welcome to our book reviews and news page

recent publications and classic reads revisited
covering a wide range of genre, taste and style
please join in the discussion

Thursday 15 December 2011

The Thread

By Victoria Hislop

Dripping with delicious description, this novel takes us on a long journey in space and time. We follow Katerina as she is forced to flee from her home in Asia Minor and finds herself in Greece. Her path soon crosses that of the young Dimitri and so the seeds of a story that will run across generations are sown.

I loved the way that ‘The Thread’ worked on so many levels. As well as being a vivid picture of a tumultuous period of history in a beautifully described and very real geographical setting, it is also a tale of a young girl growing up and falling in love. In fact I was so caught up in the story of Katerina that I was genuinely taken by surprise by some of the historical events that in retrospect I knew were coming.

One of the links between Katerina and Dimitri is formed through the clothing trade. Dimitri’s father is a rich and powerful merchant who deals in the most beautiful and expensive cloths to be had in Thessaloniki. Katerina is a skilled seamstress and finds herself working for one of the top garment making workshops.

The descriptions of the sumptuous cloths, Katerina’s talent for embroidery and the beautiful clothes she is engaged to work on make the story very visual and fill it with delightful images. But there is of course a darker side with the book covering, as it does, the years of the war and the persecution of the Jewish population

I found the plot gripping and Victoria Hislop very cleverly makes it hard for the reader to see how there can ever be resolution to some of the strands. She also throws in an unexpected link between Katerina and Dimitri at the end which goes back to an event at the beginning which I’d almost forgotten about.

This is a beautiful read and the picture of Greece it presents is particularly poignant and interesting in the light of current circumstances there. That aspect of it will really make you think!

Reviewed by Helen M Hunt

No comments: