Dark Thread by Pauline Chandler
|Dark Thread by Pauline Chandler|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Short but sweet time-slip story that deals both with the grief at losing a parent and the terrible factory conditions during the Industrial Revolution. It's a little package but it offers a lot.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 121||Date: July 2012|
|Publisher: Five Leaves|
|External links: Author's website|
Kate is an artisan weaver, like her mother. But she is so full of grief and guilt that she can't even think about returning to her craft. Because Kate's mother died in a road accident and Kate thinks it was all her fault. And, all of a sudden, everything gets too much - the kindly-meant but oppressive sympathy - and Kate collapses. She wakes, still at the mill, but in a long-past time. Here, Kate must learn to weave the dark threads of her life into its overall picture. Until she does, she can't return home...
Dark Thread is short but beautifully formed. It's a story about coming to terms with grief and moving on. It's also about finding the things that make our lives meaningful and pursuing them with everything we have. Kate must acknowledge and put away her guilt, never forgetting it, but weaving it instead into the fabric of her life. And she must earn her passage home by making up for the childish behaviour that led to her mother's accident.
But Dark Thread is also an historical novel. When she goes back in time, Kate comes face to face with the grinding poverty and terrible working conditions that assailed life in Derbyshire in the eighteenth century. Kate skins rabbits, sorts wool, risks her precious weaver's hands as a piecer in the factory. Here, Chandler draws a vivid and accurate picture of life in early industrial Britain.
The setting Is Cromford Mills in Derbyshire, now part of the Derwent Mills World Heritage site. Chandler describes it perfectly, as she does the landscape it's set in. Dark Thread is thus not only a moving story but also of historical interest and will appeal to both individual readers and to teachers for school projects.
The Glittering Eye by LJ Adlington is another enjoyable time slip story whose central character is a grieving young woman.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.