Sido­nia’s Thread: The Secrets of a Moth­er and Daugh­ter Sewing a New Life in America

Han­na Perl­stein Marcus
  • From the Publisher
April 23, 2012
After arriv­ing in Spring­field, Mass­a­chu­setts from a dis­placed per­sons camp after World War II with only each oth­er, Han­na Perl­stein and her moth­er, Sido­nia, build a world around Sidonia’s remark­able tal­ent with a thread and nee­dle. Although Sido­nia becomes well known in New Eng­land for her remark­able skill, she con­tin­ues to keep her secrets about her past. Deter­mined to craft a life of pride, self-reliance and per­se­ver­ance, Sido­nia teach­es her daugh­ter, who serves as her mod­el, to stand up straight” in fash­ion and in life. Sidonia’s Thread uses sewing metaphors to tell the tale as though stitched togeth­er like a hand­made gar­ment.

Why did Sido­nia keep these life secrets, and why was Han­na so afraid to ask about them? When Sido­nia moves to elder­ly hous­ing, Han­na steals some of her old let­ters and pho­tographs hop­ing to find clues to her pater­ni­ty, her mother’s reclu­sive behav­ior, and her her­itage. Com­bined with a trip to her mother’s Hun­gar­i­an home­land and a phone con­ver­sa­tion with her father, Hanna’s sur­pris­ing dis­cov­er­ies inspire a revised view of her moth­er, replac­ing her con­flict­ing emo­tions toward her with true reverence.

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