See the Latest News page for information on the National Gallery of Victoria's new exhibition Making the Australian Quilt.
The Silver Thread
Dublin, 1840: Rhia Mahoney watches in despair as her father’s linen warehouse goes up in flames. Her family is ruined. Her imagined future, full of pattern and colour, plum brocades and beetle-green taffeta, crumbles to ashes. Seeking work as a governess in dismal London, Rhia’s life is changed beyond all imagination when her uncle, a shipping merchant, commits suicide. Rhia cannot – will not – believe he would take his own life, but before she can investigate, she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, and forced to board a prison ship bound for New South Wales.
The voyage is one of dry biscuits and endless sea, made bearable by the women’s daily chore: to sew scraps of cloth into an elaborate quilt. What Rhia does not realise is that with every stitch, she binds herself closer to a journey of discovery that will not end in Australia.
Weaving death, love and adventure into a vivid tale of the world at the height of Empire, The Silver Thread is plotted like a murder mystery, but narrated with the skill and style of a literary storyteller.
“Kylie Fitzpatrick’s new novel is impressively researched and closely imagined. An exciting, spirited and ambitious tale.”
Andrew Miller, Costa-award winning author of Pure.
”Historic fiction fans will recognise in Kylie Fitzpatrick the quality they’ve come to expect from people like Philippa Gregory. In this case we’re treated to a ripping adventure to warm the cockles of the imagination.”