New Historical Fiction

The Thread Collectors

Shaunna J. Edwards & Alyson Richman

In 1863, Stella, a black woman living in New Orleans, must say goodbye to William as he leaves to join the Union army. William is an enslaved flutist which saves him from the battlefield most of the time. Stella and William want to marry but cannot since Stella is owned by a white landowner who takes advantage of her on a regular basis. She soon becomes pregnant. Stella has a remarkable talent for using thread over and over again. Nothing is ever wasted. She is able to cleverly reuse thread to create maps that help slaves escape.

In New York City, Lily, a Jewish woman, suffragette, and abolitionist must say goodbye to her husband Jacob, a trombonist, composer, and Union army musician. Lily contributes to the abolitionist movement in New York.

William and Jacob develop a friendship because of their music while serving in the army. They are invited to entertain those in authority. Happily their friendship continues long after the Civil War.

This is an interesting story demonstrating the often degrading treatment of Black and Jewish soldiers during the Civil War.


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