Customer Reviews for

A Thread of Grace

Average Rating 4.5
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

fabulous complex historical tale

By the fall of 1943, European Jews not in death camps or murdered seek sanctuaries in places like Italy¿s Piedmont Province though this area as a refugee haven remains questionable. The small village of Porto Sant'Andrea is home for Italian Jews led by Rabbi Soncini, I...
By the fall of 1943, European Jews not in death camps or murdered seek sanctuaries in places like Italy¿s Piedmont Province though this area as a refugee haven remains questionable. The small village of Porto Sant'Andrea is home for Italian Jews led by Rabbi Soncini, Italian Catholics led by Father Tomitz, and the occupying German army represented by Doktor Schramm. Into this mix come non-Italian Jews especially from occupied France.--- The three prime groups in the village have a tentative peaceful co-existence, but the influx of newcomers places that in jeopardy. The Italian Jews want to welcome their mostly religious kin with open arms. Father Tomitz sets the tone for his followers by providing shelter for the Jews. While Doktor Shramm hides with drink from his murdering almost 100,000 people of which he can account for seemingly everyone, the German leaders blindly follow orders to carry out the Final Solution. Into this volatile situation come the allies.--- A THREAD OF GRACE is a fabulous complex historical tale (not sci fi as Mary Doria Russell¿s¿ two previous works are) that brings alive a dark era through seemingly real people. The story line is fast-paced with multiple subplots that add to the depth and the feel of 1943 Italy. With plenty of tidbits and multifaceted perspectives, the amazing part remains the ensemble cast regardless of national origin or religion which all seem so genuine; for instance the plight of a French Jew with his daughter struggling to cross the Alps to Italy is breathtaking. World War II readers will want to read this slice of an odious era where lights of courageous kindness existed.--- Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

NO NO NO!!!

This book was terrible! I read it for my book club & not 1 person was able to get through it. I tried, but was 100% confused. There were so many people & I had no idea what was going on! soooo not worth it!

posted by JHK1216 on March 30, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 4
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fabulous complex historical tale

    By the fall of 1943, European Jews not in death camps or murdered seek sanctuaries in places like Italy¿s Piedmont Province though this area as a refugee haven remains questionable. The small village of Porto Sant'Andrea is home for Italian Jews led by Rabbi Soncini, Italian Catholics led by Father Tomitz, and the occupying German army represented by Doktor Schramm. Into this mix come non-Italian Jews especially from occupied France.--- The three prime groups in the village have a tentative peaceful co-existence, but the influx of newcomers places that in jeopardy. The Italian Jews want to welcome their mostly religious kin with open arms. Father Tomitz sets the tone for his followers by providing shelter for the Jews. While Doktor Shramm hides with drink from his murdering almost 100,000 people of which he can account for seemingly everyone, the German leaders blindly follow orders to carry out the Final Solution. Into this volatile situation come the allies.--- A THREAD OF GRACE is a fabulous complex historical tale (not sci fi as Mary Doria Russell¿s¿ two previous works are) that brings alive a dark era through seemingly real people. The story line is fast-paced with multiple subplots that add to the depth and the feel of 1943 Italy. With plenty of tidbits and multifaceted perspectives, the amazing part remains the ensemble cast regardless of national origin or religion which all seem so genuine; for instance the plight of a French Jew with his daughter struggling to cross the Alps to Italy is breathtaking. World War II readers will want to read this slice of an odious era where lights of courageous kindness existed.--- Harriet Klausner

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    NO NO NO!!!

    This book was terrible! I read it for my book club & not 1 person was able to get through it. I tried, but was 100% confused. There were so many people & I had no idea what was going on!
    soooo not worth it!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2007

    One of the best books I've ever read

    Over the years, I've figured out that reading is about 90% frustration and 10% illumination. Most books aren't that good. If they're entertaining, they're not any more entertaining than a movie or video game would be. But every once in awhile, you stumble across a book that, stealing from Emily Dickinson, chases you through the dark. You don't want to put it down, and even after you have, it won't leave you alone. You remember again that writing is an art form that can draw you in like no other medium. A Thread of Grace opens just after Italy has surrendered to the Allies in World War II. German and Allied forces fight for control, bombers and infantry turn centuries-old cities into the front lines. Instead of focusing on soldiers in one or the other army, Thread of Grace is populated by the ordinary people trapped in the middle of the war, farmers, priests, and Jewish refugees struggling to survive one more day. Wonderfully written, heroic and tragic without slipping into melodrama, I honestly can't think of anyone who I wouldn't recommend this book to. If you've hit a dry spell recently, and the half-read, not-bad-but-nothing-to-write-home-about books are piling up, grab this one. I promise, you'll thank me.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 12, 2009

    Wonderful

    For those who take reading seriously and enjoy character development and plot this is a must addition to your reading list.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Well crafted piece of historical fiction

    A Thread of Grace shares with readers both the horror and incredible cruelty and intolerance that mankind is cable of, while sharing a story of the triumph of human spirit, raw courage, tenacity and graciousness that human beings are capable of as well. Mary Doria Russell's characters are human and therefore flawed -- which makes them all the more real and engaging for the reader. Heros are anti-heros and demons find redemption and just as in life, the good do not always survive -- but their determination and strength of purpose do.

