A Thread of Grace
by Mary Doria Russell
Paperback- $13.89

Set in Italy during the dramatic finale of World War II, this new novel is the first in seven years by the bestselling author of The ...

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  "An absorbing story of heroism and generosity amid the horrors of war." by scribread (see profile) 05/18/06

It is worthwhile to take the time to learn the many characters in this complex and affecting story. This superbly written book engages the reader on an emotional level and brings up many ideas and concepts relevant to our own lives.

  "Wonderful insight into the other side of the occupation of Italy during WWII" by greenwave (see profile) 11/16/06

Great topics of discussion for this book. Many points of view coming from the German Army, Italian residents, American forces, and the Resistance fighters. The list of characters in the front was so much help in keeping them all straight. You have such compassion for all the characters and how they struggled within themselves to just stay alive and how they dealt with their decisions.

  "Set in Italy during the final days of WWII, this is the story of the Italian Resistance and the bravery of the Italian people in protecting the Jews from the Nazi's last attempts to succeed at the Fin" by mickie49 (see profile) 12/20/06

Having heard of the French Resistance during WWII, I had heard very little about its Italian counterpart.
This novel made me fall in love with the characters with all their faults. The story moves rapidly and has so many characters that the list of characters in the beginning of the book is a real help keeping everyone straight.
This book is one that I will remember for a long time, turning parts of it over in my mind often.

  "Not an easy read but a very thoughtful read." by clf256 (see profile) 03/27/07

This book starts out hard to read but stick with it the characters draw you in, as well as the subject matter, The discussion was very lively.

  "Hard to get started, but really liked it as I got into it" by nolanj (see profile) 03/27/07

  "This is a wonderful story about individuals caught up in the Nazi occupation of Italy. It shows us the horror of people caught up in the evils of a system that reduced some people to subhumans and tr" by BobbieDodge (see profile) 04/27/07

I loved this book! I thought the writing was beautiful, at times even poetic. Ms. Russell developed each of her characters so well that I felt I knew each of them personally. She also did an excellent job of showing all the characters as fully human. No angels or devils here, just human beings forced to make hugh moral choices and having to live with the consequences.

I gained much respect for the people of Italy after reading this book and researching for myself Italy's role in the War. Why did so many Italians choose to help their Jewish neighbors and even Jewish strangers, when so many Europeans choose to either ignore their plight and in some cases even participate? What made them different? What it seems to come down to is this: each individual must choose for him/herself, do I look away from evil or do I do what I can to help? Many Italian's choose to help at great cost to themselves.

A warning -- Don't expect a light read. This is a heavy, thought provoking read.

  "Well written book, educational subject matter for most of our members" by annkelley (see profile) 04/30/07

  "Engaging, Dense, Relevant" by corizzo (see profile) 05/21/07

This was a popular read for our group. We usually go with historical fiction to the point of being in a rut, but this offered a very different, sobering view of a nasty history. It takes place after Italy has surrendered, and these Jews- a large cast of characters to be sure- are now without the protection from ANY side. Nazis are after them because they aren't with Hitler anymore, and the Allies are bombing them to make sure Hitler cannot use their resources. There are several different characters, each written with great feeling. This is not a quick read, even for those who believe themselves to be fast readers. It's takes at least two weeks to absorb everything. It was a great discussion. while it wasn't a fun book, everyone felt it was worthwhile.

  "Many characters makes for tedious reading" by im3snakes (see profile) 07/20/07

The story is good, but sometimes difficult to follow due to all the characters (some of whom are the same person, but you don't know that at first).

  "We had a lively, in-depth discussion. Really enjoyed it!" by Kenner (see profile) 10/17/07

Many of us in our group had fathers who were directly involved with World War II. It brought a subject that has rarely been discussed to light. The hardships and difficult choices the characters had to make were mind boggling.

  "book stays with you long after you have read it" by pambs (see profile) 01/20/08

This is a hard read that takes some time, but it is well worth it.

  "Lots of Characters!!" by speidelkelly (see profile) 02/26/08

I personally found this book to be boring! Everyone else in the club liked it. I found the enormous amount of characters and ther aliases made the book too complicated to keep track of the "real" story line. I didn't like the ficticious locations since I enjoy history and the book's plot takes place during WWII in occupied Italy.

