Evelyn Dixon drove from Texas to New Bern, Connecticut. Her marriage was over after 20 years. She had been traded in for a newer model. So she decided to go to New England to see the fall colors. That turned out to be a momentous decision. After seeing a quaint abandoned building, Evelyn decides to try to make good on her dream to open a quilt shop. The realtor was skeptical, but Evelyn wanted to make the go.
Meanwhile in New Bern, we are introduced to Abigail Burgess Wynne. Abigail is the life of every party, especially since she is liberal with her money. But not surprisingly, she has no friends. But her perfect world is about to be turned upside down when she is saddled with the responsibility of her niece Liza who has been arrested for shoplifting.
These two women end up on a collision course when Liza insists Abigail accompany her to a quilting class commemorating breast cancer. The class takes on special significance for Evelyn when she finds out that she has breast cancer the day of the class. At the end of the session, Evelyn breaks down while teaching Abigail, Liza, and Margot (a woman recently laid off). Suddenly these four strangers find themselves throwing in their lots together. All of the women grow and change for the better.
Although the story is about the four women, it is told primarily from the point of view of Evelyn and Abigail. Both women, in my opinion, undergo the more profound changes during the novel. Evelyn discovers who her real friends are, and surprisingly it’s not the people that she has known the longest. She has to learn to accept help from strangers especially when it gets to the point that she is unable to take care of herself.
Abigail has to confront the reasons for which she transacts all personal relationships at arm length. She has to learn to overcome the resentment she has for her sister (who was strong enough to make the decision that she could not) so that she can love the niece who is the last living member of her family.
In the end, Evelyn learns to love again, and Abigail learns to selflessly give of herself to others. And the quilt shop- well it keeps growing, and more women join-each having a story of their own.
This was a wonderful story. The characters were very real, and very vulnerable. I particularly liked Charlie. I could tell he was a big softy despite his gruffness. I could not believe it took Evelyn so long to figure out that Charlie was mad about her. I mean the man cooked gourmet meals for her. I kept shaking my book saying, “marry this man.” Anyway, this story made me seriously consider taking up quilting. I learned cross-stitching when I was younger, but I didn’t have the patience for it. Piano and cooking were more up my alley. My mom didn’t insist that I learn to sew once she saw I had an affinity for food. Speaking of food, as I am writing this, my mom tried to make gingerbread from some batter I had in the fridge. A number of smoke detectors went off while I was showering. I have suspended her gingerbread license.
Many of you have already read Marie’s bio. So I’ll tell you how I met her. I receive email alerts from Barnes & Noble telling me whenever there is an author signing. For whatever reason most of the author signings are either men selling books commemorating some sports team or self-help gurus. In short, books you couldn’t pay me to buy. But back in November, I received an alert that Marie would be reading from her new book A Single Thread. I thought it was going to be chick-lit, but I read the synopsis anyway. I really liked what I read so I visited her website and emailed her. I got an “away” message. So I planned to go to the signing, introduce myself, and ask for an interview. Little did I realize that Marie had checked her email prior to the signing. So when I asked her about a book blog tour she said, “Are you Brooke?” Ok, I got a kick out of the expressions on people’s face when I was recognized. The rest is history.
Anyway, this is the first book in this series. The second book is coming out in May. There will be more details on the podcast, which should be up tomorrow. Best of all Marie will be writing a guest post tomorrow as well.
She will be visiting the blog so leave questions if you have any. Also to win the signed copy of the book leave a comment on either this post, Marie’s post, or the podcast. See you tomorrow!