The Crimson Thread by Kate Forsyth
Set in Crete during World War II, Alenka, a young woman who fights with the resistance against the brutal Nazi occupation finds herself caught between her traitor of a brother and the man she loves, an undercover agent working for the Allies.
May 1941. German paratroopers launch a blitzkrieg from the air against Crete. They are met with fierce defiance, the Greeks fighting back with daggers, pitchforks and kitchen knives. During the bloody eleven-day battle, Alenka, a young Greek woman, saves the lives of two Australian soldiers.
Jack and Teddy are childhood friends who joined up together to see the world. Both men fall in love with Alenka. They are forced to retreat with the tattered remains of the Allied forces over the towering White Mountains. Both are among the 7000 Allied soldiers left behind in the desperate evacuation from Crete’s storm-lashed southern coast.
Alenka hides Jack and Teddy at great risk to herself. Her brother Axel is a Nazi sympathiser and collaborator, and spies on her movements.
As Crete suffers under the Nazi jackboot, Alenka is drawn into an intense triangle of conflicting emotions with Jack and Teddy. Their friendship suffers under the strain of months of hiding and their rivalry for her love. Together, they join the resistance and fight to free the island, but all three will find themselves tested to their limits. Alenka must choose whom to trust and whom to love and, in the end, whom to save.
Published 5 July 2022 | Publisher: Penguin Random House | RRP: AUD$32.99
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My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)
whoever fights monsters need to take care they do not become a monster themselves
The Crimson Thread is one of my highly anticipated 2022 release. Primarily due to Kate Forsyth being a favourite author of mine, starting with her earlier fantasy series and also, I have mostly enjoyed her ‘series’ of loose fairy tale retellings. Her novels always feature strong and intelligent heroines determined to carve their own places in the world and not where society expects them to.
I love WWII stories so I thought for sure this one was going to be a winner for me. BUT! Love triangles, oh, I wanted to cry… However, Forsyth’s writing was just so immersive that it kept drawing me on and on to the ending. I have a deep seated anxiety that usually, I would have dropped the book like a hot potato. Her lyrical writing with her clever weaving of Greek mythology were such that I couldn’t bear not to finish. Of course, it helped that one other character was a definite putz so you could tell earlier on which pairing is it.
5 stars for the brilliant craft and prose but I just had to take off one teeny bit little star because I was just too too upset with the triangle trope. The Crimson Thread is a mesmerising story of courage and resilience, friendship and betrayal, and of course, of love.
My thanks to Penguin Random House for this paperback copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts
About the author