Over the years I have had many readers write to me saying they know someone who resembles the painting Girl with a Pearl Earring. Their mother, their aunt, their daughter, themselves. One reader memorably told me I resembled the Girl, and that must be why I wrote about her.

That comment came back to me recently when my new novel A Single Thread came out in Italy, with the title La Ricamatrice di Winchester. An interview with me was published in Corriere della Sera, and it was illustrated thus:


gwape tc image


Now, that doesn't look quite like the painting, nor quite like me, but a little of both. I was totally flattered!





It has been a busy few months since A Single Thread was published in September in the USA and UK. I have been here there and everywhere talking about it and visiting a LOT of cathedrals in the process! Also seeing some spectacular embroidered kneelers, which is what the book is about. I saw these two at Guildford Cathedral (just south of London). Made in the 1960s, they are perfect for Violet and Arthur:


guildford embroidery kneeler reduced    guildford bell kneeler reduced again


A Single Thread will be out next year in various languages. First up: German and Italian.

I #amwriting! More on that in the New Year. For now, I am winding down. Whatever the holidays being celebrated (or not), it feels important to step back from the swift river of our lives and just be. I wish you a good break.



Tomorrow is the first Tuesday after Labor Day in the USA - the day I traditionally went back to school as a child. On Labor Day itself, I would lay out the outfit I planned to wear the next day. After that day I wouldn't really care what I wore, but that first outfit was important.

This week my new novel A Single Thread is published in the UK. (It comes out in the USA on September 17th, and in European countries in the Winter and Spring of 2020.) There is a launch party Thursday, and I've been looking for a 1930s-style tea dress, to reflect what the heroine Violet Speedwell might wear. I think I've found it, and I've laid it out:

 tea dress

Superficial? Maybe. But it's a big week, and instead of freaking out over upcoming interviews on tv and radio, or the launch event in the nave of Winchester Cathedral (where the book is set), it calms me to focus instead on minor details: the dress I'll wear, the necklace, the manicure...Long live books!



I have a most surprising announcement to make, with a little help from the Girl in my life:

 pearl earring

Yes! Girl with a Pearl Earring: The Opera will premiere on 24 May 2020 at Zurich Opera House. The music will be avant-garde, the story classic. I am already planning what to wear.

For more information about the production, have a look here.






At the moment I'm feeling a little like this:


My new novel A SINGLE THREAD is written and edited but not yet published. I'm waiting for it to come out in September, when I will be busy busy answering questions about it, reading from it, running from place to place. And that's great. At the moment, though, there's a little bit of space for me to start researching and thinking about the next one. (More on that next month.) So I start doing that, and then I get asked to write a short story about where it's set. So I do that. At the same time, GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING is 20 years old (!), and I do some events to celebrate. Then I get asked to write an introduction to a special edition of A SINGLE THREAD.  Before you know it I'm pingponging between embroidery, painting, Winchester, Venice, Delft, the West Indies, bellringing, glass beads, Vermeer, cathedrals. My desk is getting messier and messier as I try to keep all the balls in the air. No complaints, of course. But I am starting to lose my words!

Happy Summer.