A Thread of Grace – by Mary Doria Russell – independent book review – Historical Fiction (World War II)

Awarded three stars on Goodreads. Probably a bit better than three, but not as good as four.

threadgrace Mary Doria Russell tells an amazing story about the efforts Italian citizens made during World War II to hide and protect Jews from the Nazis, between September 1943 and the end of the war.

By telling dozens of intertwined stories (from Jews, Catholics, partisans, Germans primarily) the author creates a rich fabric that reads like a true story, even though it isn’t. This book shows war at its best and worst — the speed with which relationships are made, the randomness of violence and loss, the kindness and courage witnessed in tiny everyday acts, and the legacy of injustice that lingered long after German’s surrender.

A THREAD OF GRACE has a powerful anti-war message and a cast of compelling characters. But it can be a little difficult to keep them all straight and I continually had to reference the list of characters at the beginning of the book. Because of the sheer volume of characters, some of whom have multiple names, I found this a bit of a distraction and it kept me from making a full emotional connection. Overall though, glad I read it.

Mary Doria Russell

More about the author, Mary Doria Russell.