Threads and Flames was a book about a girl named Raisa, who had been hunted by disease in her hometown, or shtetl. Raisa arrives in America with a cousin named Brina and 2 friends, Zusa and Luciana, in tow to find that her sister is gone. She scouts the whole neighborhood for a place to board, and eventually runs into Gavrel, a boy who takes her to his home. His mom, Mrs. Kamenski, welcomes Raisa and 5-year-old Brina into her home. When Raisa finds a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and is convinced by Gavrel to follow her dreams and learn English, life settles into a routine. Until a certain New Year’s Eve, Raisa works, learns and hangs out with friends. On that day, she discovers her romantic side, which changes her life. On a memorable Saturday she settles in to work when a shout echoes throughout the workroom: Fire! A tragedy occurs that day, and forever in Raisa’s mind. When she struggles to uncover the mysteries of Zusa, Luciana and Gavrel, friends who have missing since the fire, she learns a new story. Enjoy this book of heart-throbbing tragedy, families found, a bond of friendship, eternal struggles and a touch of romance.
After finishing the last sentence on the last page, I felt satisfied. The plot of the book had power and twists, the characters had personality, and the author’s voice was captivating. I disappeared into the pages of this book; I was Raisa and then Gavrel and then Zusa. Gavrel did annoy me, but when he vanished I missed him. It was completely realistic. Esther Friesner gripped you and held you tight until the end, when she released you gently. I would never put this book down, but the beginning was a little slow. I would recommend this book to anyone who loved a page-turner and Historical Fiction.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Ellicott City, MD USA