Come home to Marie Bostwick’s poignant novel of new beginnings, old friends, and the rich, varied tapestry of lives fully lived…
At twenty-seven, having fled an abusive marriage with little more than her kids and the clothes on her back, Ivy Peterman figures she has nowhere to go but up. Quaint, historic New Bern, Connecticut, seems as good a place as any to start fresh. With a part-time job at the Cobbled Court Quilt Shop and budding friendships, Ivy feels hopeful for the first time in ages.
But when a popular quilting TV show is taped at the quilt shop, Ivy’s unwitting appearance in an on-air promo alerts her ex-husband to her whereabouts. Suddenly, Ivy is facing the fight of her life—one that forces her to face her deepest fears as a woman and a mother. This time, however, she’s got a sisterhood behind her: companions as complex, strong, and lasting as the quilts they stitch…Praise for Marie Bostwick’s A Single Thread
“Enjoy this big-hearted novel, then pass it along to your best friend.”
“By the time you finish this book, the women in A Single Thread
will feel like your own girlfriends—emotional, funny, creative and deeply caring. It’s a story filled with wit and wisdom. Sit back and enjoy this big-hearted novel, and then pass it on to your best friend.”
—Susan Wiggs, New York Times
“Marie Bostwick beautifully captures the very essence of women’s friendships—the love, the pain, the trust, the forgiveness—and crafts a seamless and heartfelt novel from them. Evelyn, Abigail, Margot, and Liza are as real and endearing as my own closest friends, and as I turned the last page I felt that sweet, satisfying sorrow in having to say goodbye that marks the work of a writer at the top of her game.” —Kristy Kiernan, author of Catching Genius
and Matters of Faith
“Bostwick makes a seamless transition from historical fiction to the contemporary scene in this buoyant novel about the value of friendship among women….Bostwick’s polished style and command of plot make this story of bonding and sisterhood a tantalizing book club contender.” —Publishers Weekly
1. An avid quilter, Marie Bostwick has been known to turn to
quilting when working through tough life issues—not unlike
the women in A Thread of Truth. What is it about working
with one’s hands that cultivates a sense of serenity? Can you
recall a time when quilting, knitting, or some other handiwork
helped you through a tough time?
2. Evelyn Dixon has built more than a successful small business
in Cobbled Court Quilts—she’s created a community of
quilters. How did she accomplish this? What are the pluses
and minuses of approaching staff and employees like an extended
family? Does it work for Evelyn? What does she
gain? What price does she pay?
3. One of the first people Ivy Peterman meets in New Bern is
Abigail Burgess Wynne, and Ivy immediately is both dismayed
by Abigail’s refined intimidation skills and touched
by Abigail’s insistence that a place be found for Ivy and her
two children at the women’s shelter. Does Abigail’s power
come solely from being the richest woman in New Bern? If
not, to what can one attribute her confidence? Would you
welcome a friend like Abigail? What would it take to incorporate
such a personality into your circle of friends? Is it fair
that Abigail’s wealth and power make it possible for her to
get her way, even in the name of a good cause?
4. The specter of domestic violence forms the underpinning of
Marie Bostwick’s plot in A Thread of Truth. What moment in
the story best captures the fear and helplessness Ivy feels
about her situation? How else does Bostwick convey the reality
of being a mother on the run from an abusive husband?
5. According to a 2005 CDC survey, one in four American
women have been abused by a husband or boyfriend—and
on average more than three women are murdered by their
husband or boyfriend every day. What would you do if you
thought someone you knew was being abused by a significant
other? To whom would you turn if it happened to you?
6. The most dangerous time for a woman being abused is when
she tries to leave someone. Does that explain why Ivy is less
than forthcoming with the details of her life? Does that justify
lying to her boss? To her caseworker at the shelter?
Where would someone in your community go if she was trying
to escape from an abusive spouse?
7. In A Thread of Truth, Ivy presents herself to the shelter intake
worker as “poor, powerless, and poorly educated,”
counting on the stereotype of victims of domestic violence to
quell any doubts the woman might have about her. Yet studies
show abuse happens in all kinds of families and relationships,
and persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation,
age, and sex can be victims—or perpetrators—of domestic
violence. Why do such stereotypes endure? What would it
take to change them?
8. What do you think about Ivy’s reluctance to come clean with
her new friends about her past? Is her reluctance reasonable?
Or does it contribute to her problems? Why are people
so reluctant to share the less-than-perfect aspects of their
lives with others? With whom do you share your unvarnished
9. Many people hesitate to delve too deeply into the lives of
those around them, yet the 2004 Allstate Foundation National
Poll on Domestic Violence found three out of four respondents
personally knew a victim of domestic violence.
And the American Psychological Association estimates 40
percent to 60 percent of men who abuse women also abuse
children. Do those statistics make you more inclined to report
suspected abuse? Do they make you more inclined to
reach out to someone you suspect might be in an abusive relationship?
Do you know the signs of abuse?
10. Evelyn set out to New Bern, Connecticut, all on her own
from Texas, but when it came to opening Cobbled Court
Quilts—and keeping it open—she had the support of a wonderful
circle of women. Some of these women work for her;
some are simply fellow quilters. Yet all pitched in to help in
a way once seen only in families. What one thing had to happen
before these women could come together? How would
you go about building such a foundation of friendship in
your own life? Or have you already done so? Given the mobility
of Americans today, are those we work with and those
we choose to let in our lives our new family?