Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Thread” as Want to Read:
The Thread
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Thread

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  12,221 ratings  ·  1,095 reviews
A beautiful and epic novel that spans nearly a hundred years, The Thread is a magnificent story of a friendship and a love that endures through the catastrophes and upheavals of the twentieth century--both natural and man-made--in the turbulent city of Thessaloniki, Greece. Victoria Hislop, internationally bestselling author of The Island and The Return, has written a wond ...more
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published 2011 by Headline Review
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,221 ratings  ·  1,095 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Thread
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
The sweeping historical detail of this book carried me through the first third before something started to niggle. I just couldn't engage with the characters and their reactions to things constantly surprised me, as a reader I ofen find myself seeing and feeling through the eyes of a character, but with this book I stayed an outside observer. When I started to analyse what the probelm was, I realised that although the author is very good at the history part, when it comes to people she writes in ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alon Motro
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
On the surface this melodramatic historical novel sounds appealing and interesting. When I heard the book was set in Thessaloniki (the town of my great grandmother) and that it dealt with Jewish and Sephardic heritage I was intrigued.

However, after 50 pages or so, the book's weaknesses started to outperform its strengths.

Hislop's writing is very mediocre. When she wants to compare something or show a contrasting situation she inevitably uses a simple metaphor to get the point across. The dialog
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was reluctant to ready this book. Why ? Well, I have read a lot of books about this era of Greek history, but other than Louis de Bernieres, never one written by a British author.
My wife had bought me a copy for Christmas, and I had put it under the bed, dismissing it as a middle class British woman's attempt to imagine a subject she can't possibly know that well. But I picked it up again when people started talking to me about it. I was wrong and I am glad I persevered. Hislop knows Greece we
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Thread - Victoria Hislop

Katerina Sarafoglou, a young seamstress with exceptional talent, creates beautiful gowns for the rich ladies of Thessaloniki in Greece, the passion for her work shining through as her needle threads its way through the fine silks and wools.

Victoria Hislop's new novel, The Thread, weaves a story of love, family feuds, resilience and loss against a backdrop of the turbulent history of Greece, and, in particular, the northern city of Thessaloniki, throughout the 20th Cen
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012books
Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city, where Christians, Jews and Moslems live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will change for ever this city, as war, fear and persecution begin to divide its people. Five years later, young Katerina escapes to Greece when her home in Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish army. Losing her mother in the chaos, she finds herself on a boat to an unknown destination. From ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book has expectations to be epic but the sad reality is that it looks like a book written by a tourist who wanted to stage some kind of story in a place she fancied.
The result is a story that has little or no real connection with the place and the time; it could have been staged in Paris during the French revolution or in Moscow during the Bolshevik period. It would have made no difference to the development of the plot.
It is absolutely packed with the tritest stereotypes in literature: th
Nadia Giannakopoulou
Oh yes, this woman really LOVES Greece!!!

That was on my mind while reading "The Thread"...Reminded me of my thoughts exactly when many years ago I was devouring "The Island"...

It' s so obvious that Victoria Hislop has done an immense historical research about greek history before writing her books... That's why she can so thoroughly narrate big parts of it as a background of her plots. The action is captivating and easy to follow. Interesting stories well-spread over many decades.

The Thread: hi
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read Hislop's latest around X-mas, in the quiet of the night. Very promising at first, but the novel is so plot-driven it is infuriating. No character development, many inconsistencies in the plot, some bad Greek (she should have asked her Greek friends to proofread). I kept reading because the main part of the plot happens during World War II in Thessaloniki, my home town, and that was such a dramatic time for the city. To be fair her descriptions are good and memorable. But the book could ha ...more
Ivona Poyntz
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
A sprawling epic spanning both world wars, the Thread works better as historical reference than fiction: the characters are still born, rendered lifeless and unengaging, with the true centre piece being Thessaloniki, a vibrant city full of colour and pizzaz which subtly evolves throughout the 20 century.

