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The Thread Collectors

—Book Review—

Title: The Thread Collectors

Authors: Shaunna J Edwards, Alyson Richman

Publisher: Graydon House

Genre: Historical Fiction

Type. Backspace. Type. Backspace. This must be how authors feel trying to get the very best words on the page for their readers. I absolutely loved The Thread Collectors by Shaunna J Edwards and Alyson Richman. It’s been a little over a week since I discussed this book with our book club the @bookfriendsbookclub and zoomed with the authors. I’m still not over this book and am having trouble articulating my thoughts.

To begin, this is a Civil War historical fiction novel, which isn’t a time period that I have read as much within this genre. The author’s formed a stunning assemble of characters that you can’t help but root for. They used their backgrounds and knowledge loosely from their ancestors to write an own voice story with a Jewish character from NYC and a Black character from New Orleans during 1863. Most people assume Shaunna wrote the Black main character chapters and Alyson wrote the White character chapters, but after zooming with these ladies I learnt it was a true collaboration and they wrote the entire story together.

The woman characters draw parallels in this story through sewing. An ingenious young Black woman named Stella makes intricate maps with scraps of fabric and thread to help enslaved me flee and join the Union Army. Meanwhile, a Jewish woman Lily forms a community sewing circle and stitches a quilt for her husband who has volunteered for the Union Army as a musician.

The synopsis would lead you to believe that this book is all about the woman; because after all woman like reading about strong woman. While this is true. I must point out how brilliant job the author’s did highlighting a friendship between Lily’s husband, Jacob a White Jewish man, and William a Black slave musical prodigy who is Stella’s lover. This male friendship between a Black man (and a slave, no less) and a White man, was superb.

“I didn’t think much of myself before. But as sis always tells me, being scared is a choice. And so is being brave.”

Rating: There is a lot to learn from this story filled with themes finding yourself, love and friendship. It will fill you with hope, but it is not without the ugly- death, bigotry, rape, slavery, lynching and prejudice. This is a slow burn story but stick with it and have those tabs handy! Highly recommend!

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