This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

Close cookie details

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav

A Thread of Grace

Cover of A Thread of Grace

A Thread of Grace

Borrow Borrow
It is September 8, 1943, and Claudette Blum is learning Italian with a suitcase in her hand. She and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps toward Italy, where...More
It is September 8, 1943, and Claudette Blum is learning Italian with a suitcase in her hand. She and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps toward Italy, where...More
Available formats-
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
  • OverDrive WMA Audiobook
Subjects-
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Reading Level:

Recommended for you


 
Description-
  • It is September 8, 1943, and Claudette Blum is learning Italian with a suitcase in her hand. She and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps toward Italy, where they hope to be safe at last, now that the Italians have broken with Germany and made a separate peace with the Allies. The Blums will soon discover that Italy is anything but peaceful, as it becomes, overnight, an open battleground pitting against one another the Nazis, the Allies, resistance fighters, Jews in hiding, and ordinary Italians trying to survive. Set against this dramatic background, Russell traces the lives of a handful of fascinating characters - a charismatic Italian resistance leader, a Catholic priest, an Italian rabbi's family, a disillusioned German doctor - telling the little-known but true story of the Italian citizens who saved the lives of forty-three thousand Jews during the war.

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Greater Italy 1943 Anno Fascista XXII


    8 September 1943

    Porto Sant'Andrea, Liguria Northwestern Coast of Italy

    A simple answer to a simple question. That's all Werner Schramm requires.

    "Where's the church?" he yells, belligerent and sick--sicker yet when his shout becomes a swampy cough.

    A small crowd gathers to appreciate the spectacle: a Waffen-SS officer, thin, fortyish, and liquored up. He props his hands against his knees, coughing harder. "La basilica!" he gasps, remembering the Italian. "San Giovanni--dove è?"

    A young woman points. He catches the word campanile, and straightens, careful of his chest. Spotting the bell tower above a tumble of rooftops that stagger toward the sea, he turns to thank her. Everyone is gone.

    No matter. Downhill is the path of least resistance for a man who's drunk himself legless. Nearer the harbor, the honeyed light of the Italian Riviera gilds wrecked warehouses and burnt piers, but there's not much bomb damage inland. No damned room for an explosion, Schramm thinks.

    Jammed between the Mediterranean and the mountains, the oldest part of Porto Sant'Andrea doesn't even have streets--just carrugi: passages barely wide enough for medieval carts. Cool and shadowy even at noon, these masonry ravines wind past the cobblers' and barbers' shops, apothecaries, vegetable stands, and cafés wedged at random between blank-walled town houses with shuttered windows.

    Glimpses of the bell tower provide a sense of direction, but Schramm gets lost twice before stumbling into a sunny little piazza. He scowls at the light, sneezes, wipes his watering eyes. "Found you!" he tells the Basilica di San Giovanni Battista. "Tried t'hide, but it didn' work!"

    San Giobatta, the locals call this place, as though John the Baptist were a neighborhood boy, poor and charmless but held in great affection. Squatting on a granite platform, the dumpy little church shares its modest courtyard with an equally unimpressive rectory and convent, their builder's architectural ambition visibly tempered by parsimony. Broad stripes of cheap black sandstone alternate with grudgingly thin layers of white Carrara marble. The zebra effect is regrettable.

    Ineffective sandbags surround the church, its southeast corner freshly crumpled and blackened by an Allied incendiary bomb. A mob of pigeons waddle through the rubble, crapping and cooing. "The pope speaks lovely German," Schramm informs them. "Nuncio to Berlin before he got his silly hat. Perhaps I ought to go to Rome and confess to Papa Pacelli!"

    He laughs at his own impertinence, and pays for it with another coughing fit. Eyes watering, hands trembling, he drops onto the basilica staircase and pulls out the battered flask he keeps topped up and nestled near his heart. He takes small sips until brandy calms the need to cough, and the urge to flee.

    Prepared now, he stands. Squares his shoulders. Advances resolutely on massive doors peopled with bronzed patriarchs and tarnished virgins. Curses with surprise when they won't yield to his tug. "I want a pries'!" he yells, rapping on the door, first with his knuckles and then more insistently with the butt of his Luger.

    Creaking hinges reveal the existence of a little wooden side door. A middle-aged nun appears, her sleeves shoved into rubber gauntlets, her habit topped by a grimy apron. Frowning at the noise, she is short and shaped like a beer keg. Her starched white wimple presses pudgy cheeks toward a nose that belongs on a propaganda Jew.

    Christ, you're homely.

    Schramm wipes his mouth on his sleeve, wondering if he has...

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine It's 1943, and Italy has abandoned its Axis allies, triggering opportunities and danger in northwest Italy. Even as Jewish refugees flock to the region in a desperate bid for survival, the Nazi occupiers redouble efforts to exterminate them. Meanwhile, a coalition of locals schemes to protect the hunted. With a lovely voice that reveals nuance and passion, Cassandra Campbell gives an exemplary performance of a novel with a multitude of characters and numerous subplots and themes. If Russell sometimes sacrifices narrative push for character exploration, Campbell's energy always propels listeners forward. M.O. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine
  • Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club "Mary Doria Russell's fans (and aren't we all?) will rejoice to see her new novel on the shelves. A Thread of Grace is as ambitious, beautiful, tense, and transforming as any of us could have hoped."
  • David Morrell, author of The Brotherhood of the Rose and First Blood "Fans of Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow and Children of God will be thrilled by her masterful new novel. A Thread of Grace is a rich, multi-layered narrative that offers fresh insight into a devastating time in world affairs. A story of love and war, it speaks to the resilience and beauty of the human spirit in the midst of unimaginable horror. It is, unquestionably, a literary triumph."
  • Susan Cahill, author/editor of Desiring Italy and The Smiles of Rome "Essential reading for people who love Italy. You will lose yourself completely in this ecumenical epic of Italians working together to save Jewish refugees during the German Occupation of 1943-1944. Russell has a deep empathy for her characters and writes with genius about the horrors of guerrilla war. This wholly absorbing historical novel ends with perhaps the most moving coda in fictional history."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Books on Tape
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Release date:
  • OverDrive WMA Audiobook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.
    OverDrive WMA Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Not permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted (6 times)
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Bookshelf to manage your titles.

×

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Bookshelf?

×

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are permitted to recommend at this time.

×

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

×
×

×

To recommend A Thread of Grace, complete the following information:

*indicates required information

(comma separates multiple email addresses, i.e. bob@aol.com, bob@hotmail.com)

Subject: Check out this downloadable title at the Arapahoe Library District


We respect your privacy. Any and all information collected at this site will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, reused, rented, loaned, or otherwise disclosed.

×
Recommend this title to the library to be added to the Digital Collection
A Thread of Grace
A Thread of Grace
Mary Doria Russell
×
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
A Thread of Grace
A Thread of Grace
Mary Doria Russell
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
×
×

To recommend '', complete the following information:

*indicates required information

(comma separates multiple email addresses, i.e. bob@aol.com, bob@hotmail.com)

Subject: Check out this downloadable title at the Arapahoe Library District

We respect your privacy. Any and all information collected at this site will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, reused, rented, loaned, or otherwise disclosed.

×