Book Review: One Long Thread by Belinda Jeffrey

2789I had moths in my chest. A thousand of them drumming with their insistent wings, thumping inside my heart. It was like the feeling of something struggling to get out, to fly free… Love is like that.

When divorce rips Ruby Moon’s family apart and tragedy traps her twin, Sally, in a cocoon from which she might never escape, Ruby learns that love is never simple.

One Long Thread is aptly named. The plot moves much like a line of stitching, looping scenes that played with time until the whole eventually tightens and straightens out. There are no sharp edges, no linear characters, only this slow looping action that curves forward until it is the start again.

Jeffrey writes beautifully. There’s no way around that. She has a smooth and languid style; her ability to play with all these different threads and bring them together is a pleasure to the reader. How is it that the life of a silkworm, fashion, divorce and religious cult all work together in Jeffrey’s pattern?

The only time I wasn’t completely immersed in Jeffrey’s world was during the love interest scenes. It wasn’t that her writing changed (aka didn’t remain absolutely beautiful) or it didn’t fit into the rhythm of the plot. It was that I couldn’t get over the initial premise (Barry was in love with Ruby’s twin sister, Sally, who was lying unconscious in a hospital bed). I had reservations that this particular thread was sufficiently seamlessly woven into the larger tapestry of the novel.

But this is a minor concern in an otherwise sublime novel! Every teenager will identify with the way Ruby feels and deals with her loneliness, isolation and awkwardness. There’s so much of that family pain that we all feel at one time or another.
I would put the novel at a 15+ age group, less because of the content and more because of the fluidity of the plot and the sophistication with which emotions are dealt with by the author.




  1. narmstrong says:

    I did not know that! I’ll have to go find a copy of Brown Skin Blue. Thanks for letting me know.

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