  "Excelllent book but not an easy read" by knuk (see profile) 03/15/08

All members of our book club enjoyed this book. There was agreement that this book was difficult to get through but certainly worth the effort. The list of characters and map in the front of the book were essential to keeping up with characters and locations. This book provided many issues to discuss.

  "What a really great book! the characters and the story are" by dtcfife (see profile) 04/19/08

riveting, I could not put this book down. It makes you want to learn more about WW2. You really feel for those people who had to live through that. This is a must read!!

  "Outstanding!" by AcornLiz (see profile) 05/30/08

I have read this book twice - once on my own and then with one of my book clubs. One of my other book clubs has it on the schedule to read it next year. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Great story and great characters.

  ". About the Italian Jews plight." by 1becky (see profile) 07/29/08

I read this book on my own (not Book Club) and I would Highly recommend it to anyone. It was very well written.

  "everyone should read this book!" by hruth (see profile) 10/25/08

Deep, horrific, and touching -- teeming with truth. I LOVE this book.

  "Well written book with interesting story." by rnns1999 (see profile) 11/01/08

I have read several books on this general topic, Winds of War, War and Remembrance and Exodus. This was the first one that took place in Italy and was not told from an American perspective. It is amazing to learn about the support of the Italian citizens in such a terrible time.

Although the book is not too long. Some of our members found it slower reading because it was "dense" and there were a lot of names to learn in the begining.

  "Full of good, evil, love, hate, triumph, disappointment and grief" by skarohlid (see profile) 11/13/08

So many good themes to talk about for book clubs. Would be helpful to have some knowledge of WWII but not necessary. The story is heartbreaking yet the goodness of the people of Italy is a shining example of the best of humanity prevailing over the worst.

  "A wonderful book about Italy during WWII . Excellent !" by rosemaryheller (see profile) 11/23/08

  "captivating but heavy" by Kwizgiver (see profile) 02/14/09

A great book about a heavy topic. We had a lot of great conversation about characters, locations and the situations.

  "Found it hard to stay with this book" by jmsblest (see profile) 02/27/09

  "A Thread Of Grace" by ewmonteiro (see profile) 10/14/09

  "Not an easy read but very informative" by djn4comm (see profile) 11/19/09

Not all of our members finished the book due to its complexity, mainly because of the various names used by the book's characters. Those that did finish thought the book was extremely interesting and informative but all agreed that it was an exhausting book to read.

  "Thread of Grace" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/03/10

  "the end ruined it" by AvidReader82 (see profile) 06/05/10

First of all, you must read her sci fi books. Our club was very hesitant as that's not usually our thing, but we all loved them - The Sparrow and Children of God. We were really looking forward to this one, but the ending brought in a supernatural element that was no where to be found in the first part, and was totally unneccessary.

  "The Thread Of Grace" by little-sweetums (see profile) 11/11/10

Most of the group found the beginning chapters tedious and had to push through to get deeper into the story. and some members found the characters not as well deveoped as they would prefer. However, the story of Italy during WWII was dramatic and captivating, so considered this book a worthwhile read.

  "Interesting Aspect of WWII" by kristinbluedog (see profile) 06/20/13

This is a novel with a different part of WWII that you generally don\\\'t hear about. I found the characters engaging and the book enjoyable.

  "Needs a Good Edit" by retiredreaderNE (see profile) 08/10/13

I knew I was in trouble when I opened the book to find a two-page List of Characters. I would prefer to have the characters developed on page, not in a list. A good edit would have improved my relationship with the characters. I never felt I knew them or cared about them. The historical events that spawned this book are interesting and deserve to be told. However, they merit better treatment.

  "" by BumpBumpSplat (see profile) 09/22/18

Not all our book club were able to finish this book. It was intense. So many delicious descriptive passages, surrounded by complex human journeys, monsters and angels. Anthropological, scientific and yet painfully real, but, in some places too real for me. I had to set it by.

  "" by KRoby (see profile) 05/06/22

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