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The rich fictional narrative is woven through the factual military maneuvers and political games at the end of WW II, sharing a little-known story of a group of Italian citizens that sheltered more than 40,000 Jews from grueling work camp executions. Rather than the bleak and hopeless feeling that might be expected, the novel has the opposite effect; it reminds us that just as there will always be war, crime, and death, so too will there be good people who selflessly sacrifice themselves to ease the suffering of others. Perhaps best of all, Russell succinctly opens and closes her writing with short pieces that bookend the story with the force of a freight train. Her moving finale wraps up her narrative in the present day, with a death bed scene that's sure to rip the heart out of readers of every faith and ancestry.
On the surface, Russell's third novel may seem quite different from her earlier works. Both The Sparrow and its sequel, Children of God , were futuristic stories about Earth's first contact with alien life forms, but a closer look reveals several similarities. Fans of her earlier books will be pleased to find that Emilio Sandoz, the charismatic Jesuit priest from the first two books, finds new life in Renzo Leoni--A Thread of Grace's charming and haunted chameleon. The two have different circumstances and histories, but both characters are made of the same cloth--tormented by their consciences and plagued by unrequited love. Also similar to her earlier books, the characters in A Thread of Grace don't all enjoy a happy ending. A note in the reader's guide tells us that Russell flipped a coin to determine the fate of some of the characters. This may be upsetting for many readers, particularly those used to Hollywood endings, but it does serve as a frank reminder of the arbitrary nature of war and death. --Victoria Griffith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The story unfolds, the pace is fast, the main characters are well developed, and the ending makes sense.
Just like "The Sparrow" and "Children of God", however, Ms. Russell's characters are wonderfully crafted, and the story is told in a remarkably beautiful manner.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, not only interested in history, but who likes to feel something when they read.
Quite exceptional writer. Her depiction of the death of the priest and how it impacted the german doctor is worth the entire read.Published 3 days ago by Nathan W. Lumpkins
Beautifully written, evocative, powerfully moving story of a part of WW II history that should not be forgotten. I fell in love with all the characters. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Patricia L. Gurney
Astounding , no glorifying anything about a horrible period in our history except the courage of the oppressed and the redemption of somePublished 23 days ago by Dianne Ludwig
A Thread of Grace is in part the story of those World War II Jews who sought refuge in northern Italy after the Nazis invaded France. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Lynnette Taylor
This is a story that should be told in the human terms that the author describes her characters. The setting is so quietly revealed that you feel the surroundings as well as the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The characters draw you in and tug at your heart. In all the savagery that was WWII. the generosity of the human spirit comes through.Published 1 month ago by Michael E Jones
Very hard to get into this book. Names are very confusing because characters are mentioned with first names and sometimes last names and even names each took with fake names. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Somehow, although it has the distinctly terrestrial setting of nothern Italy during WWII, this book fits right in with Russell's previous work. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Angela Reis