The Golden Thread by Monica Carly

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The Golden Thread by Monica Carly

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A feel-good read about the life of the Hansom family over a period of forty years. A great holiday read. Monica Carly was kind enough to come and chat to us.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: January 2012
Publisher: Matador
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1780880167

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It was a sad day when Claudia Hansom retired as headmistress of Kingdown School. The staff respected her, despite the fact that she was always somewhat distant and the children did well under her charge. She was a stickler for discipline and the pupils accepted this – but once again there was no love. No, the sadness was all Claudia's, for what was she to do with the rest of her life as the ex-head teacher living alone with her cat? Her mother had died when she and her sister were teenagers and her father not long before she retired. There hadn't been any contact with her sister was forty years. She might imagine doing some writing, but the reality was that the life ahead of her was empty.

Claudia had always been the quiet, studious child, who studied hard, went to Oxford and had wanted to be a teacher for as long as she could remember. After an early relationship went badly wrong she decided that she would never take that risk again. Maria, her younger sister, was as different as possible – empty-headed, gregarious and fashion-loving, but Claudia always looked after her until the day when something came between the sisters and Claudia refused to have any more contact. What was to happen to Claudia and those people who were her family despite the fact that she would have denied it and didn't even know of the existence of many of them?

Oh, it's a lovely story and I read it in two very self-indulgent sittings one wet summer weekend. I didn't think I'd like Claudia at first but as we worked away at that tough skin she'd grown and revealed the person underneath I warmed to her. What I loved about her character was that even when her life changed completely she still had the tendency to push people away if she felt that they were getting too close. It's elegant writing by Monica Carly. I'm not going to say too much about the other characters because I don't really want to tell you who they are! There's an intricate web of relationships and Carly handles them well.

The plot too is rather more complex than I was expecting. It's a light, feel-good read but with some twists in the plot which I certainly wasn't expecting. You get a sense of real involvement in the Hansom family and their loves, tragedies and even deceits. I'd like to thank Monica Carly for a very enjoyable read.

Here at Bookbag we've had the pleasure of reviewing Monica Carly's debut novel, Fraser's Line and we commented then on a tale well-told without wasted words but with confident writing. It's good to see that Carly's built on her success with Fraser's Line and we're looking forward to seeing more from her.

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Buy The Golden Thread by Monica Carly at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Golden Thread by Monica Carly at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Golden Thread by Monica Carly at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Golden Thread by Monica Carly at

Bookinterviews.jpg Monica Carly was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.


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