One Long Thread
To produce one long thread of silk, a weaver must never allow the silkworm to fully transform or ever emerge from the cocoon into the light.
Ruby and Sally Moon are twins, cut from the same cloth but as different as night and day. While Sally is bold and adventurous, Ruby is quiet and creative. When divorce splits their family in two, and Sally moves with their mother to the Northern Territory, Ruby holds onto the thought that one day her family will be complete again.
But when tragedy strikes, wrapping Sally in a cocoon from which she might never escape, Ruby learns that love is never simple but one of the many tangled branches in her family tree.
Jeffrey writes beautifully. There’s no way around that. She has a smooth and languid style; her ability to play with all the different plot threads and bring them together is a pleasure to the reader. How is it that the life of a silkworm, fashion, divorce and religious cult all work together in Jeffrey’s pattern?
The only time I wasn’t completely immersed in Jeffrey’s world was during the love interest scenes. It wasn’t that her writing changed (aka didn’t remain absolutely beautiful) or it didn’t fit into the rhythm of the plot. It was that I couldn’t get over the initial premise (Barry was in love with Ruby’s twin sister, Sally, who was lying unconscious in a hospital bed). I had reservations that this particular thread was sufficiently seamlessly woven into the larger tapestry of the novel.
But this is a minor concern in an otherwise sublime novel! Every teenager will identify with the way Ruby feels and deals with her loneliness, isolation and awkwardness. There’s so much of that family pain that we all feel at one time or another.