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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.
This book is highly praiseworthy, as with MDR's first book "The Sparrow." I had a minor issue with shipping (which was entirely my fault) and the seller worked it out with... Read morePublished 3 days ago by M. Burner
Probably the best piece of historical fiction and chronicle of the Holocaust I have read in a long time. Read morePublished 27 days ago by fourwinn
Mary Doria Russell does a magnificent job of developing rich characters that you want to stay with. She writes very believable historical fiction and in Author's Notes she seals... Read morePublished 1 month ago by John H. Glover
It is an intriguing fictionalized account of the harrowing experiences of the partisans & Jews during
the Nazi occupation of northern Italy after the surrender of Italian... Read more
This is a book that brings the reader into emotional contact with the reality of the Holocaust and the war that raged around it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sherri Hayden
First 100 pages kind of slow but it picks up. I found the author's device of moving back and forth from multiple situations and people a little difficult to follow. Read morePublished 2 months ago by timothy toler
This ranks as one of the best written books I have read recently. It covers a period of history that I fear many have forgotten. Read morePublished 2 months ago by jax
I love Mary Doria Russell. I just can't put her books down. I got hooked on her writing when a friend sent me a copy of "Doc. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Maureen
I READ THIS BOOK SOME YEARS AGO AND GOT THIS FOR A FRIEND. I LIKE THIS AUTHOR'S WRITING; INTELLIGENT WRITING, GOOD CHARACTERIZATION AND STORY LINES.Published 2 months ago by tapestry