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!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Ghachar Ghochar
    by Vivek Shanbhag
    The Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) that has dominated economic news headlines over the past decade is the...
  • Book Jacket: Caught in the Revolution
    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport
    So taken were BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers by the inside look at the start of the Russian...
  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

When I get a little money I buy books...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

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.

 
Modal popup -