A Thread of Grace

A Thread of Grace

Large Print - 2005
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Publisher: Prince Frederick, MD : RB Large Print, 2005
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9781419346880
Branch Call Number: LT RUS
Characteristics: xii, 653 p. : maps ; 25 cm


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Feb 15, 2020

It was o.k.

The historical side was interesting. I didn't know who the Italian partisans were before I read this book, or anything about what they had done in the war.

On the other hand, given Claudette's storyline it would have been better to have made her 16 at the beginning.

By the end I was just ready for the thing to be over already. But, I guess that's probably how people felt about the war.

Aug 08, 2018

Was disappointed with this book. Began reading and tried to get into the story, but the way it was written did not hold my interest and I did not finish it. I understand the author took around seven years to write this book and does have historical note, but almost too much so. I think detailed history can add to a story, but there is too much in this book that overshadows the story itself. I think any book that takes that long to write is going to lose perspective.

Sep 07, 2017

An unflinching look at heroism in the darkest circumstances, this novel chronicles the lives of a large group of fictional characters in Italy during the Nazi occupation near the end of WWII. (Though fictional, they are based on interviews of real people who were there, or upon historical records. One of the major plotlines concerns a Jewish family who escaped over the Alps into Italy, and a group of nuns who helped hide them when this occupation followed.) Horrific details mix with the continuation (as much as possible) of everyday life, and it’s all written in the present tense to give a greater sense of reader involvement. The meaning of the title is revealed near the end. It sums up an optimistic view of life even during the worst horrors perpetrated on humans by other humans. This book is also a warning, as our own country seems to be sliding in the direction of similar tyranny.

MissLauraStorytime Oct 04, 2016

The WWII historical novel that remains my favorite after reading many. Russell's characters, settings, and plot transport you to northern Italy and make you wonder what you would do in similar circumstances. A modern masterpiece in its genre.

Jul 06, 2016

I rate this book a 5 star. Excellent! Read it on an iPad and you can always review who characters are and Google the history. The author gave a realistic view of what was going on in Italy and it had powerful message. A great book with substance. The characters come to life in the way she writes. I will begin reading more of her books.

Apr 07, 2014

Lovely writing and a fascinating story, although I did struggle with the vast cast of characters. It was difficult to remember who was who at times.

Apr 01, 2013

I had a hard time getting into this book as there were so many characters and a lot of the names sounded similar. Confusion over who was who reigned until I decided not to worry about it. The story of the Italian resistance rang through loud and clear. The amount of detail pulled together and woven into the narrative made the book a good read. I could see the mountains, the villages, the town, the tattered people. Most of the litereary attention has been on Britain, northern Europe and the Soviet Union with only a little time spent on the south, or Africa, so to read such a detailed account of the last years of the war in Northern Italy was very interesting and informative.

spomincica Sep 06, 2012

The intersection of the different groups of people interested me as well, especially the Jewish and Catholic communities. The author creates each community in such a way that it seems she must have lived several lives, growing up in each community, to know such details, dialects, and cultures.

It reminded me very much of the stories my grandparents used to tell, of their struggles, grief, and the general fear and confusion in Yugoslavia during and immediately after WWII. It was a terrible time. The book's stories ring true.

Also she adds to the story, by alluding to the nuances between different individual Catholics or different individual Jews (or even different atheists). She shows her knowledge that each Catholic, or each Jew, has some human difference in carrying out their belief, though they all reverently bow to the same creed of their religion. This adds a human element; a true, kaleidoscope factor, which is a refreshing and reassuring change from our current secular society's views on religious groups as thoughtless followers.

Her novel deals with a very complicated time in Europe, and expounds on history that is not usually taught in schools, likely for the simple fact that it is complicated, and that many of the facts have still not been documented.

The only drawback (besides a few too many allusions to sex), was that the author seemed to paint the Partisans in a positive light. Knowing what I know from my grandparents own lives and my own study, when the Communist Partisans took over, the fear, bloodshed and mass killings only got worse.

I am eager to read another of this author's books.

Nov 14, 2011

gals walk grp bookclub

Bettylg May 16, 2011

Russell mines a little knowm nugget of Italian and Jewish history in this tale of the intersection of partisans, Jewish immigrants, Italian peasants and Nazi aggressors in the late stages of WWII. There is a lot to learn here about guilt and redemption. The author bravely goes where most others wouldn't and the final pages are a testament to her unique vision of these events.

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Feb 13, 2020

"Better one day as lions than fifty years as sheep." (One of the characters ponders this quote of Mussolini on pg 68).

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