REVIEW: The Book of Lost Threads by Tess Evans
by Ann Skea - July 8th, 2010
Reviewed by Ann Skea (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Flynn, who leads a reclusive sort of life trying to come to terms with having killed an anonymous young woman in a traffic accident, is wary of Moss. His story unfolds alongside hers, but so, too, does that of his elderly neighbour, Mrs Pargetter, who has found a role for herself in life by knitting tea cosies for the United Nations. How she came by this occupation is a story in itself, but we learn that it is not the only thing which makes her life very different to that of other people.
In fact, there are many stories in this book and Tess Evans weaves their threads together with great skill, giving each of her loosely connected characters enough depth for us to want to know more about them. So, there is plenty of variety and plenty to enjoy.
We hear about Moss, Flynn, Mrs Pargetter and her dog, Errol, and we meet kindly and worldly-wise Benedictine monks, a puzzled police sergeant, a run-away teenager, Kosovo refugees, some unusual United Nations employees, the townsfolk of Opportunity, and many others. The great strength of this book is Evans’s ability to show realistically and sensitively the psychological complexity of her characters as she draws us into their uncertainties, their emotional ups-and-downs, the mistakes they regret and the relationships they develop with each other in unexpected situations.
Evans is a good story-teller and her gently insistence on the tolerance and the kindness of ordinary human beings is what makes this book a joy to read.
Also, there is also a large sticker on the front of the book which says that if you don’t “Love it” the publishers will give you your money back. My guess is that there won’t be many who will want to take them up on their offer.
Copyright © Ann Skea 2010
Website and Ted Hughes pages: http://ann.skea.com/
Tags: tess evans