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Synopsis

A panoramic historical novel of rare beauty set between Victorian England, Ireland, and Australia during the great age of sail

The day was dove grey, and silk. A melancholic cloth that whispered and rustled. Who could say what it foretold.

Dublin, 1840: Rhia Mahoney watches in despair as her father's linen warehouse goes up in flames. Her family is ruined. Her imagined future, full of pattern and color, plum brocades and beetle-green taffeta, crumbles to ashes. Seeking work as a governess in dismal London, Rhia's life is changed beyond all imagination when her uncle, a shipping merchant, commits suicide. Rhia cannot—will not—believe he would take his own life, but before she can investigate, she is accused of a crime she didn't commit, and forced to board a prison ship bound for New South Wales. The voyage is one of dry biscuits and endless sea, made bearable by the women's daily chore: to sew scraps of cloth into an elaborate quilt. What Rhia does not realize is that with every stitch, she binds herself closer to a journey of discovery that will not end in Australia. Weaving death, love, and adventure into a vivid tale of the world at the height of Empire, The Silver Thread is plotted like a murder mystery, but narrated with the skill and style of a literary storyteller.

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