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A Thread of Truth
by Marie Bostwick

Published: 2009-06-01
Paperback : 352 pages
6 members reading this now
3 clubs reading this now
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Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
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 ...
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Introduction

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

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

Prologue

The counselor is young, blonde and pretty and obviously nervous. She glanced at her reflection in the wall mirror when she entered the waiting room, adjusted her collar and cleared her throat before extending her hand toward me with a wide, rehearsed smile and a request for me to follow her back to her office. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

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 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 Quilt Shop; she's created a community of quilters. How did she accomplish this? What are the plus 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 is immediately 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 makes 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, 1 in 4 American women have been abused by a husband or boyfriend-and on average more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day. What would you do if you thought someone you knew was being abused by a significant other? Who would you turn to if it happened to you?

6. The most dangerous time for a woman being abused is when she tries to leave. Does that explain why Ivy is less than forthcoming with the details of her life? Does that justify lying to her boss? Her caseworker at the shelter? Where would someone in your community go if she was trying to escape 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 who you suspect might be in an abusive relationship? Do you know the signs of abuse?

10. Ivy's future begins to brighten once she accepts help from the women at Cobbled Court Quilt Shop. What would you do if one of your co-workers or employees broached the subject? Do you believe Ivy's fears of being fired if her boss learns of her past are justified? Have you ever had a boss, like Evelyn, with whom you could confide? If so, what were the positives and negatives of such an employer-employee relationship? In this mobile America, are those we work with our new family? Is this a new phenomenon?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

When life is hard, it's easy to feel alone. For victims of domestic violence, women abused by the very men who should be doing everything in their power to protect them, that is especially true. After finding the courage to flee her violent husband, Ivy, the main character in A Thread of Truth, believes that the price of safety for herself and her children is isolation. But she's wrong. The truth is, an abuser's power lies in isolating his victim in a shroud of secrecy.

I wrote A Thread of Truth because I want women everywhere to understand two things. First, that love… real love, doesn't hurt, either physically or mentally. Someone who crushes your spirit or harms your body should be-must be-left. Second, that no one has to go it alone. If we're open to it help, hope, friendship, and even love, are closer than we think.

The characters in this book who befriend Ivy (those so many readers fell in love with in A Single Thread) care deeply for Ivy and each other. It is their friendship that finally gives Ivy the courage to put away the past and embrace the truth that will her free.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Learing how to be a friend"by rosycheeks (see profile) 09/02/09

The book held my interest, it treated spousal abuse in an informative way and the emotions Ivy portrayed explained why so many victims have trouble confronting their situation. The side plot of the TV... (read more)

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