Set during the Civil War, The Thread Collectors by Shaunna Edwards and Alyson Richman is the heartfelt and unputdownable histfic story of two women and the men they love.
The Thread Collectors by Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Slavery, Civil War, New Orleans
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My Summary of the Thread Collectors:
Welcome to my stop on the Harlequin Trade Publishing 2022 Summer Blog Tour for Historical Fiction. Thank you #NetGalley @HTPBooks @HarlequinBooks @Graydon_pub @GraydonHouse @BookClubbish for a complimentary e ARC of #TheThreadCollectors upon my request. All opinions are my own.
In 1863, Stella repurposes bits of colorful thread and uses her embroidery skills to make maps on scraps of cloth in an effort to help enslaved men flee the South and join the Union Army. Stella is also in love with William, a Black soldier and brilliant musician. She lives in fear that her “owner” will discover her secretive and dangerous activities.
Lily, a Jewish woman who lives in New York, creates a quilt for her husband who is stationed in Louisiana with the Union Army. She attends abolitionist meetings, rolls bandages, makes quilts for other soldiers, and prays for their safe return. When Lily doesn’t hear from her husband for some time, she travels south in search of him.
Stella and Lily’s paths cross in a dramatic conclusion.
The authors of this page-turning story looked to their family histories for inspiration and their collaboration of “own voices” creates a rich reading experience for readers. Upon realizing this was an author team, I read the authors’ notes first. I love that this teamwork enabled them to authentically tell a heartfelt story from Black and Jewish perspectives. See more about the authors at the end of this post.
I don’t read many stories set during the Civil War, so the historical content here is interesting. We learn about life at home and life on the battlefield. One other book I’ve read and reviewed set during the Civil War is The Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly.
Told from multiple perspectives, I love the strong characters in this compelling story. Stella is brave and clever and Lily is determined and compassionate. Both are willing to risk their lives for what’s important. The men they love find themselves in impossible war situations through which they forge a supportive friendship and fight for survival.
As you can imagine, several thought-provoking themes emerge including friendship, survival, loyalty, the ministry of music, taking risks, caring for others, complicated family drama, and racism/prejudice.
I Highly Recommend The Thread Collectors:
Unputdownable and memorable, The Thread Collectors will likely end up on my best-of-year list. If you love page-turning and heartfelt historical fiction with strong. inspiring, and unforgettable characters, I enthusiastically recommend this book. Book clubs might find the content highly discussable.
Content Consideration: death of a child, forced sexual relationship (without graphic details), Civil War battlefield conditions (graphic details); a movie would be rated R
My Rating: 5 Stars
Meet the Authors, Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman
Shaunna J. Edwards is the debut novelist of THE THREAD COLLECTORS, co-authored with bestselling novelist, Alyson Richman. THE THREAD COLLECTORS will be released in August 2022. A native Louisianian, Shaunna majored in Literature at Harvard College before attending NYU School of Law. A former corporate lawyer, she now works in diversity, equity and inclusion. She lives in Harlem with her husband. Find her on instagram – @shaunnajedwards
Alyson Richman is the USA Today bestselling and #1 international bestselling author of several historical novels including The Velvet Hours, The Garden of Letters, and The Lost Wife, which is currently in development for a major motion picture. Alyson graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in art history and Japanese studies. She herself is an accomplished painter and her novels combine her deep love of art, historical research, and travel. Alyson’s novels have been published in twenty-five languages and have reached the bestseller lists both in the United States and abroad. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two children, where she is currently at work on her next novel.
Is this compelling histfic on your TBR or have you read it?
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