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The Thread: A Novel Paperback – July 10, 2012

152 customer reviews

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The Thread: A Novel + The Island + The Return: A Novel
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Editorial Reviews


“Hislop is a clever storyteller. . . 20th-century Greece and her citizens are brought vividly to life. Striking an excellent balance between historicity and impassioned drama, Hislop’s newest should not be missed.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Hislop’s vivid storytelling makes a fascinating, turbulent place and time spring to life.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“Combining a keen eye for detail with her usual fluid writing style, Hislop presents an engrossing excursion to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest metropolis. . . . This fast–moving, touching saga about tragedy, recovery, and the real meaning of family is full of dramatic incidents demonstrating their city’s transformation and resilience.” (Booklist)

“A brilliant page turner and destined to become a reading group staple, THE THREAD is rich with drama and historical detail.” (Glamour (UK))

“Hislop writes in rich, vivid detail about the city by the sea, bringing its diverse population to life. . . . Sweeping in scope yet intimate in detail, THE THREAD is a love letter to Greece and a testament to the courage and adaptability of its people.” (Shelf Awareness)

From the Back Cover

From the internationally acclaimed author of The Island and The Return comes a sweeping and unforgettable story of love and friendship and the choices that must be made when loyalties are challenged.

Thessaloniki, Greece, 1917: As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city where Christians, Jews, and Muslims live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will forever change this place and its people. Five years later, as the Turkish army pushes west through Asia Minor, young Katerina loses her mother in the crowd of refugees clambering for boats to Greece. Landing in Thessaloniki's harbor, she is at the mercy of strangers in an unknown city. For the next eighty years, the lives of Dimitri and Katerina will be entwined with each other and—through Nazi occupation, civil war, persecution, and economic collapse—with the story of their homeland.

Thessaloniki, Greece, 2007: A young Anglo-Greek hears his grandparents' remarkable story for the first time and understands he has a decision to make. For decades, Dimitri and Katerina have looked after the treasures of those who have been forced from their beloved city. Should he stay and become their new custodian?

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062135589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062135582
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Victoria Hislop is the international bestselling author of The Island and The Return. In the United Kingdom, she writes travel features for The Sunday Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, House & Garden, and Woman & Home. The Island sold over a million copies in the UK and has been translated into 24 languages. Victoria's second novel, The Return, has been published in more than a dozen languages. She lives in Kent, with her husband Ian and their two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Theodoros Natsinas on August 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I live in Thessaloniki and I love it as much as Dimitri and Katerina in the book. I find life here tremendously satisfying and enjoyable while the pace of daily life, the city's history and its changing character provide continuous fascination. Because of this, my view of the book is tainted. I find some parts very moving, while others are very irritating. However, what is disturbing or pleasurable to me might be totally indifferent to others.

Objectively, the book is uneven, and in some aspects, mediocre. Hislop did carry out very good research, but mistakes have crept in (just one tiny but infuriating example: after a night out, some characters go to eat «mayeiritsa» - that is a dish with heavy religious connotations, served almost exclusively after the Easter Saturday midnight service; it is not a «let's go out to have fun» dish, served on any day). Also, as UWSider writes in his review, most of the characters do not come alive and the writing is poor. The breadth of the events in the narrative requires a much longer book. Restricting it to 400 pages meant that the description of several episodes and the characters` reactions are truncated or glossed over.

The main drawback though, for me, was that I didn't get why the two main characters felt so strongly about the city. Wars, foreign occupation, civil unrest, natural disasters, changing demographics, etc are common features for many (if not most) European cities. Think Warsaw, Dresden, Paris, London, etc, etc. Is Thessaloniki used just as an example of an «abstract» European city? Do all urban dwellers feel the same about the cities they live?
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Penny on April 30, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I have been suffering from breast cancer and am unable to enjoy many of my usual hobbies, so I have been reading even more than usual. With that in mind, my friend Jill gave me The Thread by Victoria Hislop. She had really enjoyed it and so passed it on. I had never read any books by Hislop, but I had heard of her. She is an English author who was born in London, England in 1959 but was raised in Tonbridge, Kent, and attended Tonbridge Grammar School before she read English at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford University, Oxford, England. It was while at University in Oxford that she met her husband, the comedian and journalist Ian Hislop. He read English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford. They married in Oxford on 16 April 1988 and now live in Sissinghurst with their two children.

The Thread is set in Thessaloniki, Greece and follows the slow-burning romance between Katerina and Dimitri, the former a poor refugee from Asia Minor, the latter the son of a wealthy textile merchant. While Katerina supports her family as an expert seamstress, Dimitri angers his father by siding with the resistance against the occupying German forces in World War II, as the city, once devastated by fire, is torn apart by the Nazi persecution of its thriving Jewish community.

Their young grandson hears their life story for the first time when the book begins in 2007. He realises he has a decision to make. For many decades, they have looked after the memories and treasures of the people who were forced to leave. He must decide whether to become their next custodian and make this city his home. So, the reader knows the outcome of the relationship for the two main characters, Katerina and Dimitri, before being taken back to the beginning of their lives.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Blodeuedd on October 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book opens in the modern era, and ends there, but the rest is all 1917 and forward. A young man is being told the story of his grandparents a and why they do not want to leave the city. Making this a mix of historical fiction and modern fiction.

It was a good story about the Katerina and Dimitri, but it was just as much a story about Greek modern history and especially then Thessaloniki history. Because they see so much since they live through it. Honestly I can't even begin with all the twists and turns, war, politics and civil wars, it's always there in the background as life goes on, as life always does.

If I first look at all of this because it has such a big impact on things. First they fight with Turkey which brings young Katerina to Greece from Smyrna, and all the Muslims have to leave Greece. Tragedy from the beginning. Then there is of course WWII which brings Greece into another turmoil and lots of fighting, and the chapters I found the hardest. The Germans come and then they send away the Jews to Poland. And they think everything will be ok while I scream do not go. But of course they go. I will never understand the cruelty of humans, and why some just stand by. But all these things brings such a reality and impact to this story.

The story of Katerina and Dimitri is one that is long in the making. We know they will end up together but the road there is long because of war and its impact on both of them. And Dimitri is rich, but with a troubled family life. Katerina is poor, but with a loving family. But something brings them together, I will let something be a secret. I do like both of them, and their friends and family.
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