Kate and her mother run a weaving business, but her mother is killed in an accident for which Kate blames herself and this haunts her. After a frightening dream, she has to go back to the studio they shared to clear it. Overcome, she goes back in time to the eighteenth century when the mill was a very different place although still occupied by weavers. Kate lives with a family in abject poverty in a hovel and works in the mill in the worst conditions imaginable. She has foreseen in the dream a dreadful accident and is able to save the child Tabby. Pentecost, the old woman in her dream, enables Kate to envisage her mother telling her how much she loves her and how proud she is of her, helping her to realise that the accident was not her fault and Kate is able to return to life and begin to come to terms with what happened.
This is a dark story, hence the dark thread of the title, beautifully written and structured. The scenes in the mill and the hovel where Kate lives are graphically drawn making this time shift story very credible, but it is Kate’s emotional state which draws the reader in, willing her to find the courage to go on living and indeed weaving to carry on her mother’s work and faith in her.
Pauline Chandler is becoming a writer to notice. The Mark of Edain which I reviewed in 2008 showed great promise and in this short book is beginning to be fulfilled.