Beyond the Book: Background information when reading A Thread of Grace

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Thread of Grace

A Novel

by Mary Doria Russell

A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2005, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2005, 464 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Mary Russell Doria says, 'the highest Jewish survival rate in Nazi-occupied Europe was in Italy! We've spent 60 years trying to understand what went wrong during the Holocaust. I wanted to know what went right in Italy.'

For skeptics who believe that she might have idealized the courage and generosity of ordinary Italians during the 1940s, Russell closes her author's note with the following inscription chiseled on the marble memorial stela in Borgo San Dalmazzo by the Jews of  Saint-Martin-Vesubie in honor of the people of Valle Stura and Valle Gesso:

When racial hatred raged in Europe, Jewish Refugees, uncertain of their fate, coming from distant countries -- Austria, Belgium, Germany, Poland -- found hospitality and safety in these valleys. Hidden in isolated cottages, protected by the population, they waited with trust and hope, through two interminable winters, for the return of liberty.  In homage to and in memory of those who helped them, those refugees and their descendants embrace the noble inhabitants of these valleys in brotherhood.

Interesting fact: To mirror the arbitrary nature of survival during wartime, Russell says that she flipped a coin to determine who among her characters would live and who would die.

Useful Links: A map of Italy (A Thread of Grace is set in the mountainous Northwest corner of Italy, approximately equidistant between Monaco and Genoa).

This article was originally published in February 2005, and has been updated for the November 2005 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.