After reading the third quarter of A Thread of Grace I need to let some of this welling emotion escape. I’m not done yet (but will be tomorrow, I’m guessing); however, I think this novel will easily make my list of favorite books, and as I’ve recently been realizing I don’t have very many truly favorite books. Set in Italy during the final thrust of World War Two, Mary Doria Russell depicts the Jewish struggle and the rise of Catholic Italy to the aid of their neighbors. A word of warning, however, it is a quite stirring and graphic story. You are drawn into a story drawn from countless factual occurances relating to one of the most devastating wars/eras in history.
I look at the tragedies my contemporaries and I have “witnessed” and our subsequent reactions of horror, and then I read of one character (fictional though he may be) who was instrumental in the killing of 91,867 people. The word tragedy does not begin to cover the scope necessary to express what happened to the men, women and children who were tortured, instrumental, and witnesses. I confess feeling somewhat astonished that man survived. Though the “problem of pain” presses more poignantly than it has before, I praise God that He endured. May we have the wisdom and humanity not to forget what has passed.
[edit 2/4/07] I just finished, and it proved quite possibly to be the most impactful book I have read (as far as causing me to think and reflect). I found it very well-written and worth reading; however, I want to disclaim that I’m not specifically recommending it to a general audience. When I say it’s impactful, I mean that I have been thinking about it and the unspeakable tragedies of World War II all day. Learning more about this era has always been something I have sought (and Saving Private Ryan is one of my favorite films), but it is not for everyone. While I’m beginning to think the horrors of World War II should be remembered and brought to mind more often than they are, I also want to acknowledge that everyone’s temperament and what knowledge they can endure varies.
Maybe I’m overly emotional/sensitive about this, but I just wouldn’t want someone as or more sensitive than me stumbling into this book without realizing what a trip it will take you on. [/edit]