screenshot115 I recently read By A Thread and thought it would be fun to post the review as part of author RL Griffin’s Birthday Blog Bash. As part of the Bash, Griffin was also kind enough to do a Q and A with me, which follows at the end of this post. Enjoy!

From the By A Thread synopsis: “Stella’s future was set, and it was a bright one. She was engaged to a man she adored, and was headed to law school in the fall. Tragically, her perfectly planned future ends just as it was beginning. With no ties to family or friends, Stella finds herself alone in a new city, spiraling out of control. Her typical day comes to a close with her passed out on the floor; sometimes clothed. Luckily, her new roommate, essentially a stranger, is dead set on getting Stella past her grief and back to functioning within society. Putting one foot in front of the other, she climbs up from the bottom of a bottle. Even with all her progress, Stella walks through life unfeeling, numb. Defiant, she sends out warning signals for the world to keep away. But, is that what she really wants? With the steadfast help of a few tight knit friends, she gradually begins to feel again. She starts to savor the flavor of food again; lets herself notice how the handsome bartender glances at her. Still, after allowing herself a fling, she wonders if she will ever be able to let go of her shattered past, fully enjoy the present, or get over what she thought would be her perfect future and with the man who destroyed her heart.”

By A Thread was an intriguing story of grief and redemption.  I handle grief very differently than Stella, so at times I had a very hard time identifying with her. Sometimes I wanted to shake her and say “get up and put one foot in front of the other and go on.”  But then I stopped that, and reminded myself that everyone handles grief differently. Sometimes, just making it to the next day is handling it.  So I stopped being so judgmental of Stella and just read the story for what it was.

The meaningful part of this story is really the friendships Stella develops.  While I think Stella’s family would have been there for her in their way, had she let them, it is often the family we create, rather than the one we are born into, that we need in times of crisis. This is what Stella’s friends are to her. This bond of friendship between them is truly the heart of the story. Simply put, Stella would not have survived without her tribe, and that is what true friendship is often all about.

The ending of the book is not what I expected- and at the risk of being at all spoiler-y that is all I am going to say about that.   But you’ll get a bit more insight with the Q and A below.

Although the subject matter is a bit heavy, I think By A Thread is a good book to put on your summer reading list- the story sucks you in and you want to know what happens.


Q and A With RL Griffin:

TBF: This story starts off with a devastating incident.  Without spoiling, can you share how it came to you?

RLG: When I was younger, I lost 9 people I knew and some whom I was close too.  I remember feeling numb, broken, angry and all of those other things that come out of losing someone too soon.  I also remember seeing their family and other loved ones.  I just thought those combination of emotions were a story waiting to be told.


TBF: Do you have friends that represent Stella’s friends to you?

RLG: Not quite the same, but I did live in DC for awhile and had a great group of friends when I was in law school.  I also lived with two guys, very different from Billy and Patrick.  They were both in law school too. I just thought the dynamic was so fun.  I had a blast living with two guys, but I had great girlfriends too.  We had a ton of parties.


TBF: I’m trying to not give away anything here, but your twist at the end?   A part of me wanted a cathartic exchange between Stella and that character. The other part of me was actually satisfied that you didn’t give us that.  What led to that decision?
RLG: This is going to sound so stupid, but I honestly write how I feel my characters would react. To everything.  I would have yelled and cussed, but Stella just wanted to put her head in the sand.  Ignore it and it would go away. Stella is not necessary in the best place emotionally when she did have the opportunity to confront, I think that may come later. (wink, wink)


TBF: What’s your favorite part of being an author?  Least Favorite?

RLG: I LOVE WRITING!  I could write all day and night.  I have to love it because I miss sleep to do it.  You know what else I love, is talking to people about the stories I create.  I’ve had a ball talking to readers and going to book clubs in the Atlanta area.  Least favorite, Editing… it’s a pain in my ass.


TBF: What’s on your summer reading list?
RLG: Ugh, my TBR list is so long its dumb.  I will drop everything for the last in the Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan.  I’m looking forward to Beauty from Surrender, Georgia Cates. Tara Sivec just announced another book she’s publishing in June.  I’m not sure when The Thief by Tarryn Fisher comes out, but I’ll be dropping what I’m doing for it too.  Seriously, I have over 130 books on my to be read list… its sad. 


TBF: Do you listen to music when you write? What was your soundtrack for “By A Thread”?

RLG:  Yes.  It gets me in the mood.  I actually have the soundtrack for By A Thread and Tension on spotify.  By a Thread’s playlist is pretty good and shows the ups and downs of Stella pretty well I think. Its got great music from The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons to Miranda Lambert.
TBF: What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod or tv show on your DVR?
RLG: Pretty Little Liars. (hangs head)
Thank you so much for having me.
Thanks so much to RL Griffin for taking the time to answer these questions.  Happy Reading!