Book Review: Threads of the Heart, by Carole Martinez

This review originally ran in the Tuesday, January 8th issue of Shelf Awareness for Readers. If you don't already subscribe, sign up here to receive a bi-weekly dose of readerly goodness in your inbox.

Frasquita has been given a gift that has passed down through the women in her family for generations. The gift comes in a small box that must be kept closed for nine months before revealing its treasure; when Frasquita opens it, she finds a sewing kit with threads of the most marvelous colors. For the rest of her life, she possesses unparalleled skill with the needle, creating for herself a wedding dress that draws beauty from the world, stitching a man back to his lost shadow, even sewing together her husband's rooster after it loses a cock fight. Frasquita's gift quickly becomes a curse, however, as her friends and neighbors brand her a sorceress and her husband descends into madness. And so she flees her small town, taking her five children, her sewing kit and her hopes of sparing her daughters her own horrible fate.

Carole Martinez's Threads of the Heart, a bestseller in Europe, tells Frasquita's story from the eyes of a daughter attempting to lay her mother's memory to rest. Martinez gives readers a whimsical, heartbreaking story of love and spells and beauty in which magic and reality are woven so tightly together that the two become inextricable. The result is a novel at once mythical in its scope and haunting in its realism, sure to be remembered long past the turn of the last page.

Threads of the Heart | Carole Martinez, trans. Howard Curtis | Europa Editions | December 2012 | Trade Paperback | 400 pages | Buy from an independent near you

1 comment

  1. This sounds great! I am definitely going to add this to my list.


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