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The Thread Collectors: A Novel de Shaunna J.…
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The Thread Collectors: A Novel (2022 original; edició 2022)

de Shaunna J. Edwards (Autor), Alyson Richman (Autor)

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275759,890 (4.5)2
"An unforgettable story of female strength, hope and friendship. This collaborative work is magnificent--a true revelation!" --Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star "A brilliant story brimming with unexpected friendships and family ties. Historically sound and beautifully stitched, The Thread Collectors will stay with you long after the last page is turned." --Sadeqa Johnson, international bestselling author of Yellow Wife   1863: In a small Creole cottage in New Orleans, an ingenious young Black woman named Stella embroiders intricate maps on repurposed cloth to help enslaved men flee and join the Union Army. Bound to a man who would kill her if he knew of her clandestine activities, Stella has to hide not only her efforts but her love for William, a Black soldier and a brilliant musician. Meanwhile, in New York City, a Jewish woman stitches a quilt for her husband, who is stationed in Louisiana with the Union Army. Between abolitionist meetings, Lily rolls bandages and crafts quilts with her sewing circle for other soldiers, too, hoping for their safe return home. But when months go by without word from her husband, Lily resolves to make the perilous journey South to search for him. As these two women risk everything for love and freedom during the brutal Civil War, their paths converge in New Orleans, where an unexpected encounter leads them to discover that even the most delicate threads have the capacity to save us. Loosely inspired by the authors' family histories, this stunning novel will stay with readers for a long time.… (més)
Membre:dropapenny
Títol:The Thread Collectors: A Novel
Autors:Shaunna J. Edwards (Autor)
Altres autors:Alyson Richman (Autor)
Informació:Graydon House (2022), Edition: Original, 400 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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The Thread Collectors: A Novel de Shaunna J. Edwards (2022)

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I was quickly drawn into this historical fiction story and was captivated to the last page. It is an emotional read as the cruelty of both the war and the life of the slaves is clearly spelled out. My heart broke at such senseless loss of lives. This is a beautifully written story that embodies family and friendship.

Set during the Civil War, the story focuses on two couples. William and Stella are slaves in a small Creole cottage outside New Orleans. Jacob and Lily Kling are a Jewish couple living in New York. William and Jacob, both musicians, join the Union Army, become friends, and bond over their music. Lily, an abolitionist, stitches quilts and packages bandages to send to the Union troops. A talented seamstress, Stella embroidered intricate maps on cloth to help enslaved men flee and join the Union Army. There are other very memorable characters that round out this amazing story.

This book is a collaboration between a Black author and a Jewish author. They bring pieces of their cultural and family histories to life and show how both Black soldiers and Jewish soldiers were marginalized in the Civil War. Edwards and Richman here give voice to these brave people.

Do not skip reading the Authors’ Notes as they address their real-life ancestors that influenced the characters in the book. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Sep 3, 2022 |
In her debut novel, The Thread Collectors, Shaunna J. Edwards, along with older pro Alyson Richman (who I have read before) together have created an engrossing saga of the civil war. I was most impressed by the authors’ extensive research. The novel is just full of real events from this era. And the characters are loosely based on the ancestors of the authors, both black and Jewish people of that time.

There are two stories that enfold. Stella, a black woman and skilled seamstress in Louisiana, has a particular needlework skill. She sews maps with repurposed thread. Stella is kept by her master, but in love with a black slave, William, who enlists in the Union army. He is a very talented musician and plays the flute for his regiment. There he meets another musician, Jacob, a white Jewish man and they bond and become fast friends. Jacob’s wife Lily is back in New York City and helps the Union cause with various projects. Jacob also has a brother in Mississippi who is a confederate. This creates another point of tension in the story.

Although the novel starts out a bit slow, the pace picks up as the men face devastating problems and the story also captures the issues Stella faces as she is pregnant and those of Lily as she searches for her husband when she stops getting his letters.

Each in their own way show resiliency to survive the harsh realities of their circumstances and use their personal strengths to overcome what they are dealt. And thanks to Stella’s mapmaking skills the story comes to a satisfying conclusion. ( )
  Micheller7 | Aug 31, 2022 |
In The Thread Collectors, the character of Jacob Kling is based on a musician who enlisted in the 31st Regiment of New York. Having left his wife, Lily, a harpist, behind in New York, Jacob is stationed at Camp Parapet near Jefferson, Louisiana, assisting the doctor who is examining the many Black men who have arrived to serve with the Louisiana Native Guards. Jacob's older brother has enlisted in the 29th Regiment of Mississippi. Samuel left New York and established a mercantile emporium in Satartia, Mississippi. Samuel was dispatched by their father to expand the family's trading business and, surprisingly, found a Jewish bride and settled there. The brothers' opposing stances create tension, especially when Lily is unable to hide her feelings during a visit. She is appalled that Samuel would join the effort to maintain slavery, but Samuel insists that he had no choice and is fighting not to protect slavery, but to hold onto the business and home he has worked hard to establish. He believes that if the Rebel forces lose, his family will be destitute. The brothers' affection for each other is never in question and both despair at the prospect that they could find themselves on opposite sides of a battlefield.

