A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

In the years after WWI and the devastating loss of life that occurred, a generation of women were often doomed to a life of spinsterhood. For years Violet Speedwell has lived such a life, but in 1932, determined to take her life into her own hands, she moves out of her mother’s home to Winchester England. There, by chance she becomes a part of a community of women who embroider for the cathedral (broderers). What follows is quite simply her journey to built a life of her choosing.

This is such a lovely story. And when I say that, I pay it the highest compliment. It is so simple, and yet so much happens. Violet sees her work with the broderers as an opportunity to “make a mark on the world”. As a result of her involvement with the group, and the cathedral, she extends herself beyond her formerly small circle, making friends and developing relationships she would never have had otherwise. She becomes self-reliant, and attains a calm assuredness she never had previously. And she finds unexpected love in many forms.

This is a story that shows how important it is to step outside of your small world, to see beyond limitations and facades, and to embrace what is different and sometimes difficult.

My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group Viking for the advance copy of this book for my review.

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