Tess Evans has written a moving novel based on relationships between mothers, fathers, children, family and friends. It is a great book to snuggle up with, a quick read that kept me wanting to pick it up any time I could. The characters in Book of Lost Threads are people you want to get to know, feel familiar with after reading the book and touch the heart. For me I felt for the characters and enjoyed being a passenger on their journeys. Book of Lost Threads centres around Moss, Finn, Lily Pargetter and her nephew Sandy, each with their own troubles to sort through and by pulling together and supporting each other they set off on their roads to self-enlightenment and contentment. This little group realise you don’t have to go through what life throws at you by yourself and by opening up a little to others the journey can be made easier and life-long friendships can develop.
Moss has left the city of Melbourne and arrived in a small Victorian town aptly named Opportunity. The name of this town is not lost to the reader and it is very fitting for Tess Evans to have called it Opportunity. Moss has two mothers who to bring about the creation of Moss employed the services of a young Finn strictly as a donor and not as a father. Finn lives in Opportunity. Moss learns of the circumstances surrounding her conception and sets about finding Finn….and so the story begins. Not only does Moss want to find her father but in doing so is perhaps unwittingly beginning her own journey of finding herself.
Finn has his own demons to deal with and doesn’t quite know how he should respond to this woman who turns up on his doorstep claiming to be his daughter. He is somewhat a recluse, keeps to himself and this is his way of dealing with a death that occurred years earlier of which he has placed blame upon himself for. Moss coming into Finn’s life opens up a lot of emotions and thoughts and in turn he opens himself up more than he has before.
What was the name of that town again? Opportunity.
Lily Pargetter is Finn’s neighbour and really the only person he is social with. Lily is 83, a widow and is not only missing her late husband but also her stillborn baby. She feels like she is missing something in her life but gives meaning to her days by knitting tea cosies for the UN. Another character searching for something and when Moss arrives in Opportunity they soon become friends, supporting and helping each other throughout their self-searching journeys, as well as keeping an eye out for Finn and offering him a caring and compassionate shoulder for him to lean on.
Sandy is Lily Pargetter’s nephew and unfortunately has his father’s past attached to him which makes him not well-liked in Opportunity. His father was not the nicest man and the stigma of being his son is sometimes too confronting for Sandy. He wants to do good for the town, wants to be perceived as someone who is loyal and kind to Opportunity’s inhabitants but because he is not accepted as the man he wishes to be some situations are rather difficult and Sandy has to look at himself and how he presents to the community, which in turn begins his self-searching journey. One endearing attribute he has is he always looks after his aunt Lily, even if sometimes she gets frustrated and angry with him.
Book of Lost Threads is a fantastic title for this story. We all start off in an imaginary ball of yarn, each of us a thread that unravels and tries to find its place in the world and when the time comes, with great friendships, we come together to produce something beautiful made from the threads. We are not hanging loose on our own, we have others around us that show us we are part of something bigger, something we don’t have to do on our own and something when done with the support of family and friends can reveal a real purpose or meaning to life.
The characters in this story work together to find themselves, to deal with past incidents and to give life to new friendships and in the end each thread, each person, comes together to make a comforting and beautiful piece of knit-work. Not sure where their places were in the world previously they discover real friendships that will last, learn things about themselves and support each other. Their friendships are ones that endured each person dealing with their own trials and tribulations and sharing those experiences, which was made easier to deal with by expressing their thoughts and feelings to those closest to them.
There are many other characters in the Book of Lost Threads that add to the tapestry of this story as a whole and the story of each of the main characters. This book touches the heart, brings about questions of life and highlights the importance and appreciation of family and friends and their support. Just like Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand I think Book of Lost Threads is best enjoyed sipping a nice warm cup of tea. It is one of those books you just want to continue reading, the characters draw you in and you feel like you are getting a personal view of their life experiences. I found it enjoyable to read, loved the characters and how their individual storylines connected so well to make this novel. It really is all you want in a great comfort read.
Thank you once again to Jess from Allen & Unwin for providing me with a copy of this book – you haven’t given me a dud yet!
To read the blurb of Book of Lost Threads click here