Thread for Pearls

A story of resilient hope that questions whether it's the events of our lives that define us, or the thread on which we choose to string them.

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Thread for Pearls Synopsis

A near-death experience in a car with her Mother; running from tear gas at a Vietnam War rally hand-in-hand with her Pop; a year in India learning side-by-side the country's 'untouchables;' the highs and lows of living on a rural Pennsylvania commune... and all before Fiona Sprechelbach's thirteenth birthday. Set during one of the most politically divisive eras in American history, Thread for Pearls is a coming of age tale that takes us on a young heroine's journey to faith and freedom amidst a turbulent family dynamic. It's a story of resilient hope that questions whether it's the events of our lives that define us, or the thread on which we choose to string them.

Thread for Pearls is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Listen to an Audio Sample

Listen to Elizabeth Phillips as she brings to life an excerpt from the forthcoming audio book Thread for Pearls by Lauren Speeth. Audio version of the critically acclaimed book available where all fine audio books are sold.

Available on Amazon

News and Reviews

What are people saying about Thread for Pearls?

Beverly Hills Book Awards
American Book Fest
Midwest Book Review
Foreword Reviews
Jay Beck, The Carter Center
Rev. Dr. Randy White, Center for Community Transformation, Fresno Pacific University
Joshua Patton, IndieReader Best Reviewed Books of June 2018
Carol Anderson, Carol Anderson Design

Finalist, Women's Fiction Category


Beverly Hills Book Awards

"... A thought-provoking, and engaging novel ... A deftly crafted tale ... Daring and complex, the narrative grasps reader interest and holds it fast. I highly recommend Thread for Pearls for both young adult and adult readers, and feel it would be especially appreciate for the a high school counselor's book collection to share with clients for discussion."


Award-winning Finalist, 2018 Best Book Awards, Historical Fiction & Women's Literature Categories


American Book Fest

"Captivating from cover to cover, Thread for Pearls is a multifaceted saga of a young woman's complex adolescence in the 60's and 70's. From bomb scares to "be-ins", ashrams, acid trips, and more, Thread for Pearls evokes the highs and lows of an era, as seen through the eyes of a woman in the midst of history's changes. Highly recommended."


Midwest Book Review

"Thread for Pearls is inspirational as its heroine overcomes complicated circumstances in her search for home."


Foreword Reviews

"An incredible read. Speeth captures the intrigue and drama of the times, and sets them in the personal life of the fascinating Fiona."


Jay Beck, The Carter Center

"Speeth's wit reminds one of a GK Chesterton, and her descriptive writing and the joy embedded in it have been a delight. I suspect that the Spirit of Jesus hovers in and around these pages."


Rev. Dr. Randy White, Center for Community Transformation, Fresno Pacific University

"Great story with a main character readers will feel close to."


Joshua Patton, IndieReader
Best Reviewed Books of June 2018

"Journeying with Fiona through a landscape so breathtakingly fresh and clear, I found myself transported back, my own memories reawakened. Cheering her on, I didn't want it to end. Bring on the sequel!"


Carol Anderson, Carol Anderson Design

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Lauren Speeth

Lauren Speeth

Master storyteller Lauren Speeth has shared her stories in film and print over the years with audiences around the world, to critical acclaim. Her storytelling interests run the gamut, from books about the American experience to 3-D films about Irish spirituality, to music about love and life. In this, her first novel, she shares what she has come to understand as the fundamental human experience of resiliency and hope. When not dreaming up stories, Speeth leads Elfenworks Productions, LLC, a pro-social business with internationally acclaimed media content, and The Elfenworks Foundation, where she has assembled a team of social entrepreneurs of the highest caliber that work together daily on projects that foster the greater good.






Thread for Pearls

Thread for Pearls, a novel of historical fiction was set in the '60s and '70s, times were so steeped in musical creativity that they cried out for a playlist. Enjoy!

