Warning: this review is written by someone who is decidedly unhandy with needle and thread. Three girls become friends partly because of a shared interest in embroidery. They remain friends for a couple decades for many other reasons. When Mila can finally leave her husband and child for an extended time, they plan a trip to Paris. Not long after the trip, Mila and Dalia learn that Citali drowned in Senegal. Mila starts writing about their lives together. The stories are interspersed with excerpts from other authors about needlework, including: if women wrote history, the modern age would begin with the discovery of needle and thread; and, if men did embroidery, it would be considered an art, not a craft. I closed the book with a new respect for needle and thread, and I might even take another stab at using them!— Kay Wosewick
A debut novel of female friendship and coming-of-age from Jazmina Barrera, acclaimed author of Linea Nigra and On Lighthouses, translated by Christina MacSweeney.
It was meant to be the trip of a lifetime. Mila, Citlali, and Dalia, childhood friends now college aged, leave Mexico City for the London of The Clash and the Paris of Courbet. They anticipate the caf's and crushes, but not the early signs that they are each steadily, inevitably changing. That feels like forever ago. Mila, now a writer and a new mother, has just published a book on needlecraft--an art form so long dismissed as "women's work." But after learning Citlali has drowned, Mila begins to sift through her old scrapbooks, reflecting on their shared youth for the first time as a new wife and mother. What has come of all the nights the three friends spent embroidering together in silence? Did she miss the signs that Citlali needed help?