As the story opens, Stella and William are saying good-bye to each other, unsure if they will ever be reunited. William is running away from New Orleans and his master, risking his life to join the Union Army at the enlistment camp ten miles away. William and Stella love each other but are not permitted to marry or even make decisions about their own lives. They believe that once the Union Army wins the war, that will change.

There, he meets Jacob and the physician Jacob is assisting, who is astounded that William does not bear the kind of physical scars that so many other enslaved men do and his hands have no calluses. William has never performed hard labor. His musical talent was discovered when he was just six years old and he was sent to live in the main house where he was forced to play the flute to amuse and entertain his master's wife and their guests. He was required to dress in the hand-me-down suits of his master's son and perform on command, which was demeaning. Although singled out for his musical prowess, he was denied the opportunity to learn to read music because reading is forbidden . . . and a punishable offense. William can express his feelings through his music, but lacks the ability to commit his thoughts and emotions to paper.

Stella lives in a Creole cottage with her half-sister, Ammanee. Their mother, Janie, lives nearby in her own cottage on Rampart Street. Their homes are furnished with cast-off items, and their masters provide them with meager allowances to buy food. They are among the light-skinned women who enjoy elevated living conditions because they have been granted favor by the white men who control their lives. Janie was separated from Ammanee's father, the love of her life, and never saw him again, but given her "freedom papers" when Stella was fathered by her master. She is not free to leave, however. Mr. Percy permitted seven-year-old Ammanee to be her half-sister's nursemaid and promised Janie that she could select the man who would be Stella's master. Stella was "sent to market" when she was eighteen years old and it was there that she met William, playing his flute. Keeping his promise to Janie, Mr. Percy negotiated a deal with Mason Frye, William's master, for Stella. She would be provided four bolts of fabric, ten spools of threat, three cotton slips and bloomers, two cast-iron pots, a copper kettle, a wooden desk, a chair, and a mirror. And most importantly, Ammanee would also be purchased to serve as Stella's maid. The three women are fortunate to be together, but Stella is required to submit to her master's demands and whims, and when, after William escapes, she realizes she is pregnant, worries what will happen if the child's skin color is too dark to convince Frye that he is the father.

Stella is a skilled seamstress, of necessity, and after she embroiders a map to guide William, she is called upon by her neighbors to create maps for their sons and brothers who also plan to join the Union Army. She incorporates information gleaned by Ammanee from conversations she overhears while working in the nearby church. Because fabric and thread are precious commodities, quilts, purses, and petticoats must be repurposed, with thread being carefully extracted in order to be used again. Stella codes the maps in various colors signifying routes that are believed to be less fraught with danger than others.

As the war rages on, William is pressed into service, along with a young drummer boy who barely speaks, performing nightmarish tasks he could never have imagined. Teddy is just ten years old, and eventually reveals how he came to be completely alone in the world, his drum his only possession, and in a Union Army camp. William, in particular, is fond of and determined to protect him. Jacob wrote a beautiful song for Lily, "Girl of Fire," and many of the soldiers have learned it. In the evenings, along with other musicians, Jacob, William, and Teddy bring comfort to and boost the morale of the men who are fighting.

They develop a strong sense of camaraderie through their music, as well as their individual senses of being "other than." Jacob hides his background, painfully aware that many of the men he encounters have never before met a Jew and not all will accept him. William stands apart from many of the other men who have endured harsh physical conditions their entire lives. But William is no stranger to hardship and heartbreak, having watched his mother suffer.

A holiday cease-fire inspires William to enlist Jacob's assistance to make it special for young Teddy. But their trek into the nearby woods ends tragically and tests the bonds the men have formed. With no idea what is happening to William or even if he is still alive, Ammanee and Stella will do whatever is necessary in order to keep Stella's child safe. When weeks pass with no word from Jacob, Lily is overcome with worry and determined to find him. But journeying from New York into the South is extremely dangerous, especially for a woman traveling alone, and there are no registries in which the names of soldiers are logged, nor do the various military hospitals maintain records of their patients. Lily's father in unable to convince her to remain at home and wait for word about Jacob's whereabouts and condition, and she embarks on a treacherous trip to Samuel's home. She is shocked when she arrives and see what has become of Samuel and his family. She begins visiting hospitals in search of her husband. There, she witnesses and begins to appreciate the horrifying effects of war as she walks among the wounded and near-dead, hoping to find Jacob among them.

The Thread Collectors is a sprawling, engrossing story featuring compelling and fully developed characters. Authors Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman illustrate the various ways in which their Black characters enjoy better living conditions than many of their contemporaries. Yet, despite those advantages, they are not free. They are still enslaved. Even if they do not bear physical scars inflicted through mistreatment and back-breaking labor, they are emotionally scarred as a result of seeing loved ones abused and ripped away, and being confined and controlled, deprived autonomy even over their own bodies. But they are hopeful, believing that the Union Army will prevail and they will at last be free to live their lives on their own terms.

