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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 author is on a par with Collen McCollough when writing something really vivid. I was amazed when I felt drawn to the story because I did not intended to finish the book. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Orthanc
A Thread of Grace follows a large cast of characters in a little-known slice of World War II history. Russell's depth of research is clear. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Cynthia Swanson
This book had so much I love in a book - suspense, history, atmosphere. The book is set in the not quite two-year period between a partially successful attempt to depose Mussolini... Read morePublished 19 days ago by A.
The story held my attention and I did read it until the end. It is about about the Jews hiding in Northern Italy during WWII so it is very interesting but depressing.Published 1 month ago by Julie Heinrich
The book had too many characters---many were not developed later on. Many of the people had a given name, a surname and a nickname--with a lot of characters in a book this is hard... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jonathan D. Powers
This is a revealing, inspiring and beautifully written novel. The focus is on Italy during WWII and the untold stories of heroic behavior of Italian Christians to help, hide and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jane B. Stark
The choices of the mood of this book should allow for 'all of the above'! A beautiful book and one I will remember for a long time to come.Published 2 months ago by Carol Lemelin
One of the 10 best books I've read...ever. More than a story...an elegant, mesmerizing, often brutal journey of historical importance. Every character is fully drawn. Read morePublished 3 months ago by EK