    A really excellent novel

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    A wonderful story!

    A story that lets you know just what people can do to help their fellow man.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    LOVED this book.....

    One of my favorite books of all times....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2008

    One of the best books I've read in a long time

    Although it took quite a few pages to get drawn into the plot and familiarize myself with the abundance of characters, the effort could not be more worth it! The author tells a touching, inspiring story of human experience in the mid of a war torn Europe, allowing the reader to feel with each character and comprehend the pain that war inflicted on the lives of regular people, even the ones who were not on the front or in concentration camps. Set in the background of Italian culture, this read is a pearl of modern literature. I couldn't recommend it more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2006

    Absolutely Stunning!

    Incredible! Drop whatever you are doing or reading and settle into a comfortable chair with A THREAD OF GRACE by Mary Doria Russell. I haven't been swept up into a book in this way for quite some time. The era and hauntingly emotional impact of this story strongly brought to mind another book in my 'deeply affecting' category, that being SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron. I began the 430 page book early on a Sunday afternoon, read thru until 5:30 am the next morning, slept a few hours and finished the book a few hours later. I'm even considering beginning the book again so I don't have to let go of the amazingly compelling characters!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2006

    Outstanding book

    If not for my book club I would have never picked up this wonderful book. Mary Doria Russell has written historical fiction the way it was meant to be written, accurate historical research wrapped in an exquisitely written, compelling story. Bravo! By jump starting our education on the Italian resistance and the everyday courage of the Italian people, stories that seem to have been side tracked in American memory and media, Russell landed all historical fiction tumblers perfectly into place!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    Intelligent Reading

    This was not an easy or lighthearted book, but well worth the effort. I learned much about WWII and the many heroes it created. I found myself stopping and looking up information about fascism and other points of history along the way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    Another amazing story from Russell

    Completely unlike my favorites by the author in space and time, but so similar in its depth of character and emotion. Historically accurate, deyailef and compelling.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 25, 2008

    Fantastic Book.

    This is simply one of the best pieces of historical fiction I've ever read. The author's meticulous research brings the characters and the plot to life. It shows you the best and worst of humanity, without being preachy. I think it should be requried reading for everyone. <BR/><BR/>It¿s set in Italy at the end of WWII, and although some characters die, one thing I appreciated was that it wasn¿t overly-dramatic or emotionally manipulative. The author didn¿t pull your heartstrings unnecessarily. Otherwise, it might have been too difficult to read. Typically, I stay away from books about WWII or the Holocaust because they¿re so dark. But this book is actually rather hopeful. <BR/><BR/>The title comes from a Hebrew saying: "No matter how dark the tapestry God weaves for us, there's always a thread of Grace.¿ The book is really about sacrificing to help those who need it most, doing the greater good. Neighbor helping neighbor, regardless of religion or ethnicity, during a time of ultimate crisis. Really, it was very uplifting and definitely rewarding. <BR/><BR/>This is the kind of book that sticks with you & would be perfect for a book club because it has so many discussion topics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the best books I have read!

    Not only do you follow the struggles of the Jewish people in this epic but of the Italians and Germans as well. This is a moving, touching book that will keep you reading well into the night. At first, keep your finger on the list of characters in the beginning, then, take off and read! This is one book I have given to other book lovers and no one has yet to be disappointed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2006

    Exquisite

    This book was amazing. The characters were so detailed and realistic. The background so well written. It's amazing to know that the Italians helped to save so many at the risk of their own lives. It's inspiring and courageous and this book sends a strong message.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2005

    Brilliant writing!

    Brilliant writing, incredible characters and well researched historical fiction. This book is wonderful, the best historical fiction I have read in a very long time. The story moves along so quickly, I wanted it to last much longer. The characters are so well developed I can picture them and feel their anger, sorrows and small victories ¿ what a cast, Italian Jews, Roman Catholic clergy, communists, anti-fascists. I never knew how much the Italians sheltered the Jews and gave up their own freedom many times in their efforts to drive the hated Germans from their country. Artful descriptions of the Italian countryside and coast, I would love to visit that area some day. What more can I say about this book, but it is exceptional and deeply moving. Buy it now ¿ it would be great for book clubs also.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Impressed

    Informative and engrossing

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Terrific read

    Kept my interest ~ learn a lot about italian citizens in WWII ~ they were very fair to the jewish immigrants and strong in defending their country against nazism. Kept my interest through out the book ~ highly recommend

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    exceptional

    exquisite language and story which carries the reader along, on a thread of grace

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2005

    Brilliant on many levels

    This novel is a jewel. The plot moves swiftly, the historical underpining is top-notch, the characters are genuinely engaging, and the prose sings. Wow!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 4