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This title in other editions

A Thread of Grace

by

A Thread of Grace Cover

ISBN13: 9780449004135
ISBN10: 0449004139
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $6.50!

 

Review-A-Day

"Lord only knows, we've got plenty of World War II novels already....Many of these books are good and some are great, but surely we've got enough of them by now — which is probably what a lot of people will think when they hear about Mary Doria Russell's A Thread of Grace. Nevertheless, it would be a big mistake to write off this absorbing novel....[T]he book is a veritable symphony of action, deploying about a dozen characters (all solidly delineated), in a nonstop string of escapes, ambushes, ruses, sabotages, sorties, disguises, coded communications and rescues." Laura Miller, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Sparrow and Children of God.

It is September 8, 1943, and fourteen-year-old Claudette Blum is learning Italian with a suitcase in her hand. She and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps toward Italy, where they hope to be safe at last, now that the Italians have broken with Germany and made a separate peace with the Allies. The Blums will soon discover that Italy is anything but peaceful, as it becomes overnight an open battleground among the Nazis, the Allies, resistance fighters, Jews in hiding, and ordinary Italian civilians trying to survive.

Mary Doria Russell sets her first historical novel against this dramatic background, tracing the lives of a handful of fascinating characters. Through them, she tells the little-known but true story of the network of Italian citizens who saved the lives of forty-three thousand Jews during the war's final phase. The result of five years of meticulous research, A Thread of Grace is an ambitious, engrossing novel of ideas, history, and marvelous characters that will please Russell's many fans and earn her even more.

Review:

"[A]n expansive, well-researched, and compelling novel....Russell is good at presenting the human story while never using the war merely as a backdrop for personal dramas." Booklist

Review:

"[A]n emotionally wrenching experience. Russell has succeeded in vividly and memorably evoking the hardships, dangers, sufferings and sorrows of wartime life in Nazi-occupied Italy in a somber, profoundly moving book that engages the heights and depths of human experience." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Fans of Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow and Children of God will be thrilled by her masterful new novel. A Thread of Grace is a rich, multi-layered narrative that offers fresh insight into a devastating time in world affairs. A story of love and war, it speaks to the resilience and beauty of the human spirit in the midst of unimaginable horror. It is, unquestionably, a literary triumph." David Morrell, author of The Brotherhood of the Rose and First Blood

Review:

"Russell's characters were slow to come to life, and dialogue in the opening chapters was stiff. But as the pages rolled by, her people did come to life, without exception becoming more complex and more interesting. The writing, too, began to strike sparks." San Jose Mercury News

Review:

"Russell is a smart, passionate and imaginative writer, and there wasn't a moment when I wanted to set this book aside. It's a vivid account of northern Italy during World War II." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"[A] rich, rewarding, and well-researched tale of WWII....Beautiful, noble, fascinating, and almost unbearably sad." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Densely populated, well-plotted novel, which is thick with intersecting plots and characters — most of them both colorful and memorable." Seattle Times

About the Author

The author of prize-winning research in paleoanthropology, Mary Doria Russell has written two previous novels, The Sparrow and Children of God. She lives with her husband and son in Cleveland, Ohio.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

with MyNose in a Book, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by with MyNose in a Book)
Fascinating novel presenting real history. This is a tale of Genoa and the mountains of Italy, based on memoirs and narratives. Great reading about people struggling that inspires us to keep children safe and stand up to the misuse of authority.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
g.donahue, January 27, 2008 (view all comments by g.donahue)
A carefully researched historical work of fiction and well worth the read. I love reading historical fiction that informs us of little-known points of history that would otherwise be forgotten, and the story of the resistance in Northern Italy at the end of World War II is one of these notable stories. Thus, the research and resulting story itself wins me over. The rabbis, the priests, the housewives, even the children–all worked together in the mountains and towns of Northern Italy to fight the German Nazi machine---good certainly triumphing over evil in this case. The unexpected heroism of the Italians overcomes the darkness and evil that so clearly took place during this time. But don’t expect a clean, crisp, melodious telling of the story. The tentacles of death found their way to far too many characters to leave one settled. And the tentacles wind their way through far too macabre scenes of grisly murder and wrenching sadness. Technically, I would have been just as intrigued had the author focused more on fewer characters and developed them better. The characters, the setting, and the themes get lost---almost like a Hieronymous Bosch painting with chaos dashing in and out of the scene and every character just a prop. Characters who change names or use other names drop in and out of the picture making it hard for the reader to identify. In reading other reviews of this book, I don’t seem to be alone in this complaint. However, the author does provide a cheat sheet of characters and a map in the beginning to refer to which helps somewhat. Despite this one fault, the story held up as an important and worthy read of a period in history which displayed the extremes of human behavior.

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(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780449004135
Author:
Russell, Mary Doria
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
War stories
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20051231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
8.10x5.28x1.02 in. .72 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

A Thread of Grace Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780449004135 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Lord only knows, we've got plenty of World War II novels already....Many of these books are good and some are great, but surely we've got enough of them by now — which is probably what a lot of people will think when they hear about Mary Doria Russell's A Thread of Grace. Nevertheless, it would be a big mistake to write off this absorbing novel....[T]he book is a veritable symphony of action, deploying about a dozen characters (all solidly delineated), in a nonstop string of escapes, ambushes, ruses, sabotages, sorties, disguises, coded communications and rescues." (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Review" by , "[A]n expansive, well-researched, and compelling novel....Russell is good at presenting the human story while never using the war merely as a backdrop for personal dramas."
"Review" by , "[A]n emotionally wrenching experience. Russell has succeeded in vividly and memorably evoking the hardships, dangers, sufferings and sorrows of wartime life in Nazi-occupied Italy in a somber, profoundly moving book that engages the heights and depths of human experience."
"Review" by , "Fans of Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow and Children of God will be thrilled by her masterful new novel. A Thread of Grace is a rich, multi-layered narrative that offers fresh insight into a devastating time in world affairs. A story of love and war, it speaks to the resilience and beauty of the human spirit in the midst of unimaginable horror. It is, unquestionably, a literary triumph."
"Review" by , "Russell's characters were slow to come to life, and dialogue in the opening chapters was stiff. But as the pages rolled by, her people did come to life, without exception becoming more complex and more interesting. The writing, too, began to strike sparks."
"Review" by , "Russell is a smart, passionate and imaginative writer, and there wasn't a moment when I wanted to set this book aside. It's a vivid account of northern Italy during World War II."
"Review" by , "[A] rich, rewarding, and well-researched tale of WWII....Beautiful, noble, fascinating, and almost unbearably sad."
"Review" by , "Densely populated, well-plotted novel, which is thick with intersecting plots and characters — most of them both colorful and memorable."
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