Troubador Holding the Threads

Released: 15/10/2017

ISBN: 9781788035699

eISBN: 9781788031004

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Holding the Threads

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An authentic historical novel about the harshness of life of missionaries in South America in the first half of the 20th century.

Based on extensive research of the author’s grandparents.

A vivid memoir which explores how the richness of our lives depends on the quality of our relationships.


SS Orita. Mid-atlantic. 1904
“Everything I had ever known was behind me and I had only the vaguest idea about where I was going. What if I had made an awful mistake?”


Beatrice, newly wedded wife of Stuart McNairn – a recently qualified Evangelical missionary – is on her way to Cuzco, a town in Peru, which has persecuted English missionaries who have gone before. Their mission is to convert the native Indian population from the corruption and oppression of the Catholic Church which has crushed them into poverty and idolatry.

But life in Cuzco is hard; disease, poverty and alcohol claim many lives. Beatrice and her husband, Mac, face both fierce opposition and physical hardship, which tests their relationship to its limits.

In this fictional memoir, based on true events, we follow Beatrice through both good times and bad, in a life-time of self-discovery. Holding the Threads explores our sense of belonging and the connections we make with the past, the present and with future generations.

I am planning a launch of Holding the Threads on October 12th at Dorking Library. Proceeds from book sales are going to the Breast Cancer Care charity.

I enjoyed your book so very much and it was one of those books I didn't want to put down and now having finished it, I wished I still had it to read!!
The descriptions brought it to life and the hardships were so real.

One thing I have to mention though is that the proof reading has not been very successful and there are many places in the text where words are missing or the wrong way round. Why has this happened? I kept wishing I could correct it for you. Maybe someone can do that before the next print run.

Kind regards. Beth James.

by Beth James


Alison Jesson

My second novel, Holding the Threads is about my mother's side of my family. In 1904 my grandparents went to Peru to work as missionaries. Using their medical skills, their mission was to convert the native Indian population from the corruption and oppression of the Catholic Church. The novel is written as a memoir based on true events. It follows Beatrice through both good times and bad, in a life-time of self-discovery.

It also explores our sense of belonging and the connections we make with the past, the present, and future generations.

My first novel, The Mind’s Garden,was based on the journal and letters my father wrote and received from his mother during the war while he was a POW. My father developed a way of coping and an attitude of mind which was inspirational to those with whom he was imprisoned. All 500 copies are now sold!

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