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A lovely, gentle exploration of a bygone time, yet there is a quiet strength to this compelling read. It is also one of those books that just may surprise you. Violet Speedwell, still suffering the loss of both her fiancé and brother in the First World War, moves to Winchester in search of a new life. Canvas embroidery, bellringing, the surplus of women after the war, expectations and the judgement of society, all sit alongside each other as Violet explores new thoughts and feelings. Tracy Chevalier writes with true eloquence, the descriptions bloom, the characters sing, and she allows you to ponder, to consider. Notes of caution and unease pierce the tale, with occasional moments of biting intensity. Violet is fascinating, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her. In the acknowledgements I found out about the character who actually did exist, and I now want to explore Winchester Cathedral. Expressive and beautifully readable, A Single Thread is an engaging and rewarding tale.
It is 1932, and the losses of the First World War are still keenly felt. Violet Speedwell, mourning for both her fiance and her brother and regarded by society as a `surplus woman' unlikely to marry, resolves to escape her suffocating mother and strike out alone.
A new life awaits her in Winchester. Yes, it is one of draughty boarding-houses and sidelong glances at her naked ring finger from younger colleagues; but it is also a life gleaming with independence and opportunity. Violet falls in with the broderers, a disparate group of women charged with embroidering kneelers for the Cathedral, and is soon entwined in their lives and their secrets. As the almost unthinkable threat of a second Great War appears on the horizon Violet collects a few secrets of her own that could just change everything...
Warm, vivid and beautifully orchestrated, A Single Thread reveals one of our finest modern writers at the peak of her powers.
Closing date: 03/10/2019
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
This is an easy book to read and I found it very hard to stop reading it. Overall, an excellent story, well written and compelling. Full review
A highly readable book which deserves to be a best-seller Full review
A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier is a lovely historical tale of a young women trying to be independant in a male dominated world. Set in 1930's amongst bell ringing and needlecraft this unusual setting really works! Full review
A flawless, affective depiction of a woman’s struggle for independence in interwar Britain. Full review
it is slow paced but beautifully written and historical facts well researched. This is about a group of women who in different circumstances may have made different choices. Beautiful descriptions of Winchester Cathedral and bell ringing which has given me greater insight into this ecclesiastical world. Full review
Life is at a crossroads; where does Violet find wholeness? Alongside the 'Broderers' (embroiderers); she finds that life can become a rich tapestry; beginning with 'A Single Thread!' Full review
A really beautiful and enlightening story. I loved this book! Full review
A beautiful tale to take you back to another time with a message that is as relevant today as then. Full review
Praise for A Single Thread:
`I loved it. So compelling and warm and subtle, and very moving' Bridget Collins, author of The Binding
`I enjoyed A Single Thread enormously. Tracy Chevalier wonderfully evokes the social climate of the nineteen thirties - this is the intriguing story of a young woman facing the conventions and prejudices of the day, told with a wealth of detail and narrative intensity' Penelope Lively
`A deceptively quiet, deeply touching novel. Like a 20th-century Jane Austen, Chevalier draws you in with a careful, beautiful, thread, leading to new and different kinds of happiness for women to whom historical circumstance and parochial mores have not been kind' Louisa Young, author of You Left Early and My Dear I Wanted to Tell You
`In these days and in this author's hands, all love is sacred. A compelling portrait of women not lost but thriving against the odds' Kirkus Reviews
Publication date: 05/09/2019
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||5th September 2019|
|Publisher:||The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction,|
Tracy Chevalier is the author of six previous novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Virgin Blue, Falling Angels, The Lady and the Unicorn, Burning Bright and Remarkable Creatures. Born in Washington, DC, she moved to London in 1984, where she lives with her husband and son. The film of Girl with a Pearl Earring, starring Colin Firth as Vermeer, was released in the UK in January. It was nominated for 10 BAFTAs and two Academy Awards. Photograph © Eammon McCabeMore About Tracy Chevalier