A Thread of Truth (Paperback)

By Marie Bostwick

Kensington Publishing Corporation, 9780758232151, 335pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2009

June 2009 Indie Next List

“A Thread of Truth is a captivating story of an abused wife who is caught in a cycle of constant flight from her abuser. This novel has wonderful characters, a fast-moving plot, and a strong message of friendship and community. A really good read, especially for book groups.”
— Linda Vinstra, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI
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Description

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."
--Susan Wiggs
"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" bestselling author
"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


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  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 truth?
  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?
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