“A Measured Thread” by Mary Behan – Book Review

Maggie O’Connor is a widow who lives in an 1850s era log cabin in rural Wisconsin. Before retirement, she was a scientist who worked at a university as a professor.

Maggie’s neighbors are for the most part helpful and friendly. There is one exception. His name is Bill Breunig, and he wants Maggie’s valuable land to build houses on. He resorts to bullying and intimidation to further his goals. Maggie is determined to never let this arrogant man get his hands on her land, which includes a ‘prairie’ ecosystem that encourages flora and fauna to thrive and propagate.
When Maggie, now eighty years old, suffers a tragic fall, she reluctantly comes to the conclusion that she does indeed need assistance in her day-to-day life.  After six weeks in hospital – and rehabilitation – she returns to her cabin and hires Isobel, a young woman who has aspirations to become a veterinarian.

Being dependent on other people rankles. Maggie gradually comes to accept Isobel’s presence in her home, and even starts to treasure their friendship. She comes to view Isobel as a surrogate granddaughter.

After the chores are done for the day, Isobel reads to Maggie from a trove of letters. These are letters that she herself wrote to her own parents in Ireland half a century before.
Reading this book made me experience many emotions. I empathized greatly with Maggie and her plight.

The novel made me acknowledge once again just what rich lives many people live. All people have secrets, hopes, and doubts. Maggie was a strong woman who valiantly tried to accept all that she was, and all that she had done.

With rich characterization, “A Measured Thread” the story of one woman nearing the end of her life. The story explored the guilt that is inherent with being someone’s child, someone’s wife, someone’s friend. Regrets and secrets are meaningless when the end of life is near.

This is a wise and wonderful read. Highly recommended.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from BooksGoSocial via NetGalley.   

  ISBN: 9781734494310 –  ASIN: B08747JH8P –  242 pages
Mary Behan is a retired professor of neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She devotes her time to writing fiction, memoir and short stories. Her first book, Abbey Girls, is a memoir she wrote with her sister, Valerie Behan, about their childhood in Ireland. She lives with her husband in the Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin in a historic log cabin overlooking a tallgrass prairie.

Visit Mary Behan’s official website.


About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Literary fiction, NetGalley and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “A Measured Thread” by Mary Behan – Book Review

  1. Pingback: #BookRecommendations with titles that start with the letter ‘M’ #GreatReads | Fictionophile

  2. Pingback: Fictionophile’s Top Reads of 2021 – #BookRecommendations #GreatReads | Fictionophile

  3. Carol says:

    I love a multi generational friendship!


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