Available May 1, 2019


No love is as safe as that of an inseparable sister; no hurt as deep, when she leaves without a trace.

St. Paul, Minnesota, 1946: As little girls, the Malone sisters relied on each other for companionship and affection as their mother remained distant, beating back the demons of her own mysterious childhood. Now, as young women ready to embrace promising futures, the closely-knit sisters are ready to embrace promising futures – Eliza plans for a life of intellectual fulfillment beginning with college at nearby St. Catherine's, while far simpler hopes of family and happiness occupy Shannon. Instead, the closely-knit sisters endure life-changing tragedies and their powerful bonds of love and loyalty threaten to break.

One sister leaves, possibly forever. Heartbroken and scarred from a battle with death, the other vows to never let go of the invisible thread that runs between them--and in the course of her journey, discovers the true meaning of family.

What Readers Are Saying


Dr. Angela Eilers, Minneapolis, MN

Inseparable sisters, Shannon and Eliza, are warmly memorable characters. I found myself immersed in their lives as if they were my own family. Set in the 1940s, this premier novel tells the tale of each sister’s wildly different dreams for her future, yet one braces for heartache knowing dreams can’t all come true. The story of Shannon’s love for Eliza and the invisible thread she believes will bring her home weaves historical events of immense interest: life-threatening tuberculosis treatments, family abandonment over shame and the tightly guarded secrecy for victimized women, to name just a few. Welch as a first-time author shines as the story teller of this vivid depiction of post-war life in St. Paul, Minnesota and Ithaca, NY—reminding the reader of a more genteel world, although a world still fraught with social challenges and turmoil that persist today. This book is a gem!

Mary Ranahan, Seattle, WA

I read this book in 2 days…a real page turner. It’s a great work of historical fiction and a thoroughly captivating storyline, smartly written with flair.

Eliza Amon, Seattle, WA

Two sisters, a secret and two lives forever altered. This is a totally captivating novel that plunges the reader into the lives of Shannon and Eliza, two Irish-American sisters living in the post-World War II American Midwest. Their experiences and dreams take them in totally different directions and I was totally immersed in the story. I ached at their estrangement and rooted for their reconciliation. I loved the historical details as well, especially that Frances Perkins is a character. This is a totally absorbing novel that is wonderful to curl up with….

2019 Events



Friday, April 26th
1:30-2:00 p.m. EDT
“Conversations LIVE” with Cyrus Webb

Wednesday, May 15th
2:10-2:30 p.m. CDT
“Afternoon Delight”
KASM-AM (Albany, MN) with Diane Haskamp



Saturday, May 4th
3:00 – 5:00 pm CST
Black Dog Café (books provided through Subtext Bookstore, St. Paul, MN)
308 E. Prince Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
RSVP: Angie at 651-253-7142

Saturday, July 20th
7:00 pm CST
Common Good Books
38 Snelling Ave. S.
St. Paul, MN 55105

Seattle, WA

Sunday, June 2nd
2:00 – 4:00 pm PST
Secret Garden Bookshop
2214 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 
Preorder Your Copy

Sunday, June 23rd
7:00 – 9:00 pm PST
Third Place Books – Seward Park
5041 Wilson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
Preorder Your Copy

About Susan


S usan grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin with either her nose in a book or her toes in the water. After graduating with a Masters in International Management from AGSIM-Thunderbird, she spent fifteen years in business calling on breweries across the world, which gave her a treasured perspective both on cultural diversity and on the opportunities she might discover for learning, giving and growing. She now works for a company focused on regional agriculture, new technologies, and craft brewing.

Always a writer, Susan often attempts to solve her problems in third person, creating fictionalized versions of herself and the main characters in her life—mostly in her head, but sometimes on paper. Nearly a decade ago, in the days after discovering her own adoption story for the first time, she turned to her imagination to trick her reeling mind so she could get a good night’s sleep. A THREAD SO FINE was born of those creative threads weaving into nocturnal dreams as she struggled to re-write the beginning of her own life story.

Welch created Shannon and Eliza, Nell and Miriam as a way to imagine how women such as her Midwestern birth mother and adoptive mother might have overcome challenges as young Catholic women in an optimistic, but socially restrictive post-World War II culture. With the exception of FDR’s Labor Secretary, Mrs. Frances Perkins, the people in A THREAD SO FINE are all much loved fabrications layered with realities, truths and insights about her cherished mother, her brave birth mother, her beloved mother-in-law, her younger sister, and herself. When not traveling for work or pleasure, Susan spends her time either on the family houseboat in Seattle, or in a cabin in the dark and rainy, sometimes balmy woods of Lummi Island – and if she’s lucky, her husband Bruce is right there with her.


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