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The Thread Collectors

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Member Reviews

The Thread Collectors is an immersive and compelling read. This was a great historical fiction book that explores the perils of the Civil War through two underrepresented groups.

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This is one of those stories that makes you travel in time and discover characters and events. History is not only king/battles/etc but also women like those in this book.
It's a well researched and riveting story that kept me reading. I liked the voices of the characters and found the plot fascinating.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Four stories you haven't read before set during the Civil War. William and Jacob meet and bond over their music while serving in the Union Army but they are vastly different. William escaped from slavery in New Orleans with the help of his wife Stella, a freed woman who might be pregnant by his enslaver. Jacob, a Jew from New York, is married to Lily, an ardent abolitionist and suffragette. Both women do needlework but for different purposes. Stella embroiders maps to show those fleeing the way North while Lily makes quilts for the Union soldiers. The perspective rotates between all four but the most compelling story is that of Stella, whose struggle to survive in New Orleans and love for William comes through strongly. Lily and Stella cross paths when Lily heads south to find Jacob- she's got an amazing conviction that she will do so. This is dark in spots and emotional in others but no spoilers from me. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. Well done historical fiction that would make a good book club pick.

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The Thread Collectors by Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman was a distinctive, beautifully written historical fiction story with dual POV’s, both informative and engrossing. Definitely a must-read. Highly recommend!

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This was a well written book. Two different women living through the Civil war and the men they both love. This book was kinda sad in parts and I have no doubt that’s exactly how things were during the war. It’s also a story of hope and new beginnings.
It’s a really good story that any historical fiction fans will enjoy. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy

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I don't read a lot of Civil War era books, but this one seemed unique and caught my eye. However, I didn't engage with it as much as I'd hoped. The writing is very detailed, and the characters are well crafted. There was a lot of backstory woven in, which did seem to stall the pace at times, I thought stitching the maps to help others was interesting, and I expected more with the "thread collector" angle, based on the summary and title, but sadly, that wasn't the case. I loved the incorporation of music. The authors did show the war's devastation on the US, as well as the unjust treatment, but this missed the mark a bit for me overall.

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This evocative piece of historical fiction set during the Civil War centers around two women and the men they love. One, the slave Stella who lives in New Orleans and is kept in a Creole cottage on Rampart St by her master Frye. Her true love is William who escapes to Camp Parapet to join the Union army, aided by a map that Stella stitches on a piece of fabric.

The other main character is a young Jewish woman named Lily who lives in NYC and is a staunch abolitionist. Her group of volunteers are busy sewing quilts and rolling fabric bandages to send to the Union soldiers. Her husband, Private Jacob Kling, also happens to be stationed at the camp in Louisiana and meets William as he joins their company. Both men are musicians and Jacob makes sure that William is given the opportunity to play his flute with the other musicians. The two become friends of sorts, joined by a 10-year-old boy who plays the drum. When Christmas comes and goes and Lily doesn't hear from Jacob for several weeks, she becomes determined to go south to find him.

This story is cowritten by Shaunna Edwards and Alyson Richman and they say it is loosely inspired by their own backgrounds and their friendship. The characterizations are rich and the story very dramatic. Racism against both Jews and blacks is examined. It is always interesting to learn more details about what the people went through during the Civil War. But the driving force of the novel is love and determination, bravery and the courage to carry on in the face of the horrors of war.

I received an arc of this novel from the authors and publisher via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.

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This was a great historical fiction book that explores the perils of the Civil War through two underrepresented groups. More specifically, it’s through the lens of a Black couple living in New Orleans and a Jewish couple living in NYC and alternates between all four perspectives. At the start of war, both men meet at a Union Army camp in Louisiana and form a friendship over their talent and love of music. While performing for the army, the women are each helping out with the war effort at home and risk everything for love and freedom.

I learned alot while reading this and a hard time putting this one down. The authors, who are lifelong best friends, did a great job weaving the storylines, which are each inspired by their own backgrounds. I loved how it emphasized themes of friendship and family and think it is a thought-provoking and compelling read perfect for fans of this genre and book clubs!

Read if you like:
-HF set during the Civil War
-Black and Jewish representation
-Own voices stories
-The power of music and the connection it can form
-Unlikely friendships
-The Yellow Wife

Thank you HTP for this ARC! Out 8/30

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An eye opening novel written from two points of view and melded beautifully.
We are gifted with a read about the Civil War, not the usual read, and I really didn't know of the small Jewish population in this country and their involvement, and then then how the black soldiers, on both sides were treated.
This is a story of family, and survival, and a gift of music. So many sad happenings, and again brother against brother, but the olive branch of forgiveness resonates.
This is a book that will linger long after the last page is turned, and be sure to read about the authors in the notes at the end of this read.
I loved how the title of this book plays out in a way I didn't expect, but so beautifully!
I received this book through the Publisher Harlequin Trades, and was not required to give a positive review.

