A Single Thread
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…
Warm, vivid and beautifully orchestrated, A Single Thread reveals one of our finest modern writers at the peak of her powers.
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"I enjoyed A Single Thread immensely. Tracy Chevalier wonderfully evokes the social climate of the nineteen thirties - this is the intriguing story of a young woman facing the prejudices and conventions of the day, told with a wealth of detail and narrative intensity."Penelope Lively
‘Deeply touching … careful, beautiful’
I loved it. So compelling and warm and subtle, and very moving’
“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
“Reading this is deeply pleasurable and the ending made me cry”The Times
Writing with quiet but devastating empathy...I loved it.Daily Mail
subtle and nostalgic....a gentle novel that packs a punch.Woman's Weekly
An evocative, beautifully written story.Daily Mirror
Tracy Chevalier's quietly moving story of a woman finding freedom in the 1930s is a gem.Stylist
"You’ll hear echoes of the estimable Barbara Pym as Violet’s heels clip across the cathedral’s inner close."
Guardian Full Review
'Tracy Chevalier shows once again her ability to illuminate ordinary lives and to pay attention to those most often ignored.'Sunday Times
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.
'With the manners and chortle-inducing humor that would make Jane Austen proud...'