LOOSE THREADS, a novel by the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, The Geography of Love.

“In her first novel, Loose Threads, Glenda Burgess takes readers on an armchair world tour with Ellen d’Ullay and the changing map of her inner world. “-- Saratoga News

“Art, particularly good art, involves comfort with chaos. To really explore the creative, you have to be willing to go in where there are no rules.” – Palo Alto Daily News

"...a story for anyone who crept into their own life without a precise sense of location..."-Los Altos Town Crier

“In today’s fast paced world, how does anyone find a life that matters? Ellen d’Ullay is about to risk everything, following that one loose thread… A novel rich in detail about the world of international diplomacy and the inner obsessions of struggling artists, Loose Threads is a sophisticated, intelligent read—direct and powerful with take-your-breath away passages of eloquent writing.” – reader from Washington DC, Amazon.com

Glenda Burgess’ novel opens in the political realms of Washington DC and moves into American embassies around the world in the nineteen-eighties, a time when diplomacy bordered terrorism, and a young diplomat’s future was limited only by ambition. Loose Threads is the story of Ellen d’Ullay, one woman’s search for herself across three decades of life. Fast-paced and surprising, with a penchant for paradox and hidden truth, the hearts and minds of Burgess’ characters are as interesting as the landscapes we find them in. Burgess’ novel eloquently probes the human search for meaning, lasting love, and roots in an unpredictable world.

Loose Threads explores the uncommon thread, the way not taken as we compose our lives. How we turn to and from opportunity as we brace our daily moments with choice. Engaging, fresh, and unforgettable, Loose Threads is about the journey to authenticity and the redemptive power of genuine passion.

First published 1998 by The Malvern Publishing Co. Ltd.,
United Kingdom, The Great American First Novel series.
Second Edition Back in Print, Penguin/​AuthorHouse, 2008

Cover design by C. Brewer
Cover photograph by Kenneth A. Grunzweig, 1998
Author photo Aspen, Colorado


Excerpt from an interview by Arts and Entertainment correspondent Joan Gielow for the Palo Alto Daily News, August 11, 1998.

"Glenda Burgess, author of LOOSE THREADS said she hopes her book provides some validation for those who are starting to have doubts about the path they’re on.

You may know the feeling.

"There is a sense of being misplaced or displaced, or perhaps heading in the wrong direction," said Burgess. "The compass is not on true north. [There is a sense that] a thread is missing - a part of you that hasn’t been brought to the light."

Ellen’s loose thread is the artistic drive she abandoned. But just how does Burgess define a loose thread? It’s the uncommon one - It stands out because it’s apart from all the others. "It could be a muse, a dream, an anxiety. I think our intuition speaks to us in many different ways," said Burgess. What made Ellen abandon the art she loved?

"The career she chose represented control over chaos. Art, particularly good art, involves comfort with chaos. To really explore the creative, you have to be willing to go places where there are no rules. In a nutshell, that’s her evolution as a character and by the end of the book, Ellen understands that about herself, and is able to stand in that place."

Click below to read an excerpt from LOOSE THREADS by Glenda Burgess, copyright @​1998 by Glenda Burgess. All rights reserved. No part of excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author.