Review: A Slender Thread by Katharine Davis

Title: A Slender Thread

Author: Katharine Davis

Genre/Pages: Fiction/ 352

Publisher: NAL Trade; August 3, 2010

Rating: 3 Bookmarks

Source: Publisher

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.

9 Comments

  • At 2010.08.03 11:14, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

    It sounds like the book affected you even though you didn’t love it. I look forward to reading this one.

    • At 2010.08.03 12:27, Dishy said:

      Too grim for me, but sounds like a right-on-the-money read for you. Glad to hear it was more pleasure than pain. Excellent review.
      .-= Dishy´s last blog ..Big Foot That You =-.

      • At 2010.08.03 15:46, Meg said:

        Oh, boy — I don’t know if I could make it through this one. I’m glad you were able to take a positive message away from it, though, and that it was a worthwhile read.
        .-= Meg´s last blog ..Postcards from far away =-.

        • At 2010.08.03 17:04, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

          it was a good read–just a bit hard for me at the mo’. i can’t imagine a disease like aphasia, especially for a blabber mouth like me!!

        • At 2010.08.04 22:30, Natalie @ Coffee and a Book Chick said:

          Sometimes it’s so hard for me to read books on such tough subjects — I think I’d be interested to read this one, however, because I’m intrigued on seeing how the family develops through the progression of the sadness spurned on by the disease. It’s one of the books that sounds like something you could see on film, too!
          .-= Natalie @ Coffee and a Book Chick´s last blog ..Dracula- the Un-Dead- by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt =-.

          • At 2010.08.05 11:59, S. Krishna said:

            Sounds like a book that’s worth reading, but is difficult. I’ll keep it in mind, thanks for the review!
            .-= S. Krishna´s last blog ..Book Review- A God Somewhere – John Arcudi &amp Peter Snejbjerg =-.

            • At 2010.08.05 19:41, Jenners said:

              I imagine that if you had similar issues going on in your life, this book might cut a little too close to the bone.
              .-= Jenners´s last blog ..Review- unfinished business by Lee Kravitz =-.

              • At 2010.08.11 09:19, Care said:

                My husband is always talking about ripple effects and how a little thing (or big – this sounds like a big one) can have connecting results we may never see or know about.
                .-= Care´s last blog ..Fingersmith =-.

                • At 2010.08.15 15:43, Jennifer said:

                  Well, for me, a book that can affect you is definitely a book worth reading. I’ll add this to my list.
                  .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Review- Damsel Under Stress =-.

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