Suggested Playlist – Oldies

  • America – "A Horse with No Name"
  • The B-52s – "Rock Lobster"
  • Joan Baez – "There But For Fortune"
  • The Beatles – "Blackbird," "Golden Slumbers," "It Won't Be Long," "P.S. I Love You," "The Word," and "Wait"
  • Jorge Ben – "Mas Que Nada"
  • Jackson Browne – "Rock Me on the Water"
  • The Byrds - "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Eveything There Is a Season)"
  • Bobby Caldwell – "What You Won't Do for Love"
  • Chicago – "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"
  • Alice Cooper – "Welcome to my Nightmare"
  • Country Joe and the Fish – "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag"
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash – "Ohio," "Our House."
  • The Cyrkle – "Red Rubber Ball"
  • Skeeter Davis – "The End of the World"
  • The Eagles – "Hotel California"
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) – "From the Beginning"
  • Fifth Dimension – "Aquarius"
  • Frankie Vallie & The Four Seasons – "December 1963, Oh, What a Night"
  • Grateful Dead – "Box of Rain"
  • Albert Hammond – "It Never Rains in California"
  • Elton John – "Philadelphia Freedom"
  • Carole King – "So Far Away"
  • John Lennon & Yoko Ono – "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"
  • The Mamas & The Papas – "California Dreaming," "Monday, Monday"
  • Scott McKenzie – "San Francisco"
  • Don McLean – "American Pie"
  • Napoleon XIV – "They're Coming to Take Me Away"
  • Peter, Paul & Mary – "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"
  • The Rolling Stones – "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Mother's Little Helper," "Paint It Black," and "19th Nervous Breakdown"
  • Simon & Garfunkel – "A Hazy Shade of Winter," "America," "The Boxer," "Fakin' It," "Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall," and "Patterns."
  • Cat Stevens – "Peace Train"
  • Talking Heads – "Once in a Lifetime"
  • James Taylor – "Fire & Rain"
  • Wings – "With A Little Luck"
  • Stevie Wonder - "Higher Ground," "Ngiculela/Es Una Historia/I Am Singing"
  • Yes! – "Roundabout"

Suggested Playlist – Classical

  • Bach – "Sheep May Safely Graze"
  • Corelli – "Christmas Concerto"
  • Handel – "Messiah"
  • Handel-Halvorsen – "Passacaglia for Violin/Viola"
  • Mozart – "Ave Verum" and "Aleluia"
  • Vivaldi - "Gloria in Excelsis"

Also Noted in Novel

  • Johnny Cash – "You Are My Sunshine"
  • Miles Davis – "Kind of Blue"
  • Judy Garland – "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"
  • Woody Herman – "Your Father's Mustache"
  • Scott Joplin – "Maple Leaf Rag"
  • Henry Clay Work – "Come Home, Father"


Book Club Questions

Thank you to the book clubs who've asked for questions to consider. Here are ten that may be of help... enjoy!

  1. Fiona's parents appear to make a conscious effort to educate their children and not "dumb things down" for them. Do you think this aspect of their parenting style was helpful or hurtful? Should parents make complicated concepts more basic for children, or should they give a more educated answer?
  2. The "benign neglect" style of parenting popular in some circles in the 1960s stands in stark contrast to the more recent and better known "helicopter parenting" style. What do you think is the healthiest parenting style to adopt? Why so?
  3. Fiona mentions her "little sparklies." They seem to arrive whenever she is traveling between parents. We learn that these sparklies are a prodrome to migraines. Do you think understanding this would have affected her parents' reaction, changing their way of dealing with Fiona's symptoms? Have you ever had a physical reaction that turned out to indicate a bigger problem?
  4. Early in her schooling, Fiona expresses frustration about being bullied for being smart and she ponders that perhaps she should not show her intelligence as much. Do you think this is a more common occurrence for young girls or boys? Is it equal? How should a young girl like Fiona react to someone making fun of her for being smart?
  5. Fiona's father thought taking Fiona to an anti-war protest would be a good way to demonstrate civic involvement. Do you agree with him?
    Why or why not? How do you think this experience of getting tear gassed by the police could have changed Fiona's perception of police or protesting?
  6. In what ways is Fiona's mother a key character in the book even there are long periods where she rarely appears?
  7. Herb, a family friend, believes the world is harsh, and to be successful, Fiona needs to understand this early, and be competitive. Do you agree with some or all of his statement? Why or why not? Why do you think he feels the need to teach this lesson to someone so young? Do you think this is a lesson that should be taught purposefully early in life or gained by personal experience?
  8. Despite wanting to be with her mother and older sister so badly, Fiona eventually puts that thought out of her mind. Do you think she came to accept the way things are, or did she simply lose hope? How do you think this happened? Has there ever been anything difficult in your life you had to learn how to accept, or have you ever held onto hope through thick and thin? How did you manage it?
  9. What decisions does Fiona make in this story that end up changing her life? Are there other characters that make seemingly small decisions that greatly affect her life? Have you ever made what seemed like a small, unimportant decision, but it turned out to be very important? Explain.
  10. Fiona finds writing about what is troubling her helps to ease her mind even as it fosters her creativity. Why do you think it is easier for some people to cope with and process things in other ways than through talking about them?

Elfenworks Productions, LLC logo
Elfenworks Productions, LLC logo

Elfenworks Productions, LLC

We are a multimedia production company specializing in positive storytelling with a pro-social vision. Whether soothing and nourishing the senses, exploring important untold stories, fostering learning, or helping redefine the landscape of possibilities, the common element is to inspire and uplift, "bringing light to what is right." Believing it is possible to do well while doing good, this creative, professional team of storytellers brings their expertise, integrity, intelligence and insight to bear on every effort, be it a film, a song, an app, an animation, or whatever's next. Find out more at ELFENWORKSPRODUCTIONS.COM