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Single Thread, A

Chevalier, Tracy

  25 Reviews

With the loss of both her brother and fiance in WWI, Violet Speedwell is considered to be a 'surplus woman'. Her existence is bleak but in a bid for independence she moves to Winchester. Drawn to the community surrounding the Cathedral, Violet's life becomes entwined with those of the embroiderers and bell ringers.

Set at a gentle pace this is an appealing story of social history that captures the detail of everyday life with clarity and compassion. [Larger font]

Pages
336
Year
2019

Reviews

DUNED 043
19-09-2022
Loved it - thank you.
WINT 001
22-06-2022
We all enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. Quite a few were familiar with the area, some do embroidery while others enjoyed the historic information. This lead to a wide ranging discussion from the changing roles of women to reasons for the Second World War.
AUCK 224
27-05-2022
The readers enjoyed the many different threads to the story - besides the embroidery, there was the bell ringer, the life of single women, the impact of war on a society, attitudes to relationships etc. There was plenty of discussion!
HAMIL 053
06-05-2022
The book group appreciated the author's sensitivity to the situation of single women in British society in the 1930s, after so many men were taken in WW1. The protagonist navigates the difficulties of prejudice and loneliness, finding solace in an all-women embroidery group and an all-men bell-ringers ensemble. We felt that, while many of her encounters were warm and believable, some aspects of the novel seemed forced and unnecessary, particularly the role of a stalker whose presence did not really advance the main concerns of the plot.
INVER 027
02-05-2022
This book was very popular with the whole group. Several went on to further research on Winchester Cathedral Embroiders' Group.
GORE 006
29-04-2022
A very interesting read. We learnt a lot.
NEWP 005
07-03-2022
Book was well received by all readers. Very informative and well-written. Great read.
INVER 028
02-03-2022
Overall we enjoyed this book. Members commented that they learnt a lot about embroidery and bell ringing. Some bits were a bit dull, but the social history about women's plight after the first World War being 'surplus' women, was very interesting and moving to read about.
DUNED 113
07-01-2022
We all enjoyed this book, and became curious about bell-ringing!
OAMAR 002
22-10-2021
People found the beginning not so great but then once into it, everyone enjoyed it. We commented that it would be great to travel and view the cushions of the Cathedral.
WAIKA 001
17-09-2021
We all enjoyed this book. The social history of the period was very interesting. Several of our members are keen embroiderers, and hence were particularly enthusiastic about the history of the cushions. A book we would recommend to all.
NAP 005
16-09-2021
All eleven of us enjoyed this book! We found the title very apt as once Violet joined the broderers' group, a single thread did draw all the characters together. Fascinating that Miss Pesel was a real designer. The book was thoroughly researched and we loved the detail of the embroideries and bell-ringing. The social history, viz. the lives and lot of "surplus" women post The Great War, gave all pause for thought. Some felt the author stretched credibility venturing into the territory of lesbianism and illegitimacy.
KATIK 001
06-09-2021
This work, again thoroughly researched, offers insight into the plight of 'surplus women' post WWI in Britain. Family dynamics were interesting and entirely credible. Loved the glimpses into the demanding skills of dedicated broderers and bell ringers. Expresses the usual ratio of human kindness, cruelty, fragility, understanding and prejudice. Although some patches of tedium, it was well-written and an engrossing read.
WELL 046
06-09-2021
Interesting but somewhat pedestrian novel. It does however highlight the difficult position of women forced to, or wishing to, live independently after WWI when there was a so-called surplus of women following the deaths of so many young men during the war. Women had an unenviable lot.
TAUP 011
01-09-2021
All enjoyed it mostly - good social history of single women after the war, but some felt it was rather a silly story.
AUCK 335
22-07-2021
An easy read enjoyed by almost everyone. We appreciated the descriptive passages - Winchester Cathedral, the countryside -and the information about bellringing and embroidery - enhanced by using the internet and YouTube. We thought the plot was weak and rather contrived and the male characters rather unconvincing. We thought that the strength of the book lay in the context, obviously based on much research, and it gave a good insight into the lives of women, particularly "surplus" women, in this period. There was lively discussion about various single women we remembered in our lives.
LEITH 001
28-06-2021
On the whole enjoyed by the group. We thought the "times" had been well portrayed, particularly women's roles and attitudes towards them.
AMBER 002
19-05-2021
All loved the book. Winchester, bell-ringing, and embroidery were all familiar. Good discussion.
AUCK 027
10-05-2021
Spurred conversation about the treatment and status of women. We enjoyed the aspects of bellringing and stitching, with most of us checking out Louisa Pesel online. A number of our group had been to Winchester Cathedral.
NGARB 001
16-04-2021
An easy read. Most enjoyed it, especially the background of the cathedral, and the way of life in that era. Our crafty people especially appreciated it.
CHCH 478
22-03-2021
Enjoyed by most of the group, and provoked good discussion. Title was clever and appropriate.
MARTIN 001
12-03-2021
Everyone loved this book. The sort of book to read slowly and savour. A contemplation on one's past life and possibilities of future life.
WELL 041
12-03-2021
We all enjoyed reading 'A Simple Thread'. Being a single woman between WWI and WWII was not a very happy or pleasant life. This was a very good eye opener, but also we still see some of the old stigmas. Being based on fact (we did love Miss Pesel) and with many of us having visited Winchester Cathedral, we feel totally drawn in to Violet's life. A well-written book, highly recommended.
KATIK 006
10-03-2021
We all loved this - wonderful writing to make embroidery and bellringing so compelling! A lovely read.
HAMIL 062
03-03-2021
With so much written about the wars it was interesting to know more about that unique time in history between the two wars. Many of us had childhood memories of elderly single relatives who had also been "surplus" women. It stimulated lots of discussion on the roles and expectations on women and how much has/ has not changed. We also had an interesting discussion on morality and if it is fixed or dependent on circumstances. Some of us found it a bit slow and with too much detail on embroidery and bellringing,for our interest.