8 September 1943. Italy has sued for peace with the Allies and 14-year-old Claudette Blum is learning Italian on the run. She and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps to where they hope they will be safe at last. What they don't know is that tomorrow Italy will be under German occupation and about to become a vicious battleground between the Nazis, an increasingly confident resistance and the advancing Allies...
Set against this dramatic historical backdrop, Mary Doria Russell's new novel recalls - through the lives of a handful of brilliantly-drawn characters: a mercurial Italian resistance leader, a Catholic priest, an Italian rabbi's family, a disillusioned Wehrmacht doctor - the little known conspiracy of ordinary Italians who saved the lives of thousands of Jews during the final, desperate 20 months of the war.
Full of drama, warmth, nobility and, for all the darkness, hope, A THREAD OF GRACE tells a story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times and accomplishing remarkable things. It is a breathtaking achievement.
'A Thread of Grace is as ambitious, beautiful, tense and transforming as any of us could have hoped.'
'Busy, noisy and heartfelt...the action moves swiftly, with impressive authority, jostling dialogue, vibrant personalities and meticulous, unexpected historical detail. The intensity and intimacy of Russell's storytelling, her sharp character writing and fierce sense of humour bring fresh immediacy to this riveting WWII saga.'
'Beautiful, noble, fascinating...Russell weaves oral and written histories and a large cast into a fast-moving story...Rich, rewarding.'