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maipenrai
May 20, 2020

During and following WWI the United Kingdom suffered approximately 900,000 military deaths and 1,675,000 wounded. This sweet, gentle story is about a 38 year-old "surplus" woman. She has lost her fiancé and brother to the war. Her hopes of marrying and having a family are low and diminishing. She finally finds the courage to move away from her domineering mother and make an independent life for herself. She risks love and comes to understand the lesbian relationship between two women friends as not a "depravity" but simply a different way to love. Violet is brave, takes risks and from a single thread grows as a human being. Highly recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby

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FunnyPenny1
Feb 06, 2020

A well written book which is practically unreadable. There is too much detail with regard to bell ringing and embroidery. Interesting only if you’re interested in those two pursuits, and I mean very deeply interested. There is an unnecessary molester introduced randomly. A lesbian affair which just seems to be there to point out how repressive the era was and of course, the love affair which cannot be acknowledged but must result in the plucky heroine raising her child alone in the shadow of WW2. Pretty much soap opera dreck.

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INVS
Feb 01, 2020

My go to author. The back cover describes the read very well, so I won't repeat. I love the characters TC delves into, their complexities, their thoughts, backgrounds. Having spent 4 days in Winchester, the Cathedral is a high point, had I known details of kneelers & cushions I'd have paid more attention. An easy net search offers vivid photos & further historical info on Louisa Pesel.

She has covered so many issues which makes the read historically important - overbearing mothers, familial obligations & restrictions, the plight of unmarried women (a prefered life), choosing life with one of the same gender for whatever reason, struggling for financial support alone, the unwanted and wanted attention of men, the ability & freedom to live, to travel without harassment, gossip, taint to character. A perfect ending.

LoganLib_Phoebe Jan 13, 2020

Tracy Chevalier is a master of characterisation. This novel is set in England in the early 1930s. Violet Speedwell is an independent working girl but she is still beholden to her family and struggling to find her own identity. She joins a group of embroiderers or broderers who are working to create kneelers, alm bags and cushions for Winchester Cathedral. This is also where she meets Arthur, a bellringer who has a unique pull on her. I enjoyed the details of embroidery and bellringing and how Violet insisted on her own path, particularly when dealing with her family and her employer.

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annejmiller
Dec 04, 2019

Tracy Chevalier has created another historical fiction winner. Set in between the world wars in England, she creates a place and characters that have been affected by WW I and and watching what is happening happening on the continent as Hitler comes into power. A must read if you have an interest in this era, England, embroidery, and/or church bell ringing.

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ANN M SORENSON
Nov 10, 2019

This book is not worth reading.

debwalker Sep 12, 2019

Follows a World War I widow on the eve of World War II

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