printed copy

Threading The Needle: A Cobbled Court Quilts Novel #4

Marie Bostwick

ISBN 9780758232175
Publish Date 5/31/2011
Format Trade Paperback
Categories Women's Fiction, Kensington, Series
List Price: $15.00

From New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick comes a beautiful novel of sisterhood lost and found—and of the ways we create the rich tapestries that encompass the past and the future…

The economic downturn has hit New Bern, Connecticut, and Tessa Woodruff’s herbal apothecary shop, For the Love of Lavender, is suffering. So is her once-happy thirty-four-year marriage to Lee. They’d given up everything to come back to New Bern from Boston and start their business, but now they’re wondering if they made the right decision. To relieve the strain, Tessa signs up for a quilting class at the Cobbled Court Quilt Shop, and to her surprise, rediscovers the power of sisterhood—along with the childhood friend she thought she’d lost forever…

Madelyn Beecher left New Bern twenty years ago and never looked back. But when her husband is convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and she’s left with nothing but her late grandmother’s cottage, she is forced to return to the town she fled. Unfortunately, the cottage is in terrible shape. Madelyn’s only hope is to transform it into an inn. But to succeed, she’ll need the help of her fellow quilters, including the one friend she never thought she’d see again—or forgive. Now Madelyn and Tessa will have to relive old memories, forge new ones, and realize it’s possible to start over, one stitch at a time—as long as you’re surrounded by friends…

Praise for Marie Bostwick and her Cobbled Court Novels

“Bostwick is a topnotch storyteller… Enjoy hours of storytelling that will warm your heart and help renew your belief that people can be good, if given the chance.” --Armchair Interviews

“Heartwarming…Bostwick’s contemporary New England quilters series is an unbreakable thread of friendship and faith.” --Publishers Weekly

"As their tenuous bonds grow stronger, each woman discovers how much they can help each other with life’s many challenges. Bostwick's writing is warmly nourishing, emotionally compelling…quiet yet powerful." --The Chicago Tribune

“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 bestselling author

“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.” --Kristy Kiernan, author of Matters of Faith

“[A] buoyant novel about the value of friendship…a tantalizing book club contender.” --Publishers Weekly

About Marie Bostwick:

Marie Bostwick was born and raised in the northwest. In the three decades since her marriage, Marie and her family have moved frequently, living in eight different states at eighteen different addresses. These experiences have given Marie a unique perspective that enables her to write about people from all walks of life and corners of the country with insight and authenticity. Marie currently resides in Portland, where she enjoys writing, spending time with family, gardening, collecting fabric, and stitching quilts. Visit her at

Photo Credit: Lisa Sundell

Book Club Party Kit for The Promise Girls:

Celebrate Sisterhood by hosting a Promise Girls get together! Click below for your downloadable Book Club Party Guide, which includes activities, a menu and a suggested soundtrack – plus recipe cards for six of Marie Bostwick’s favorite drinks and dishes.

Download your Party Kit here:

Book Club Party Kit

Healthier Banana Bread

Joanie's Famous Lasagna

Seattle Style Mini Hot Dogs

Smoked Salmon Spread

The Tipsy Mermaid Mocktail

Seattle Sidecar


Reader's Guide


1. As a young teenager, Tessa Kover was both intrigued by Madelyn Beecher being “simultaneously cautious and careless” and rejecting of her for being needy and “weird.” In what ways could you identify with Tessa? With Madelyn?

2. Madelyn Beecher Baron’s upbringing impacted her later life decisions. How have your upbringing and your family affected your decisions? What messages or beliefs have you had to overcome? What values or beliefs from your childhood have worked well for you?

3. Madelyn and Tessa both return to New Bern after being gone for many years. Madelyn returned resentfully because she had nowhere else to go and no other way to live. Tessa moved back to fulfill a dream. Have you ever left a place or situation that you later returned to for one reason or another? How did you feel about returning? How did the return work out for you?

4. Madelyn proves she’s determined, resourceful, and courageous, but she doubts her worthiness, intelligence, and contributions. New Bern residents, especially Tessa and Jake, help her see she matters. What are some of your strengths? What are some of your challenges? How have family or friends helped you see yourself differently? How have you supported others to see themselves differently?

5. Financial struggle and fulfilling a dream play key roles in Threading the Needle. How has financial struggle led you in a direction you might not otherwise have considered, like Madelyn? Describe a time you had to defer or give up a dream, like Tessa, because of finances. How did this change in direction work out for you?

6. Tessa’s mother used to say, “Enough is as good as a feast.” How do you feel about “enough”? Is it a feast for you, or do you aspire to more than enough, and why?

7. Jake Kaminski, rumored to be a ladies’ man, shares his story of recovery from alcoholism with Madelyn, and he offers her unconditional support. Why does he do this? How does this help Madelyn?

8. Jake tells Madelyn, “You know, Madelyn, it’s the easiest thing in the world to tell somebody what they want to hear, but it takes a real friend to tell somebody what they need to hear.” Do you agree? Why or why not? Have you ever been in a position of telling a friend something the friend didn’t want to hear? What was the result? How did it affect your friendship?

9. Many of the characters in the Cobbled Court series own a business. If you could start your own business, what kind of business would that be? What do you think are the benefits and challenges of working for yourself? Do you think your personality is suited for being a business owner? Why or why not?

