Title: The Thread: A Novel by Victoria Hislop
Headline Review (2011), Hardcover, 400 pages
Genre: historical fiction
Objective rating: 4.5/5
Book description: Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city, where Christians, Jews and Moslems live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will change for ever this city, as war, fear and persecution begin to divide its people. Five years later, young Katerina escapes to Greece when her home in Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish army. Losing her mother in the chaos, she finds herself on a boat to an unknown destination. From that day the lives of Dimitri and Katerina become entwined, with each other and with the story of the city itself.
Thessaloniki, 2007. A young Anglo-Greek hears the life story of his grandparents for the first time and realises he has a decision to make. For many decades, they have looked after the memories and treasures of people who have been forcibly driven from their beloved city. Should he become their new custodian? Should he stay or should he go? ((publisher)
My comments: I valued this novel both for the excellent story telling and the historical research on the city of Thessaloniki, Greece during fire, war, and earthquake. We follow the life of Katerina, from her forced evacuation from her home in Asia Minor to a chance landing in Thessaloniki, where she and her "adoptive" mother are helped to find a new home, and where Katherina becomes a successful seamstress. The story continues with their lives before and during WWII, their friendship with other families, and the invasion of the city by German troops. Katerina becomes closer to her childhood friend Dimitri, whose life is only saved during the war when he joins the resistance and fights in the mountains away from Thessaloniki. Their stories are deeply entwined with the story of the city and of Greece during and after this period.
This book was printed in hardcover and as an ebook on October 27, 2011 by the Headline Publishing Company in London. It will be available in paperback in July 2012.
A complimentary copy of this book was sent to me for possible review.
© Harvee Lau of Book Dilettante. Please do not reprint without permission.