Title: A Thread of Grace
Author: Mary Doria Russell
Genre: Historical Fiction
This book is set in Italy during World War II. A group of Jewish refugees is trying to get to Italy to be safe only to find out that once they have climbed and reached the other side of the mountain that Italy had been turned over to the Germans and they were still not safe. Italian soldiers ran with them and found them safe places within the hills of Italy with patisans who are willing to help anyway they can. The story takes you through the later years of the war and many things happen that don't make it a "happily ever after" type book.
While I think this book is very well written and a very realistic picture of what the war must have been like in that part of the world, I found it hard to keep track of since there were so many different story lines. I felt like I needed a felt board of Italy with character cut outs so I could move them along and figure out who was where and doing what. Each section would be about different characters and you would have to remember who they were talking about. As the book progressed, the characters did meet and come together so it made it easier.
The ending was unexpected and very sad, but one should expect the unexpected when it comes to World War II. I have been reading WWII books for years but this one was very different for me. I am used to the stories of Jewish families or just children being sent away and tortured in the camps, or being hidden and then found and tortured. I have read many books of survivors and what they went through to survive. This one took on a different perspective of how the Italians and Catholic in particular helped people in need.
Over all I give it a thumbs up, but be prepared to get out that felt board or some other way to keep track if you choose to read it!