Review: A Slender Thread by Katharine Davis
Author: Katharine Davis
Genre/Pages: Fiction/ 352
Publisher: NAL Trade; August 3, 2010
Rating: 3 Bookmarks
Nat’s One-Sentence Synopsis: A well-written novel that examines the impact that an illness has on a family.
With a single phone call or the results of a battery of medical testing, life can change in a moment. But a grim diagnosis is just the pebble dropping into the lake; author Katharine Davis examines the effects of the dropped pebble’s ripples.
50-year-old Lacey George’s diagnosis of aphasia, a rare and progressive disease that will rob her of speech, communication, and eventually her life, is not the crux of this novel. Instead, Davis uses the disease as a springboard to create a study of how a devastating illness changes the dynamic of a family.
Lacey’s husband, Alex, who has known Lacey and her younger sister, Margot, since their childhood days at Bow Lake, is set adrift by his wife’s diagnosis. Lacey has always been his anchor, mooring him to her and to their twin daughters with her strength and love of life. He throws himself into his work and tries to seek refuge in his past.
Margot can’t fathom a world without her older sister, but her well-intentioned efforts to help create tension in her sister’s family and resentment from her artist boyfriend.
I didn’t love all of the characters in the novel–Margot’s boyfriend aggravated me with his selfish and petulant ways–and a sub-plot between Margot and Alex seemed a bit contrived, I did connect with Lacey and Margot. Their speech, actions, and growth in the novel felt authentic, and I well know the bond that sisters can share.
I enjoyed reading A Slender Thread but it challenged me on a personal level, hitting very close to home. This novel isn’t necessarily a light, summery read, but it has a message of hope and left me feeling that every family faces challenges, but the human spirit endures.