cover image A Thread So Fine

A Thread So Fine

Susan Welch. Faodail Publishing, $16.99 trade paper (363p) ISBN 978-1-73384-850-3

Irish twins navigate late-1940s Minnesota and their turbulent relationship in debut author Welch’s genuine story of family loyalty, misfortune, and potential. Born 11 months apart, plain and traditional Shannon Malone competes with, and is often bossed around by, her younger, more beautiful, and overachieving sister, Eliza. At 18, Shannon is quarantined in the hospital with tuberculosis, where she bonds with the women of her ward over being survivors. Meanwhile, Eliza, the pride of her professor father, enters college and begins dating the young David Whitaker. After Eliza is brutally raped by David’s cousin and becomes pregnant, she is destined for the Catholic Maternity Home for unwed mothers. Putting the baby up for adoption, Eliza is determined to further her academics with encouragement from Mrs. Perkins, a prominent government administrator. Once Shannon is released from the hospital, she finds new meaning in her life when she connects with Eliza’s daughter, Miriam. Welch steadily traces the two young women’s desire to forge their own lives, often hindered by shame, silence, guilt, and the stifling confines of societal expectations. Readers will be inspired by Shannon and Eliza’s persistence and heart. (Self-published)