~by Mary Doria Russell
A Thread of Grace is a book of very well researched historical fiction, quite a change from Russell's first two novels The Sparrow and Children of God, which were science fiction. After her spectacular and award winning debut as an author, her third book was not a disappointment, and was as engaging as her first two.
This novel traces the lives of Italian and displaced Jews and the people who help and hinder them after Italy surrenders in World War II. The characters had great depth and the reader is compelled to care about them. Some aspects of the writing seemed a little awkward, but that is certainly understandable when a book written in English is trying to convey a multitude of languages and misunderstandings without losing the reader. While the story is rather depressing, I came away from reading this book touched and with an awareness of how humanity can shine through even during the darkest times.