Book Review
Thread for Pearls
A Story of Resilient Hope by Lauren Speeth

I was very honored when the publicist for this book contacted me, and asked if I would read and write a review for it. It’s taken me longer than I planned, to sit down and read it, but vacationing with my sister in Sarasota provided the much needed relaxation time.

Sitting on a lounge on the beach, with the ocean’s soothing noise in the background, I picked up Thread for Pearls. Four days later, I had finished the story. And what a story it was.

The official review “A near-death experience in a car with her Mother; recovery from tear gas at a Vietnam War rally hand-in-hand with her Pop; a year in India learning side-by-side the country’s ‘untouchables;’ the highs and lows of living on a rural Pennsylvania commune … and all before Fiona Sprechelbach’s thirteenth birthday.”

“Set during one of the most political divisive eras in American history, A Thread for Pearls is a coming of age tale that takes us on a young woman’s journey to faith and freedom amidst a turbulent family dynamic. Two decades of American history, 1962 to 1982, are conveyed through the eyes of young Fiona Sprechelbach. It’s a story of resilient hope that questions whether it’s the events of our lives that define us or the thread on which we choose to string them.” The story is seen through her eyes during the Time Period of the Vietnam War, Hippies, Drugs, etc.

Bottom line, this is a story of a young girl finding herself during a very troubled time in U.S. history. In addition to all the challenging times facing the Country, she also had to deal with major challenges in her family life. Through it all—the growing pains, bad influences in her life, tragedy, and all the regular ‘stuff’ growing up entails, she managed to remain strong and true to herself.

Because of her very unusual family life and strange relationship with her mother, she has major self-esteem issues that leave her very confused. Although she had self-doubts, deep down she knew she had a lot to contribute to the World. You will join her on her ‘roller coaster’ ride of emotions as you read the story. Despite everything, there is the underlying theme of ‘resilient hope.’

Fiona was a deep thinker and as she learned different things, she developed her own rules for living. These were modified over time as she learned more and more about life. For example, after she was bullied at school, her Step Mom told her— “I think you should wake up each morning and look in the mirror and remind yourself that what you see is more than enough. Whatever skills you practice, you move toward their perfection. You’re already perfectly great, but still you can practice honesty and kindness and peacemaking, and you’ll shine more and more brightly. You can always improve your skills, but you can never become more perfect. You just are, as you are. Be your best self. Jut walk in beauty. That’s what integrity is. If you’re true to yourself and other’s you’ve got it. The kid in class didn’t have it, but he can’t dim your light unless you let him. Shine on Sweetie.” As you can see below, this rule was eventually changed to Shine Out.

Fiona’s Final Rules for Living—

  1. Love God, Love People
  2. Trust Wisely
  3. Shine Out
  4. Be a Good Citizen
  5. Be Prepared
  6. Fear Not
  7. Practice Self-Care
  8. Never Give Up Hope

Her school advisor also shared some great advice with her: HALTS—Don’t make important decisions when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Sad. She did take all the advice she was given to heart.

Being true to herself, and not being a follower, Fiona said, “I don’t think I can fit into any one neat little box of crayons. There are too many lovely colors and shades. Maybe I’m a rainbow. Maybe I’m not a number. Maybe I’m a unicorn.” She continually shows us that it isn’t always the events of our lives that define us, but it’s the thread on which we choose to string them. Fiona continually strings her life events on an ever hopeful thread.

The relationship between sisters, female friends and the women fighting for the same cause help illustrate how women truly are the The World’s Largest Untapped Resource for Making the World a Better Place.

This book will tug at your heart strings and have you routing for Fiona every time she faces a challenge.  This is a wonderful read for you and for a great Book Club Discussion.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to email me ~ or post directly in our facebook group here.

You can purchase Thread for Pearls   A Story of Resilient Hope by Lauren Speeth on Amazon:



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