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What a beautiful, sometimes gritty, historical fiction novel about four people during the Civil War. We follow Stella and her true love William who are slaves in the process of being freed. He enlists in the army and meets Jacob who is married to Lily. I learned so much about how hard life even for black people who becoming free and the atrocities that were committed against them, The book doesn’t spare some of the gory details of war as the me journey across the South, but shows the details from the perspective of the two men. Lily is abolitionist and has her own journeys both personal and physical. I love the way thread was interwoven throughout the story (pun intended) and served to illustrate the strength of women, especially black women, of the time. Again, this is a beautiful book that will stick with me for a long time.

5/5 stars

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for the eARC of this book.

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A beautifully woven story about unlikely friendships formed during challenging times and dangerous places.

I recommend this book to any historical fiction fan.

I did receive an ARC from netgalley for my honest review.

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This is a heartfelt Civil War story told by two authors about two women: their love, their tenacity and hardships endured.

In New Orleans, Stella is bound to a man who keeps her for his own pleasure. Yet Stella yearns for a Black man intent on escaping bondage to that very man, so he can fight for the Union and freedom. William is a gifted musician while Stella is a gifted embroiderer. Using her skills, she learns from her master possible troop placements so her embroidered map may guide William (and others) to his objective.

Meanwhile, in NYC, Lily, a Jewish woman, has taken up the abolitionist cause as her husband enlists in the Union Army. He too is a gifted musician and songwriter. Jacob’s journey takes him to Louisiana where he encounters unspeakable horrors of war and the enslaved. When Lily fails to hear from him for several weeks, she is compelled to journey southward through the war-torn carnage to find him.

Obviously, Lily and Jacob, and Stella and William will encounter each other under circumstances none could have foreseen.

The authors of this book have been friends and steeped in their own cultures, Black and Jewish, with a constant respect for each other and what their own backgrounds bring. The only thing better than reading this book would be to see the two authors touring/ on Zoom together. That would be great for the publisher to arrange for fans! Recommended. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this title.

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy. I enjoyed this historical novel very much. In my experience, a lot of historical fiction can seem very repetitive. (How many WWII novels do we need???) This book was not like that. It told a Civil War story from a fresh perspective and I learned a lot of details that I wasn't previously aware of prior to starting this book. I would definitely read anything this duo writes in the future.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing( Graydon House) for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

How much did I love this historical fiction set during the American Civil War?? No, fellow readers I ADORED IT! This doesn't surprise me really. Sometimes when I am requesting to read an ARC on the platform, I know instantly that it is a MUST READ and I will cry a RIVER OF TEARS, if I do not get it!

Authors Shaunna J Edwards and Alyson Richman have written an absolutely delicious historical fiction which offers underrepresented voices from the American Civil. That of, a Stella, a slave whose beloved William has escaped slavery and enlisted with the Union Army. William befriends Jacob, a Jewish musician and together they bond over music. Then there is Lily, the wife of Jacob, a passionate abolitionist who is waiting in New York for her husband to return. We follow all four of these characters while also encountering so many memorable other characters.

Honestly, I just couldn't put this beautiful book down. In their author's note, it is explained that the authors as longtime friends who are African-American( Edwards) and Jewish( Richman), they wanted to write a historical novel giving voices to women and men from those groups in the Civil War period. Something which I feel that they have done quite beautifully. Adding the sewing and cloth aspect and threading that into their narrative made the story even more heartbreakingly memorable.

Personally, this novel is one of my favorites of 2022

Goodreads review published 26/07/22
Expected Publication Date 30/08/22

#TheThreadCollectors #NetGalley.

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The Thread Collectors is an immersive and compelling novel set during the Civil War, told from several unique and underrepresented points of view. We view the war through they eyes of four main characters: Stella, a slave, whose love has escaped the bonds of slavery to enlist with the Union army; William, who befriends Jacob, a white man who also happens to be Jewish—musicians who bond over the music that they create; and Lily, Jacob’s wife, an abolitionist and outspoken young woman, who waits bravely for Jacob to return. All of their lives are changed forever by the war, and all of them have been shaped by loss, bigotry, and cruelty that preceded the war. The writing is lyrical and emotional, and it is also honest, raw, and heartrending. I thank these authors for bringing these stories to life, shedding light on a horrific time in our history. I also thank them for the humanity of this book, for giving us characters that are talented and intelligent, who use their gifts to save themselves and to help others. There is a lot of historical fiction on bookshelves everywhere, but I think the Civil War is a time in history that is woefully ignored; I thank these two writers for filling that void with this stunning novel. This brilliant collaboration between two gifted writers, who brought their own family history into the creation of this book, makes me wish for much more from the two of them.