The plethora of characters: Dimitri, Olga, Eugenia, Leonides and Katerina seem to share equal air time and thus we have no 'mains' here. Regretably, this serves to reduce the whole ensemble to se
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romantic
a book about my city? definetely yeah!!!

i totally loved this book!!!! I read it in 2 days (not on holidays) so now i really need a long hour sleep!!!! I had ages to be so completely into a book and living in agony for the characters, even though we knew the end of their story from the beginning.
For someone coming from Thessaloniki and having an interest in its history, i think that this a perfect book!! Victoria Hislop did a great research and she said things as they were, from the point of vie
Jo Ring
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this - makes me want to visit Thessaloniki. No idea of the recent history of Greece.
Just below 3 stars. I previously read two other books by this author which I really enjoyed, but this one disappointed me. I didn't feel very connected to the characters and the book tried to cover too much. But worst of all was that there often was too much telling and too little showing, which made the book at times come across as a history lesson or summation of facts, instead of as enjoyable historical fiction.
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I found this book a little long, the novel could have been 100 pages less and still done it justice.
The descriptions of the city, surroundings, Greek life and the events during the war were great, the building of the characters, less so.
Nevertheless an enjoyable read, which gives away the ending at the start, the reader is always trying to see how the plot will get these.
Original Doll (Lea Martinuš)
I couldn't imagine there could be better book than The island or The return - but here it is.
This is rich in every sense of the word.
A real must-read!
Holly Jackson
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
This is not the sort of book I would usually pick up, that's the joy of a book club- to read things you wouldn't otherwise choose. I have to say I loved it! Absolutely spell-binding, beautifully written, compelling, deeply moving (at one point I was full on sobbing) and heart warming. A little too wrapped up at times and some characters felt a little 2D, but overall I'm really glad I read this book and I'll be reading more from Victoria Hislop!
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much, I didn't want it to end.

I'm not sure what the opinion of this book might be from the perspective of a Greek reader and/ or someone who knows Greece/ Thessaloniki well, and I'm not sure if Hislop has actually written a realistic story here that accurately describes the nuances of the city and its people.

However, as I said, I absolutely adored it. It was a bit slow to get going but after a little while I was completely hooked and couldn't put it down.

It was just beautifu
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed The Thread, and am giving it five stars -- not because it is a literary treasure, but rather because it does such a good job at historical fiction. I learned so much about the history of Thessalonika and modern Greece in general, and enjoyed myself while reading.

The story follows Katerina from being a Greek refugee child fleeing Turkey, to old age in northern Greece. Her life is intertwined with the widow who "adopts" and raises her, the wealthy Greek woman who lives temporarily
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a good read... if you like historical fiction which I don't!

I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes this genre, but if you hate history like me (especially reading about WWII) then you can skip it. It gets pretty interesting after WWII is done, but that happens probably at 75% of the book.

Overall, it's the type of book which is hard to grab and read, but once you grab it you can read without much trouble, or at least that depends which character you enjoy reading about. Th
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
I struggled between two stars and three. This book was interesting, but there was way too much telling instead of showing, especially in trying to cover so much history. I spent most of the book trying to decide what it was supposed to be about, and would not have truly known without the author’s lengthy explanation at the end. The prologue and epilogue were also completely unnecessary and did not add to the story, and even took away some of the suspense over the fate of some of the characters.

Ros Lawson
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book and am going to miss reading about the characters. Not only does VH write an incredible story, she injects so much important history into this novel (which always appalls me when I read of how the Jewish people were treated). I love Greece & their close-knit families & I especially get a kick out of seeing the elderly sitting outside their front doors preparing food or just passing the time of day people-watching. They are a mindful race & take time to enjoy what is ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
This is exactly the kind of a sprawling multigenerational story I enjoy so much. The setting is so vivid and the characters feel like real people. It's simply beautiful!
Lucy Ponton
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was only fine. The historical parts about the war etc were the better parts but some parts were glossed over and others not enough! Doesn’t inspire me to read her other books!
Aoibheann { ⊱Aoibh Reads⊰ }


Review originally posted on Aoibh Reads

Starting in the early 1900's, The Thread follows a story set in Thessaloniki, Greece. As Asia Minor is destroyed by the Turkish Army, young Katerina is separated from her fleeing family and ends up under the care of Eugenia, a fleeing mother with her two older daughters. Here, Katerina befriends young Dimitri, son of a strong politically viewed power hungry man.
Soon, the city is plunged into chaos of war and fear, as the Jews are pushed ou
Oscar Enrique
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I came in for a simple "How I met your grandma" story, and got out with one hell of a lifetime story about life.

