"A buoyant tale about the path to acceptance and joy--beginning, like all journeys, with one brave step."--People
"The best-selling novelist has done a masterful job of depicting the circumstances of a generation of women we seldom think about: the mothers, sisters, wives and fiances of men lost in World War I, whose job it was to remember those lost but not forgotten."--Associated Press
Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019 (TIME) | Best Books of Fall (PopSugar) | 5 Books Not To Miss (USA TODAY) | 50 Best Books of the Year (GOOD HOUSEKEEPING) | One of the New York Post's Fall Novels Everyone's Talking About | 13 Fall Best New Books Written by Women (Parade) | One of the New York Times Book Review's New & Noteworthy | One of Chicago Sun Times' "Books Not to Miss" | One of Real Simple's Best Books of 2019 So Far
1932. After the Great War took both her beloved brother and her fiancé, Violet Speedwell has become a "surplus woman," one of a generation doomed to a life of spinsterhood after the war killed so many young men. Yet Violet cannot reconcile herself to a life spent caring for her grieving, embittered mother. After countless meals of boiled eggs and dry toast, she saves enough to move out of her mother's place and into the town of Winchester, home to one of England's grandest cathedrals. There, Violet is drawn into a society of broderers--women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral, carrying on a centuries-long tradition of bringing comfort to worshippers.
Violet finds support and community in the group, fulfillment in the work they create, and even a growing friendship with the vivacious Gilda. But when forces threaten her new independence and another war appears on the horizon, Violet must fight to put down roots in a place where women aren't expected to grow. Told in Chevalier's glorious prose, A Single Thread is a timeless story of friendship, love, and a woman crafting her own life.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Can art be a feminist vehicle for change? That’s the idea at the heart of this historical drama from Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring). In 1932, Violet Speedwell joins an embroidery group after she moves to a new town, finding fulfillment and purpose she hasn’t felt since her fiancé’s death in World War I. Chevalier’s moving writing emphasizes the value of community and friendship—Violet’s growing closeness with her new friend Gilda is just as vital to her rebirth as her embrace of her own creativity. Inspirational and emotional, the novel makes us want to find our own new creative outlets, too.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A Single Thread
I enjoyed reading this book so much! What a wonderful way to discover life after WWI for so many women. Imagine losing your loved ones and coming to terms with how your life stretches before you very different than planned. For women today to hear “there were so few men” after the war, it wouldn’t affect them as did in post war 20’s and 30’s. There just weren’t options for women.
Learning about the broaderers was fascinating to me. I also appreciated learning about bell-ringing, who knew?
Most of all, I loved the story between Violet and Arthur. A very unconventional love that was heartbreaking and uplifting.
Of course, over time, I will imagine a happier ending and probably forget the proper ending! Age does that to me, ever changing things through my “rose coloured glasses”.
A Single Thread