Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bonds can be formed in many ways...

A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick

This is the first in the Cobbled Court Quilt series
which currently consists of 6 books: 

A Single Thread 
A Thread of Truth 
A Thread So Thin 
Threading the Needle 
Ties That Bind 
Apart at the Seams 

Prequel (published 2013)
Between Heaven and Texas 
See the author's website here.

Ms. Bostwick's descriptions are so realistic I feel as if I am right beside the characters experiencing the same thing, whether it is Evelyn as she first walks through New Bern and discovers the old Pharmacy building which she immediately envisions as a quilt shop (though its current condition is in need of much rehabilitation and repair), or Mary Dell barging into her bedroom to get her out of the doldrums and back into life! I found the characterization to be concise and quite compelling, as were the themes: illness, betrayal of marriage vows, recreating your life from scratch, etc. I truly love this woman's writing style, but disliked what I felt to be a distinct "preachiness" that unless you believe in God and attend church regularly, you cannot be truly happy. I don't believe that, but in addition, I believe it to be rude to try to "convert" others to your belief system, though I'm sure I am in the minority on this. Additionally, I found it just a bit tough to believe that everything literally turned out so perfectly happy in the end.

One of our book club members wanted us to read this book because it reminded her so much of our own group; the close friendships formed among and between us, after having met as total strangers for the "Borders" Fiction Book Club. Once I read it, my reaction was "Awwww...that is just so sweet!" It is remarkable how we can bond so closely through one common interest, although amongst our group, we vary greatly in many other areas of our personalities! This was one of the realizations as we answered the discussion questions. I always remember what I learned from an introductory Sociology course: the variation among the members within any one group is just as great as the variation between/among different groups! That's rather amazing when you consider...diversity is with us at all times; we must decide whether to embrace it, and others...or not. 

I believe this book prompted one of the best discussions our book club has had! Reactions to the book overall varied from "I just LOVED it!!" to "I really liked it." to "It was a bit too religious and Pollyanna-ish for me." to "I found the religious content to be quite disruptive and everything just ended up way too perfect for me." Isn't that neat? I love it when we can discuss our different reactions and better understand others' perspectives! I was a bit relieved that I was not the only person who felt the ending was a bit too perfect, and that everyone achieved happiness only by attending church and discovering or confirming a belief in "God." (The Christian definition of God, of course.) 

Many times the discussion questions in the back of a book are not the best at prompting good discussion. Sometimes they are rather confusing, and other times they just seem silly, but the questions for A Single Thread seemed quite pertinent. As a result, I believe we each learned new things about each other, although we have been meeting at least once a month for over four years! Now that's sayin' something!  

Have you read this book? Or the series? I have now read all 6 books in the series and the prequel, and will post a follow-up review of the series overall. 

Would I recommend this book? Yes...but with the understanding that I felt Bostwick's management of themes and the realities of life improved with each book following this one. This series is definitely worth the time and effort of reading it and I am so very glad I persevered beyond this first installment! 

Let us know your that we have shared ours with you! :)

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