Threads and Flames caught my eye on the library shelf. When I read the blurb, I saw it was about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. I had recently learned about the fire while reading The People's History of the United States. I was eager to read more so I decided to give Threads and Flames a try. I'm glad I did. It is a beautiful piece of historical fiction.
The story begins with Raisa in her small Polish town. She's recently escaped a fire and is in the home of an older woman who took her and her sister in after their parent's died. Raisa's sister Henda has already moved to America and Raisa expects to join her there someday. I really enjoyed hearing about Raisa's small town life. It really built her character and Friesner built a lot of detail in Raisa's small town. After a while, Raisa heads to America to join her sister. I really enjoyed hearing about her trip from Europe to America. My great aunt on my dad's side told me what she remembered about the crossing from Russia to America and Raisa's journey sounded similar. Threads and Flames is what you want historical fiction to be-plenty of true facts surrounding a well written character. I immediately liked Raisa. She never knew what she was getting herself into but she was determined to find her way. The supporting characters (Zusa, Brina, Mrs. Kamensky, Gavrel) are interesting and likable. I enjoyed how everyone interacted with Raisa.
Overall, I highly recommend Threads and Flames. It was a well done piece of historical fiction. I felt like I had been transported to 1910's New York City. Others who shared their thoughts on Threads and Flames: The Fourth Musketeer, A Reader's Adventure, and The Book Scout.