Two women separated by centuries, the threads of their lives drawn togther by one beautiful silk dressTextiles historian Jo Baaker is drawn back to the Dutch island where she was born to investigate the provenance of a valuable seventeenth-century silk dress. Retrieved by local divers from a sunken shipwreck, the dress offers tantalising clues about Holland’s famous Golden Age. Jo’s research leads her to Anna Tesseltje, a poor Amsterdam laundress who served Catharina van Shurman, portrait painter on the fringes of the Dutch court.
The two women were said to be close, so why did Anna abandon Catharina at the height of her misfortune? And how did Anna come to possess such a precious dress? Jo is determined to find out, while battling academic politics and personal demons.