Tracy Chevalier

A Single Thread

Summary: 
NY Times bestselling writer (author of "Girl with a Pearl Earring") has written a new novel. Set in the town of Winchester, England in 1932, it tells the story of a thirty-eight-year-old woman, Violet Speedwell. Having lost her fiance during the first world war, she is now considered a "spinster" by the current social mores. She works for an insurance company as a typist and then learns to create needlepoint designs for kneelers and cushions to be used in the grand Winchester Cathedral. Violet befriends two women who also do needlepoint, as well as an older married man in his sixties who introduces her to the art of ringing the bells at the cathedral. The narrative unfolds at a fast clip and includes a very surprising and heartfelt ending. It is a very engaging read.

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At the Edge of the Orchard

Summary: 
Once again Tracy Chevalier, New York Times bestselling author of "Girl with a Pearl Earring", has come up with a winner. In this new novel she explores the period of history covering the American frontier. Beginning in 1838 she describes the life of a family living in the swamps of northwest Ohio struggling to survive as they plant an apple orchard. The story then fast-forwards to 1853 as the youngest son of the family strikes out on his own to explore the wilds of California. There he eventually begins working for a naturalist who sells plants from the new world to be shipped back to the gardeners of England. This novel is a beautifully written tale which keeps the reader riveted with its excellent characterizations, dialogue, and descriptions of the landscape. One is naturally transported back to that time and place in a way that can be called almost magical.

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