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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

One Long Thread by Belinda Jeffrey

Title: One Long Thread
Author: Belinda Jeffrey
First Published: 2012 by University of Queensland Press 

Ruby's life was torn in two when she was 13, her mum and twin sister moved to Darwin to be part of The Aberdeen, a new church with very strict rules, while she and her father stay in Melbourne. Now, at 17 life seems to be going well for Ruby she's about to finish high school, she likes her friends and she has a great job is the local fabric shop. Then tragedy strikes and is at risk of losing what seems like her whole family. 

Quick Review
A solid novel about first love, family and vocation. One Long Thread is well written and has well developed, unique characters. the description and setting was vivid, leaving us with an interesting and textured novel. If you like Sue Lawson, and even most fans of Melina Marchetta should enjoy this novel. 

"No one is responsible for our happiness or lack there of. No one except us." 

“I began to understand what bound Pearl to their simple mystery because i felt the same connection. in front of us, all around us, was the energy of life and growth. beauty was only a month away and it depended, in part, in what i could do.” 

Ramble Review 
The thing that made this novel was the characters. I really liked Ruby, or Button as her family call her (you have to read the book to find out why. hehehehe). there was nothing stand out spectacular about her she was just solid, sensible and well, likable. Her twin sister Sally, who we really only meet through Ruby's memories, also came across as a lively character, though we don't get to see her much. Her mother was painted as a terrible character, but slowly. as the novel was written in first person you could hear words of love, compassion and shared memory as well as the bitter, hurt and disgusted ones. It's her actions towards the end of the novel that really show, unfortunately, her true colours. the best character was Pearl, Ruby's grandmother. She was so lively, she shone with originality. while at times it seemed a few characters had cliche characteristics, Pearl never bought into the stereotype of 'crazy grandma'. I Dare you not to love her. While this novel is about the relationships between Ruby and her female family members, sister, mother and grandma, the male characters in this novel are so lovable. Ruby's father, Brett Moon, is the ultimate pacifist going to have no opinion to save himself conflict. He shows himself to be an Amazing father and funny character in himself-and i loved that he got his happy ending too! The other male of note is Mr Grandy the middle-aged man who runs the fabric shop. He is just so sweet, and his relationship with Ruby is almost grandfather like. they have the best jokes and he gives her the advice she could take from no one else.

The plot was pretty typical, not bad, but no surprises. the use of cult like religious groups was well done, but always results in drama, but it does work well. i did feel that i didn't quite connect with the 'dramatic events' in the middle as much as i wanted too. it didn't quite feel real enough, especially compared to the fantastic beginning and end. The other major fault was that the author abused the use of first person. In parts, mainly the middle scenes in Darwin once again, a little more 'show not tell' would have really added to the book. the words 'i felt' were a little too common.

The other thing i LOVED was the use of fashion and the silk worms, which fitted together nicely. Not only did silk worms and fashion fit with each other, but with the story. it was really what took the novel from average story to lovely. There were some really special scenes and simile and metaphors using these to themes which tied the novel together. it added to the texture, if you'll pardon my fashion pun.

Over all a really book, it was definitely a book which somehow left me smiling.
Also, don't you just love the cover?

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