This little thing? Really bitter... And also sweet
Val Penny
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have been suffering from breast cancer and am unable to enjoy many of my usual hobbies, so I have been reading even more than usual. With that in mind, my friend Jill gave me The Thread by Victoria Hislop. She had really enjoyed it and so passed it on. I had never read any books by Hislop, but I had heard of her. She is an English author who was born in London, England in 1959 but was raised in Tonbridge, Kent, and attended Tonbridge Grammar School before she read English at St. Hilda’s Colleg ...more
Clive Thompson
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully told tale of harsh circumstances. Hislop has, very obviously, done her research into the history of Europe, of Greece and its relationship with Turkey, of Symia and Thessaloniki and has woven this story through that history.

Nobody should think, before reading this book, that the telling of the story of the people in the narrative comes second to the history of the area, as the characters have been richly drawn and are the backbone of the book – in other words we want to know what hap
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, but just meh, average. Perhaps the author was trying to take too big a sweep of history for this book. The story kept plodding along and finally wrapped up in the last 10 pages.
Not a bad story, mind you, but just plodding along through daily life and the things that are not uncommon in many families history(ies).
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I love reading novels for the armchair escape and the free history lesson. In this case, the Greek city of Thessaloniki is the setting of The Thread, and one couple's lifelong relationship the columns for holding up this saga-ish look at love, family, national identity, belonging, loss, and war.

Starting in 2007, a beloved grandson finally learns just how his grandparents met and what their lives were like. Normally I hate this frame -- why not just start with the meat of the story? -- but in thi
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Island of Secrets: Escape to paradise with this compelling summer treat!
  • Greek Island Escape: Paradise is only pages away
  • Mothers and Daughters
  • The Kashmir Shawl
  • Λίγες και μία νύχτες
  • Señor Peregrino
  • Το κελάρι της ντροπής
  • The Real Katie Lavender
  • Berlin Poplars
  • Τη μέρα που σε γνώρισα
  • Iris & Ruby
  • Shirog: jenta jeg en gang var
  • Redemption: From Iron Bars to Ironman
  • Her Brooding Scottish Heir (Mills & Boon True Love)
  • The House of Dust and Dreams
  • Cárdeno adorno
  • Αν τον άνεμο ρωτήσεις
  • A Double Life
See similar books…
Victoria Hislop read English at Oxford, and worked in publishing, PR and as a journalist before becoming a novelist. She is married with two children.

Her first novel, The Island, held the number one slot in the Sunday Times paperback charts for eight consecutive weeks and has sold over two million copies worldwide. Victoria was the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007 and wo

News & Interviews

It’s October, which means it’s the perfect time to scare yourself with a truly unsettling book. But if you’re a casual reader of dread and...
200 likes · 63 comments
“De siste ti årene hadde Hellas opplevd minst et dusin statskupp og nesten dobbelt så mange regjeringer, og pendelen hadde fortsat å svinge mellom tilhengere og motstandere av monarkiet. Monarkiets være eller ikke være var et evig tema for stridigheter og debatt i Hellas. I 1920, da kong Alexander døde av et apebitt, vendte faren hans hjem fra eksil, bare for å bli kastet ut av landet igjen to år senere. Han ble erstattet av sin eldste sønn, Georg, som i sin tur måtte tre av mot slutten av det neste året. Kong Georg hadde levd i eksil i nesten tolv år da han kunne vende tilbake til tronen etter en manipulert folkeavstemning.” 1 likes
“Gems were a way of showing your status, and his wife had always been a perfect model for everything he wanted to display.” 0 likes
More quotes…