One Illumined Thread: The stunning debut historical novel for fans of Geraldine Brooks and Pip Williams by Sally Colin-James ISBN:9781460762103

One Illumined Thread by Sally Colin-James

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A beautiful, enthralling and powerful story of three women separated by centuries, yet connected by a thread of longing and a singular creative spirit – for readers of Geraldine Brooks, Sarah Winman, Maggie O’Farrell and Pip Williams.

In Judea, under the brutal rule of King Herod, a woman yearns for a child but is outcast when she does not fall pregnant. Against all convention, she masters the art of glassblowing, a creative act she believes will keep her dream of motherhood alive. In Renaissance Florence, a young wife is left penniless by her hopelessly unfaithful husband, and struggles to find a way to support herself and her young son. And in contemporary Australia, a talented textile conservator, devastated by loss, is desperate to regain control of her life. Each woman wants something that seems unattainable, and it will take all their courage, creativity and determination to achieve it.

A stunning, sweeping historical novel spanning two thousand years, One Illumined Thread celebrates the power and creative spirit of the female heart, as each woman finds freedom through an extraordinary connection.

‘A dazzling story of the intimacy between women. There is wisdom, beauty and hope in this yearning song to motherhood sought, granted, lost and denied – a remarkable novel.’ Suzanne Leal

‘Fans of Sarah Winman and Pip Williams will love Sally Colin-James’s debut novel One Illumined Thread, an intriguing story of three women separated by centuries yet inextricably connected by their quests for self-realisation … The author’s detailed exploration of each character’s creative world is extraordinary. But more striking is how the reader is moved to think, feel and ultimately cheer for the creative spirit of the female heart and its incomparable ability to illuminate the world despite extreme obstacles. One Illumined Thread is one of those rare books that will stay with you. The historical depth and authentic character development keep your mind (and heart) immersed long after that last page has been read.’ Books+Publishing

About the Author: Following a globally successful corporate career in communications and event management, Sally Colin-James returned to creative writing, gaining an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship to complete a Doctor of Philosophy in professional writing. Her novel One Illumined Thread won the 2020 HNSA Colleen McCullough Residency Award, the 2020 Varuna PIP Fellowship Award, the Byron Bay Writers Festival Mentorship Award, and a placement with the Australian Writers Mentoring program. Her work was shortlisted from over 2000 entries across 54 countries for the international 2021 First Pages Prize.


Additional information


Paperback / softback



Readership Level

General (US: Trade)



Date of Publication

20 Nov 0309

One Illumined Thread: The stunning debut historical novel for fans of Geraldine Brooks and Pip Williams by Sally Colin-James ISBN 9781460762103

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