By Mary Doria Russell

ISBN-10: 1588364410

ISBN-13: 9781588364418

Set in Italy throughout the dramatic finale of worldwide battle II, this new novel is the 1st in seven years by means of the bestselling writer of The Sparrow and kids of God.

It is September eight, 1943, and fourteen-year-old Claudette Blum is studying Italian with a suitcase in her hand. She and her father are one of the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps towards Italy, the place they desire to be secure ultimately, now that the Italians have damaged with Germany and made a separate peace with the Allies. The Blums will quickly notice that Italy is whatever yet peaceable, because it turns into in a single day an open battleground one of the Nazis, the Allies, resistance opponents, Jews in hiding, and traditional Italian civilians attempting to survive.

Mary Doria Russell units her first historic novel by contrast dramatic historical past, tracing the lives of a handful of attention-grabbing characters. via them, she tells the little-known yet precise tale of the community of Italian voters who kept the lives of forty-three thousand Jews through the war's ultimate part. the results of 5 years of meticulous examine, A Thread of Grace is an formidable, engrossing novel of rules, background, and wonderful characters that may please Russell's many enthusiasts and earn her much more.

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Sample text

Bastogne was of supreme importance because no fewer than eight roads ran out of it, and five of them were paved; it lay pretty close to the middle of the Bulge, and so long as it was held the enemy would be greatly handicapped. It had some four thousand inhabitants; just one more Belgian town, dull and dingy, but it was destined to immortality, like that other one called Waterloo, and another called Ypres. Five enemy divisions surrounded the town, and their artillery was pouring shells into it; also, they seemed to have a new-style rocket bomb, smaller than the V-2 but more precisely directed.

What could I do? Lanny didn’t say that he had heard a hundred thousand such poor common men yelling their heads off for Hitler in the old days. The assault had been made on a front of at least fifty miles, and there were more than a score of divisions named as taking part: Paratroopers, Panzers, Panzer grenadiers, Volksgrenadiers, everything the enemy had. Sieg Heil! There was a group of highly trained brass at SHAEF—Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force—who had been quite sure the Germans would not attack through such uninviting country; they had overlooked the fact that to be so sure was the way to invite an attack.

We fight for Führer and Fatherland! The battle may be hot, but a quick victory will greet us! Hail victory! Thus inspired, the detachment marched across the barnyard, and over what the tanks had left of the stone fence, and out into the forest by the same track which Lanny and his group had entered by. No alarm was given, no lights were flashed, and they were left to imagine what happened when the Germans discovered how their cageful of birds had flown. Deep in the forest, the lieutenant ordered them to break up into groups of three, get off the road, travel as far as they could in the darkness, then grope their way into the thickets.

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A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell

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