Title: A Single Thread
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Pages: 336 Pages
Publisher: Harper Collins
It is 1932, and the losses of the First World War are still keenly felt.
Violet Speedwell, mourning for both her fiancé 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…
I have never read anything by Tracy Chevalier before. I know she had big success with The Girl with the Pearl Earring but I never got round to reading it. When I as granted the opportunity to read A Single Thread I was glad that I hadn’t read anything previous because it gave me a chance to read it in a more pure way – without comparison to other work. I wanted to see if I liked Tracy Chevalier’s writing style.
I did. I really did.
A Single Thread is the story of Violet Speedwell. In post war Britain, Violet is trying to find her own place in the world whilst trying to come to terms with heartbreaking loss. Add on a miserable matriarch of a mother and you begin to get a sense of why Violet is feeling so suffocated in her own little corner of the world.
When an opportunity arises to spread her wings and leave her current situation Violet grabs it with both hands and refuses to let go. She makes a new life for herself and along the way makes friends at a broderers group. Although life has been cruel we see Violet – at 37 – finally start to grow up.
A Single Thread is a look at many things: post World War One and the devastation that came with it, the changing roles of women, and how we assert our independence.
I loved it.
A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier is available now.
For more information regarding Tracy Chevalier (@Tracy_Chevalier) please visit www.tchevalier.com.
For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollins) please visit www.harpercollins.com.