10. Thinking about the failure of her retail business, the first time Tessa had failed at anything, Tessa says, “Maybe that’s the lesson in all of this: Stick to what you know, color inside the lines.” Do you think this is depression talking, or has Tessa’s business failure changed her attitude, her outlook on life? Have you ever failed at anything, and if so, how did it change your attitude, your approach to life? Your willingness to take on new challenges?

11. When Tessa was younger, her mother advised her to “Enjoy the little things in life, Tessa. One day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Do you think that is true? If so, what little things in your life have you realized are truly the big things?

12. Madelyn realizes after opening her bed-and-breakfast, which so many New Bern residents supported, that, “This is what it’s like to be part of something, of some place. This is what it’s like to care.” What have you been part of that’s been meaningful to you? In what ways have you cared for others?

13. Madelyn finds her childhood quilt in the Beecher Cottage attic. Tessa pays to have it repaired, and then the quilt ends up on one of the beds in Madelyn’s bed-and-breakfast. Discuss the symbolism of quilting in the story and to its characters. Near the end of the book, the quilters decide to make a baby quilt for Angela, who was also betrayed by a man. What’s the significance of this scene?

Average Customer Review

Based on 3 reviews

Customer Review

Heartwarming (Saturday, June 4, 2011)
Reviewer: Nikki

Sometimes returning to your hometown brings you newfound joy and happiness that is unexpected. This is the story that features two women who have done just that. Madolyn and Tessa. They were once good friends, until the early teen years when Tessa turned on Madolyn and said some pretty hurtful things. Madolyn wasn't quite like everyone else, but at her young age had gone through some terrible times and dealt with loss. She needed a friend, and that friend was Tessa.

Now, years and years later, the girls are grown and are strong women. Tessa is married and has come back to begin a new dream with her husband, but the economy is taking it's toll. Not just on her business, but her relationship, too. Madolyn comes back reluctantly, because property is left to her, and after her husband is accused of things, it's her chance to escape and start over.

Who knew that she and Tessa would have a newfound friendship again? Threading the Needle entwines the two women's lives and they each tell their story. Touching, moving and peaceful, this story weaves it's way into the reader's heart.

Books Don't Get Better Than This! (Friday, June 3, 2011)
Reviewer: Amy Lignor

I am a huge fan of the “Cobbled Court” series, and this new novel is a true “gift” to all of Marie Bostwick’s fans. (And, if you haven’t read the Cobbled Court series - you are MISSING sheer perfection!)

This new story focuses on pure and utter sisterhood, and what has happened to many, many businesses and towns during this horrible economic collapse that has ruined so many lives. In New Bern, Connecticut - a place where anything ‘bad’ never seems to tarnish the beautiful town - the apothecary shop called, For the Love of Lavender, that’s run by Tessa Woodruff, is feeling the “pinch.”

Not only does Tessa have to deal with the business and financial issues, but she is also dealing with problems in her long-time marriage to Lee. As a team, Lee and Tessa actually moved back to New Bern from their life in Boston, and threw themselves into their small business dream. But, of course, now that finances are struggling, they are dealing with a bit of bitterness and anger growing between each other, wondering if they have made a huge mistake.

Tessa needs some relief. She needs time away from Lee and the business in order to get a new perspective to hold on to the life she’s always loved. What she decides to do is take a quilting class at the beloved Cobbled Court Quilt Shop. As always with Cobbled Court, the females in that building offer the wit, compassion, friendship, love, and life lessons that all of us WISH we could have in our most trying times. And, with Tessa, it’s no different. The Cobbled Court women take Tessa in and become her ‘sisters’ - the women who do everything within their power to put Tessa back on her feet and give her the strength to persevere.

And…Tessa also receives a huge surprise! Her childhood friend, Madelyn Beecher. Madelyn is a woman on the “other side of the coin” where the world of finance is concerned. Her husband was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme, and even though Madelyn once fled New Bern, she has nothing left in her life and must find a way to “reinvent” herself. The only thing she has is her late grandmother’s cottage which she hopes to turn into a working Inn.

Readers…not only is this a very powerful story about two friends who ended up on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to the pain of the economic collapse, but it is one of the most beautiful, compelling, lovely stories in the Cobbled Court series.

If you’re book club isn’t reading it yet….NOW is the time!

(Tuesday, May 31, 2011)
Reviewer: Nancy Narma

I love, love, loved this book! If you haven’t discovered the “Cobbled Court
Quilt Shop” in New Bern, and its delightful Quilt Circle of personalities, I
strongly suggest you do. You’re missing out on something special. Besides
meeting or reacquainting yourself with Evelyn, Virginia, Abigail, Margot and
Ivy, to name a few, you will follow Tessa and Madelyn on their journey from
childhood to adult, through marriage and divorce, complete with a large helping
of entrepreneurship, spiced with romance and sisterhood that will tug at your
heartstrings. Madelyn and Tessa rediscover the value of undying friendship through
good times and bad as they struggle through scandal, financial hardship and the
dissolution of dreams. I’m betting their courage and love will stir your emotions as
it did mine and make you sad when you reach the final chapter and have you
wishing for more!

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