They are each, in their own ways, resilient and resourceful, resorting to drastic measures, if required, in order to survive. Jacob and Lily are earnest and endearing, but unprepared for the harsh realities of war. Edwards and Richman use the letters they write to each other not only to advance the story, but also provide insight into their feelings, especially concerning the ideological division that threatens the Kling brothers' relationship.

As the fast-paced and inventive story proceeds, Edwards and Richman cleverly pull together the various storyline threads. Lily, Stella, and Ammenee are tenacious and brave. Eventually, Lily and Stella come face to face and learn about the unlikely friendship between Jacob and William, men of quiet integrity and honor, that is convincingly depicted. Initially because of their mutual love of music, but ultimately because of the atrocities of war, Jacob and William find commonality, and mutual respect and admiration for each other.

The Thread Collectors is a tale of unbreakable bonds of family and love for those we choose to be our family members. It is also an illustrationg of the inherent strain in the mother-daughter relationship between Janie, a woman who has survived unspeakable heartbreak and views the world in a pragmatic, realistic manner, and Stella, who is initially idealistic and naive, but quickly matures when she becomes a mother who will do anything to protect her child.

The Thread Collectors is a unique and absorbing work of historical fiction about the most harrowing period in America history that is also timely and contemporary. Edwards and Richman penned the book in 2020, "as the world wrestled with growing awareness of racialized violence and inequality," in an effort to combine their creative "energy to find beauty in that darkness." They have indeed crafted a beautifully memorable story that continues to resonate long after reading the last page of the book.

Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader's Copy of the book. ( )
  JHSColloquium | Aug 29, 2022 |
This is a wonderful historical fiction story. I love this fantastic group of characters. My favorite characters were William and Teddy. I love books during the Civil War and this one was a bit different. I have never known how scarce thread was in the south during the war. I love how Stella uses the thread. This made me laugh and cry. I wanted to know how each of these characters survived once the war was over. I loved the descriptions of the aftermath of the battles even though they were tragic. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will. ( )
  Virginia51 | Aug 28, 2022 |
An eye opening novel written from two points of view and melded beautifully.
We are gifted with a read about the Civil War, not the usual read, and I really didn't know of the small Jewish population in this country and their involvement, and then then how the black soldiers, on both sides were treated.
This is a story of family, and survival, and a gift of music. So many sad happenings, and again brother against brother, but the olive branch of forgiveness resonates.
This is a book that will linger long after the last page is turned, and be sure to read about the authors in the notes at the end of this read.
I loved how the title of this book plays out in a way I didn't expect, but so beautifully!
I received this book through the Publisher Harlequin Trades, and was not required to give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | Aug 9, 2022 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Shaunna J. Edwardsautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Richman, Alysonautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Has d'iniciar sessió per poder modificar les dades del coneixement compartit.
Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
Títol normalitzat
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Títol original
Títols alternatius
Data original de publicació
Gent/Personatges
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Llocs importants
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Esdeveniments importants
Pel·lícules relacionades
Premis i honors
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Epígraf
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“If you don’t know where you’re going, you should know where you come from.”

                               —-Gullah Geechee proverb
Dedicatòria
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For my original Stella and my future Wade.
                —-Shaun’s J. Edwards
To my family, who fills me with love and stories.
                     —-Alyson Richman
Primeres paraules
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She opens the door to the Creole cottage just wide enough to ensure it is truly him.
Citacions
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Take care of the roots in order to heal the tree.
Darreres paraules
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
Nota de desambiguació
Editor de l'editorial
Creadors de notes promocionals a la coberta
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Llengua original
CDD/SMD canònics
LCC canònic

Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

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"An unforgettable story of female strength, hope and friendship. This collaborative work is magnificent--a true revelation!" --Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star "A brilliant story brimming with unexpected friendships and family ties. Historically sound and beautifully stitched, The Thread Collectors will stay with you long after the last page is turned." --Sadeqa Johnson, international bestselling author of Yellow Wife   1863: In a small Creole cottage in New Orleans, an ingenious young Black woman named Stella embroiders intricate maps on repurposed cloth to help enslaved men flee and join the Union Army. Bound to a man who would kill her if he knew of her clandestine activities, Stella has to hide not only her efforts but her love for William, a Black soldier and a brilliant musician. Meanwhile, in New York City, a Jewish woman stitches a quilt for her husband, who is stationed in Louisiana with the Union Army. Between abolitionist meetings, Lily rolls bandages and crafts quilts with her sewing circle for other soldiers, too, hoping for their safe return home. But when months go by without word from her husband, Lily resolves to make the perilous journey South to search for him. As these two women risk everything for love and freedom during the brutal Civil War, their paths converge in New Orleans, where an unexpected encounter leads them to discover that even the most delicate threads have the capacity to save us. Loosely inspired by the authors' family histories, this stunning novel will stay with readers for a long time.

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