Christmas Comforts: Anne O’Brien

As the month comes to an end, so too does our Christmas Comforts blog series. Thank you so much for reading along! Our final recommendation comes from Anne O’Brien (The Queen’s Rival) and it is a corker. Perfect for dark January nights, in fact!


Anne O’Brien recommends…

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalie. If winter with its dark days and long nights encourages you to take out your stitching and embroidery, then you will enjoy this marvellous story by Tracy Chevalier.

It is utterly compelling as it unwraps the difficulties for many women faced with no employment and loss of their men-folk in the decade after the First World War. Violet, bereaved and suffering a dominant mother, sees no hope of achieving either a future or a husband. And yet all hope is not lost and Violet, with surprising resilience, escapes the restrictions on her life in a most unexpected direction.

What’s it about?

The stitching of new kneelers for the Cathedral by the skilled women of Winchester becomes the backdrop for this tale of loss and heartbreak, of love and redemption, and of ultimate fulfilment. It is told with detail that draws the reader into the world of the women who stitch, as well as giving an appealing glimpse of the characters of these women who are ambitious to leave their mark on the history of Winchester in the only way open to them.

I read this book during lockdown. Of all the books I read, it gave me hope, and immense pleasure.


This might be our last installment in the Christmas Comforts blog series, but you can read all of our previous posts in this series right here!

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