A Thread of Grace: A Novel

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Random House, Jan 1, 2005 - Fiction - 430 pages
1289 Reviews
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.

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This book has unforgettable characters. Characters that you care about, noble characters. This is the story of the Italian Jews that assimilated and the French Jews that fled to Italy and were hidden.
If you read the "Sparrow," this book is the same author and you will find this a brilliant read as well.

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This book is fiction, but it's one of the most realistic stories about WWII I've ever read. It's a reminder of how easy we have it not living in a war zone, trying to escape the Nazis, or having to ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

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.

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