'A Single Thread' begins in 1932: The Great War has robbed Violet Speedwell of a brother and a fiance and left her a "surplus woman", doomed to a life of spinsterhood. With an uninspiring future laid out before her (i.e. an existence devoted to caring for her embittered mother), Violet strikes out on her own. Soon, she finds herself in Winchester, drawn into a society of broderers, who are embroidering cushions and borders for the Cathedral. Here she will find friendship, fulfillment and the company of women who - like her - are breaking away from societal expectations. But when another war lingers on the horizon, Violet must fight for the freedom she has worked so hard to claim.
With her exquisite eye for detail and her talent for breathing new life into little-known historical tales, Tracy Chevalier is the perfect author to transport readers into this vivid and charming story.
"I loved it. So compelling and warm and subtle, and very moving' - Bridget Collins, author of The Binding
'I enjoyed A Single Thread enormously. Tracy Chevalier wonderfully evokes the social climate of the nineteen thirties - this is the intriguing story of a young woman facing the conventions and prejudices of the day, told with a wealth of detail and narrative intensity' - Penelope Lively
'A deceptively quiet, deeply touching novel. Like a 20th-century Jane Austen, Chevalier draws you in with a careful, beautiful, thread, leading to new and different kinds of happiness for women to whom historical circumstance and parochial mores have not been kind' - Louisa Young, author of You Left Early and My Dear I Wanted to Tell You