Reading long into the night I recently finished "A Thread of Grace" by Mary Doria Russell.
It was fascinating.
Truly I was unable to put it down until the last word.
It's a potpourri of the last years of WW 2 in Italy.
Set in the Northwest, across the border from France, it covers different events. From a historical but also intensely human point of view!
Jewish refugees fleeing just ahead of the Nazi Occupation of France.
Italian partisan groups fighting each other but also the enemy.
Nuns hiding Jewish children, Priests and Rabbis.
Villagers and peasants from all over Italy.
And old and young woman fighting the occupiers in their own way!
Retaliating Nazis, rape, torture and bullets fly.
Bombs explode. Hunger and injuries.
And a couple love stories.
All sewn together like pieces of quilting with fluid prose.
here is a red thread woven through the chapters,
as the readers weaves his way through the novel.
Young boys and girls growing to adulthood the hard way;
Italian Jews, a flyer and a rabbi;
Priests and Nuns;
and a disillusioned, sick German Doctor.
Both Italian Jewish flyer and German Army Doctor have experienced war,
have perpetrated unspeakable horrors.
Each drinks to drown out the memories.
And somehow this binds them together.
Russell's characters grow in stature.
She does not prettify war.
Nor minimizes the toll it takes on both men and women, and especially children.
As I said at the start-could not put it down until I read the final line.
Just don't know why it took me so long to delve into it!