Threads: A Depression Era Tale

Written by Charlotte Whitney
Review by Susie Pruett

This story is about three sisters who live with their parents on a farm in Michigan. It is 1934, the heart of the Great Depression, and life is hard. Nellie, the youngest, is full of imagination and make-believe. One day, as she is digging for pirate treasure, which she believes will help her parents pay the mortgage and taxes, she uncovers the tiny hand of a baby. After Nellie excitedly tells the family about her macabre discovery, their mother warns the girls there will be no “dead baby” talk now or ever. This prohibition will lead to unforeseen consequences.

The sisters hear about a strange man suspected of kidnapping and murdering two young girls. While playing in an old house on their property, Irene, the middle sister, and Nellie are attacked by the strange man. Flora, the eldest, deals with young love through both rejection and success. Friends, teachers, the strange man, and the mystery of the dead baby are the threads that wind through this story, told through the point of view of each girl. In an epilogue, twenty years later, each sister describes her current life.

I enjoyed this book. There is enough mystery and romance to keep the adult reader interested. The writing is simple, and I think this book would appeal to young readers as well.