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“The Thread Collectors” is a US Civil War historical fiction book by authors Shaun J. Edwards and Alyson Richman. This book was in so many ways very up my reading alley. Civil War - check. Abolitionist views - check. More truths about the “free states” treatment of Blacks - check. Civil War regiments - check. Toss in family ties to the author(s) and I’m sold. I loved that this book told the story highlighting a southern formed Union regiment that included Blacks along with “women’s work” helping the war beyond just sending supplies or focusing on Clara Barton. I enjoyed the friendship between the two main male characters and how they did regard each other as brothers. I liked Stella’s participation in creating “safety maps” for runaway slaves. I even liked the inclusion of Jacob’s family being torn apart by the war - where Jacob fought for the North and his brother for the South. I liked the Authors’s Note in the back - explaining how the idea started, how they decided to write together, and their resources. However, I didn’t really care about a lot of the backstory that the authors included for the characters - yes, it fleshed them out a bit more, but a paragraph or two would’ve sufficed for me - not pages detailing in flash back when it didn’t really matter to the story. I found one part of the book both believable and also unbelievable (if that makes any sense) and it annoyed me a little bit. Overall, I liked the writing style and the storyline was enjoyable.

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Shaunna J. Edwards and Alyson Richman have produced an interweaving of characters, plot and belief systems amid the background of the American Civil War. The authors have faithfully utilized the real-life Louisiana Native Guards Black troops in a little-known story that precludes the 54th Massachusetts Regiment of Glory fame..

Tied to this backdrop is the cruel practice of quadroon and octoroon young women forced into "the market" to become the mistresses of wealthy Southern landowners looking for extra-marital relationships.. One such woman, Stella, along with her immediate family and her love for an ex-slave army musician, forms the ongoing plot. It will be her talents with a needle and thread that will aid her William in rescuing his fellow musician and Jewish friend, Jacob Kling, just as Jacob's wife from the North faces the hazards of searching for her husband in the war-torn South.

This book offers the reader points to consider on how even the smallest of acts during war can have monumental consequences. A sequel to The Thread Collectors would prove a fascinating look at these characters in a post-war American landscape.

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The Thread Collectors is brilliant, a must read book. The authors portrayed civil war conditions in a way that you can feel the grit and smell the odors. They also showcased how creative women have had to be over the years. 5 stars. Excellent book.

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WOW! I am literally blown away after reading “The Thread Collectors” by Shaun J. Edwards, and Alyson Richman, authors. This is one of the most memorable and thought-provoking novels that has evoked so many different emotions in me. The genres for this book are Historical Fiction, Fiction, Black and African American Historical Fiction, and Jewish Literature and Fiction. The timeline for this story is set during the Civil War. The authors describe their colorful and dramatic characters as complex and complicated. During this horrific war, we see betrayals, discrimination, destruction, and inequality. During this time, many families were divided by the North and South, and the authors discuss the importance of family, neighbors, friendship, courage, freedom, peace, and hope.

Both authors seamlessly weave this tale and masterpiece about the tragedies of the Civil War. Alyson Richman brings her love of art, music, and literature to this novel, where we can see the significance of emotional reactions and feelings, and as a means of communication.

In New Orleans, Stella, a young black woman embroiders different colors of thread that act as a map for the enslaved black men who want to head to the North to join the Union Army. We discover the limitations of her relatives and friends, as they relate to their masters.

In New York, Lily, a Jewish woman makes tapestries and quilts for her husband and other Northern men at war. Lily and her friends also tear material to make bandages for the wounded men. Lily’s husband, Jacob is very talented and musically inclined. Jacob fights for the North and his successful brother sells cotton and fights for the South.

In “The Thread Collectors” the authors write about the devastation of the war on both the North and South. It is so heartbreaking to read how the Northern Army treated the black men that had joined and were willing to fight for freedom.

When Lily hasn’t heard from Jacob for a while, she is determined to travel to the south to find out what has happened to him. The dangerous journey will have Lily and Stella cross paths. This is a significant read, and I highly recommend this fantastic, memorable, and thought-provoking novel to other readers. I suggest having tissues on hand.

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This was a good story about two men fighting in the Civil War - one black and one white. It is also about their wives who both use their sewing skills to help the men fighting in the war. P

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