A Thread of Grace : A Novel

by Mary Doria Russell | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0375501843 Global Overview for this book
Registered by ID20080001 on 11/12/2005
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by ID20080001 on Saturday, November 12, 2005
In Thread of Grace, Russell-a Roman Catholic of Italian heritage who converted to Judaism-explores Italy’s response to German occupation, the fate of its Jews, and the actions of individuals. The story, which shifts to different (and sometimes unrelated) characters and subplots, alienated a few critics. Most, however, found that the depth of characterization forged a cohesive narrative and created complex layers of emotion, history, and horror that aptly represent wartime. Reviewers also forgave the ambiguous motives that seemed to drive the characters, who exhibit extreme behavior, from selfless to evil. Yet, by the end, readers will understand the old Hebrew saying, “No matter how dark the tapestry God weaves for us, there’s always a thread of grace.”

Journal Entry 2 by ID20080001 on Thursday, December 15, 2005
I just couldn't get into this book. There are too many characters to follow. This book is being sent to a fellow bookcrosser.

Journal Entry 3 by Dreamer2 from Derwood, Maryland USA on Thursday, November 22, 2007
I thought this was an excellent book. . .although I agree with pjmom that there were a lot of characters to follow and it was sometimes hard to keep them straight, I was drawn in pretty quickly and grew to really care about some of them. Unfortunately -- but realistically -- the ending was pretty depressing. All of those characters I cared about died, or ended up very sad people. I'm now sending it on to AceofHearts in Ontario, Canada.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Thursday, December 06, 2007
received in the mail today as a RABCK. Thank you so much!!!

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Journal Entry 5 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, June 17, 2012
A Thread of Grace starts with the Italian surrender to the Allies during WWII. Claudette Blum and her father are Jewish refugees intent on crossing the Alps from France in order to find freedom. What they find instead is more Germans.

This is a story of the German occupation of Northern Italy. Roman Catholic priests and nuns saved many Jews from the Germans who were intent on finding them and sending them to the concentration camps. Even though the Germans were fighting and being hit by air attacks daily they were still diligent about rounding up the Jews in the area.

Italians hid and helped the Jews. The Italian resistance fought the Germans. This novel is a historical fiction depicting the actions of the people in Northern Italy.

The characters in this book are wonderful. Renzo is a rogue who seamlessly flits between the Germans, the resistance and the Jews. Claudette is the tragic character caught up in an awful war. Schramm is the uptight scumbag German obeying his orders and fighting his conscience afterwords.

I loved this book and learning about all about this area during the war. So many people helped others at great peril to themselves.

Journal Entry 6 by HoserLauren at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, November 11, 2012
Reading now!

Journal Entry 7 by HoserLauren at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Saturday, November 24, 2012
It's the middle of WWII and Italian Jews have spread throughout Europe to try to escape the Germans and their own government. When Italy surrenders to the Allies, Italian Jews need to trek over the Alps to find freedom. Claudette Blum and her father have been separated from him mom and brothers but they must put that behind them to stay alive. They travel with other families and Italian soldiers that are also in danger. Claudette becomes smitten with one of the soldiers and he helps her and her father find places to hide in the countryside.

They meet many Italians and Italian Jews alike that want to fight against the Germans within Italy. One is Renzo, who takes on many identities to sabatoge the Germans and help hide Jews and the Italian resistance. His story is a tragic one as he's fought in a previous conflict and can't quite move past that.

I don't think I've read a book about Italy during WWII in the past and there were some quite educational parts of the book. There are also a lot of characters, too many. I had problems throughout the book keeping track of which character was which, which impacted my ability to completely enjoy the novel.

I found the last two paragraphs of the book the most meaningful. They explained that Hitler himself never fired a gun during the entire war. "One hollow, hateful little man. One last awful thought: all the harm he ever did was done for him by others."

Journal Entry 8 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, November 25, 2012
This book is back with me :)

Journal Entry 9 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, January 16, 2013
mailed to Loriped who I now realize is the sweeps alternate. Enjoy!!

Journal Entry 10 by loriped at Keizer, Oregon USA on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Received this in the mail today and am so excited as I have been wanting to read this one for some time. I was also surprised to learn that I was the "decoy" in the sweepstakes. Thanks Ace.

Journal Entry 11 by loriped at Keizer, Oregon USA on Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I really enjoyed this story and more so as it was sent to me by Ace. I enjoy reading stories about the resilience of individuals in times of war. Claudette's story and that of the other individuals who fought back against the Nazi's in Italy is wonderfully told.

Sending to Zosime in a trade for some of her cozy mysteries.

Journal Entry 12 by zosime at Marshfield, Wisconsin USA on Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Oh wow, what a nice surprise this morning! I remember this popping up in one of BookObsessed's Best Of swaps. I'm looking forward to it!

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