to begin building again, knowing full well their work would not last – no matter how laboriously, how painstakingly they had produced it?
This was resilience.

Suri, a young girl, abandoned at birth, grew up in a household that did not like having yet another mouth to feed. Even her incredible strength and dexterity were not enough to convince the people who raised her to not sell her into slavery. But living with her master, however cruel, showed her one thing – she is an adept silk-weaver.

The writing in this book is beautiful. It’s very flowery and lyrical, at times it feels more like a poetry than prose. It creates a very delicate, ethereal atmosphere.

The most peculiar thing about this book is the fact that it doesn’t feel like a book at all. More like a story told by the campfire by your beloved friend. I just simply couldn’t get enough of it.

The characters in this book are very, very strange. Even though I found myself caring about them, I still think that they are very underdeveloped. Their actions never actually made sense to me, because I haven’t really got to know them that well. Not in a way I am supposed to know the character I am reading about.

Oh, also a friendly warning – there is a lot of spiders in this book. Much more than I am comfortable with. So if you are a fellow arachnophobe – consider yourself warned.

Generally I am not a big fan of books with an omniscient narrator, but in this case it works wonderfully. I actually think that it’s the only thing that kept me interested, when things started to get too confusing for me. The narrator creates incredible suspense in all the right moments, almost like they could feel when the reader starts to lose interest. It makes you want to keep reading even if you are not entirely sure what is going on.

However, the worst thing about this story is that it doesn’t really have a purpose, until the very, very end. There is actually a lot of things happening, but more often than not I found myself asking “what is this book even about?”.

I think it’s the strangest book I have ever read. On one hand – it really managed to captivate me. But on the other I am really not sure if I know what I read. Though I am aware that my confusion may be coming from a place of ignorance – I am not familiar with Japanese folklore. At all.

Still, I can’t help but wonder – is it really my fault for not fully understanding the story? Or is it the book’s?


Content warnings: violence and abuse, rape attempt, self-hatred, slavery


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review




You can find this book on Goodreads 

16 thoughts on “Spinning Silk – T. Cook

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  1. Great review! This definitely sounds like a strange and intriguing book. Was it fast-paced? I have read a lot of books lately that make me wonder what they were even about when I’m finished but usually it doesn’t bother me as much if there are a lot of small events within the plot

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  2. I think when we read some of these books they escape our understanding. I have read some foreign books and was very confused. I have to say this one may not be for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think my confusion isn’t coming from the fact that this book is foreign. It’s more because it was written in a very peculiar way. Though if you don’t like feeling confused it’s definitely not a book for you 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I don’t. I just read a book that confused me a lot. I couldn’t give it a great review. I felt bad, but what am I supposed to do?


  3. i dont think i’ve ever heard of this book and while IT DOES SOUND INTERESTING the thought of LOTS OF SPIDERS is more than slightly terrifying omg how did you get through it 😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just think that my curiousity was stronger than my arachnophobia 😂 This book definitely knows how to keep you interested. It’s one of the most unique stories I have ever read. It’s a shame that it’s not more popular. I think that a lot of people would love it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely don’t read a lot of books from Japanese authors, From what I know this one isn’t written by Japanese author – it’s just inspired by its folklore. And I know nothing about the Japanese folklore, sadly. But this book made me want to change that, so it’s a really good thing!

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  4. I really liked this one and thought it did a great job of writing in that ‘white space’ or the nothing-ness around the story. Maybe a little too well at times. I think that’s what made the storytelling seem so different at times and left the reader wondering where the story was going or what it was about. Great review!

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  5. Great Review! It sounds like a weird book haha Sorry you didn’t understand it better! I think its the books fault not yours. You shouldn’t need to know about Japanese folklore to understand the book, the author should use the book to teach people about Japanese folklore in an interesting way!

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  6. Nice review!! I hadn’t heard of this book before … but it actually looks good? (mainly it’s the pretty cover, tbh) And I do happen to LOVE spiders – I know, I’m weird. 😉 Not loving the characters is usually a problem for me, so maybe not? Still looks interesting!!

    Liked by 1 person

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