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An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny Hardcover – November 1, 2011


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An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny + A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; Later Printing edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451642512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451642513
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,554 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I thought I knew what An Invisible Thread was going to be. I thought it would be a simple and hopeful story about a woman who saved a boy. I was wrong. It's a complex and unswervingly honest story about a woman and a boy who saved each other. By its raw honesty and lack of excess sentimentality, it is even more inspirational. This is a book capable of restoring our faith in each other and in the very idea that maybe everything is going to be okay after all." (Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay It Forward and Jumpstart the World)

"An Invisible Thread—a remarkable story, told so beautifully and honestly—shows us what's possible when we are not afraid to connect with another human being and tap into our compassion. It is a story about the power each of us has to elevate someone else's life and how our own life is enriched in the process. This special book reminds us that damaging cycles can be broken and not to neglect the humanity of the strangers we brush up against every day." (Chris Gardner, bestselling author of The Pursuit of Happyness and Start Where You Are)

"A straightforward tale of kindness and paying it forward in 1980s New York . . . For readers seeking an uplifting reminder that small gestures matter." (Kirkus Reviews)

"According to an old Chinese proverb, there's an invisible thread that connects two people who are destined to meet and influence each other's lives. . . . As Schroff relates Maurice's story, she tells of her own father's alcoholism and abuse, and readers see how desperately these two need each other in this feel-good story about the far-reaching benefits of kindness." (Publishers Weekly)

"An Invisible Thread is like The Blind Side, but instead of football, it’s food. These are two people who were brought together by one simple meal, and it literally changed the course of both of their lives. This is a must-read . . . you can read it in a day because it’s impossible to put down. If you read it and find it as moving as I did, pay it forward: buy a copy and give it to a friend.” (Rachael Ray, host of The Rachael Ray Show)

“This book is a game-changer . . . each chapter touches your heart. An Invisible Thread is a gift to us all. America needs this book now more than ever.” (“Coach” Ron Tunick, national radio show host, “The Business of Life”)

“An incredible story . . . I would encourage everyone to pick up this book.” (Clayton Morris, host, Fox & Friends)

"If you have a beating heart—or if you fear you’re suffering a hardening of the emotional arteries—you really ought to commit to this book at the earliest possible opportunity . . . read this book. And pass it on. And encourage the next reader to do the same.” (Jesse Kornbluth Huffington Post)

About the Author

Laura Schroff is a former advertising executive who has helped launch three of the most successful start-ups in Time Inc. history—InStyle, Teen People, and People StyleWatch. Schroff has also worked as the New York Division Manager at People magazine and Associate Publisher at Brides. She lives in New York City.

Alex Tresniowski is a former human-interest writer at People and has written several books, most notably The Vendetta, which was purchased by Universal Studios and used as a basis for the movie Public Enemies. His most recent book, An Invisible Thread, has spent more than twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

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Customer Reviews

I was interested in the story from the beginning to the end.
Juanita Heard
I enjoyed this inspirational book which is a true story of how one person can make a difference in another's life.
Laura
An Invisible Thread was an amazing story that touched my heart.
Clau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

232 of 238 people found the following review helpful By Silver's Reviews on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Maurice had never met anyone like Laura and Laura had never met anyone like Maurice. They were from two different worlds. Laura doesn't know why she stopped and turned back after Maurice asked her for some money, but she is glad she did.

Through Maurice, Laura learned about the life he and thousands of others were living on a daily basis....not a pleasant life at all. Laura was helping Maurice to live a better life at least one day a week, and it seemed to be paying off since she could see a change in him even though he had to go back to his horrible living conditions after he left her.

As well as learning about the living conditions of others, the author also gave the reader a chance to find out that her childhood/family life was not very easy.....her father was an abusive alcoholic, and her mother sat by not being able to defend herself or her children. Obviously the author's childhood and the childhood of her brothers and sisters had an impact on their entire life and on her decision to turn back and fulfill Maurice's plea for help.

The descriptions in the book are very detailed and heartbreaking but also heartwarming. You will become a part of the lives of every character and you will feel their pain and happiness.

An Invisible Thread is the perfect title for this book. The book brought to the surface that we all have a connection to other human beings even though that connection may not be outwardly visible.

I truly enjoyed the book because of the honesty of feelings and of human kindness and human connection. This is a must read. Laura Schroff is a brave woman to reveal all this about her life, but it definitely will make you realize that no matter how small the gesture may be, we can make a difference for someone else. 5/5
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94 of 99 people found the following review helpful By LWM TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very torn throughout the reading of this book. Once I finished reading I turned to the user reviews on amazon to see what others thought. I found myself agreeing with both the positive and negative reviews which made me sit back and think long and hard about things.

What drew me to the book was not just the story, but the fact that the first editorial review stated that there was a "lack of excess sentimentality" As far as my tastes go, I don't like gratuitous sentimentality so that simple statement was a ringing endorsement. But the book IS sentimental, sometimes overly so, and, as other less favorable reviews have pointed out, there is a self congratulatory undercurrent at times. There were points in my reading of An Invisible Thread that I would have hurled the book across the room in frustration. The fact that I was reading on the kindle app for my android phone was probably the main reason for my restraint. The author was often the hero in her stories and I found myself wondering how much of a role revisionist history played in her retelling of her childhood and even certain scenes with Maurice. Or maybe not. There are already too many spoilers here in these user reviews so I am not going to give anything away, but suffice it to say that when Laura met Michael I was so angry I wasn't sure I would finish the book. Sure, she talked about her struggles with her decisions but I think I didn't always believe her. There we a few other instances of cowardice in the book that made me cringe but then I had to ask myself whether I would be any less cowardly in some of these emotionally difficult situations. Unfortunately, the answer is probably, NO. Edit* I should note, that along with what I am calling cowardice, Laura also showed incredible bravery and/or courage.
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Louisa M on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
God bless Laura Schroff and Maurice Maczyk. An Invisible Thread tells their story; Laura, a successful NY career woman, and Maurice, the young 11-year-old panhandler, whom she helped and befriended. Her initial act of kindness, and the lessons they taught one another and share here, are indeed inspiritional, and hopefully will help to change many lives for the better.

But parts of this book are difficult to read. The description of the welfare hotel where Maurice lived at one time is horrifying; the abuse that Laura and her family suffered at the hands of her alcoholic father is even worse. I must applaud the author for her honesty...although she does pat herself on the back a little too often, she also gives other people credit where due, and admits if she made a mistake.

There are many small details (for example, the brown bag lunches, and the bicycle) which add heart to the story, but then other chapters jump ahead abruptly, and suddenly the reader is two years in the future without knowing what transpired in between. Also, the editing could have been better...if Maurice is on a bike, he should "pedal" away, not "peddle," as it is spelled in the text.

For me, almost the saddest part of the book was the following sentence: "He (the suthor's husband) even relented and allowed me to invite Maurice to our home for Christmas one year." Allowed her? Wasn't it her home also? It is obvious that Laura and Maurice have always had a special relationship; what a pity that they were forced to miss any time together at all.

The photo inserts are helpful, and a nice addition, as is the follow-up interview with the author.

Ms. Schroff states that the book idea grew from a magazine article. It is a good book, but not great. Borrow it from the library, and use the money you would have spent on a purchase to perform your own act of kindness. I wish Laura, Maurice, and their entire extended family all the best.
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