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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 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 18 days 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 19 days 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 28 days ago by Angela Reis
Unfortunately this book is way, way below the wonder of her earlier Sparrow which is a spell-binding and brilliant read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by j harcourt
I had been putting off reading this book for sometime but finally decided to try it. I knew this wasn't going to be an easy read given the author and subject and I was right. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nancy R. Katz
I liked the story line, but I had a real problem with the keeping track of the names and characters were at any time in the book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by H Payne
Feel like I need to read it again. With all of the Italian , German, and Jewish names I seemed to always be checking back to see who I was reading about. Read morePublished 1 month ago by patricia darnell
Bonnie and I read this fine novel for a small book group we belong to. It is set in NW Italy in WWII during 1943-45. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert A. Hall