8 March 2013

Review: Threads of Hope by Christa Allen

Nina O'Malley is a journalist with Trend magazine in Houston, Texas. She is the owner of one small dog, Manny, the daughter of the critical, controlling and possibly neurotic Shelia, and the employee of Elise, owner of the magazine, who doesn’t think she has the capability to be promoted to lead the New York office. Greg Hernandez and his wife adopted an AIDS baby from Ethiopia, Jazarah. Lily was killed in a car accident, so Greg has moved back to Houston to be closer to his sister, Elise.

In an effort to prove herself to Elise, Nina decides to write a series of articles about the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest piece of community folk art in the world, weighing over 54 tonnes. In the process, she meets the relatives of several people who have died of an HIV-related condition, as well as meeting Jazarah. But then Nina has to decide what is more important: her career, or Greg.

The beginning of Threads of Hope was a bit uncertain, in that it seemed as though something was missing. And the end skipped forward in time, leaving a significant chunk of the plot in the gap between two chapters. There were also editing errors, such odd changes between past and present tense, as a disconcerting switch from third to first person (which made me wonder if the novel wasn’t originally written entirely in first person, then changed to third person to include scenes from Greg’s viewpoint).

The idea behind Threads of Hope is excellent, and the real-life information about the quilt was inspiring. I really liked the developing relationship between Greg and Nina, and the way Nina gradually changed as the story developed. But the story only really flowed well between the 40% and the 90% mark on my Kindle, and half a good book just isn’t enough.

Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Christa Allan at her website.

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