A Thread Of Grace - Mary Doria Russell Now that I have finished the book I really don't have more to add, so I will just leave my review as before. Other readers have disliked the ending. I have no complaints. War is war.

I have to stop my reading for a second to fill you in. This book is good. The book covers a difficult subject. How does this author suceed in infusing hope into war? By letting the characters also see beauty as they suffer and undergo terrible experiences - they "watch the sky go from gold to pink." Or earlier in the novel, I again quote, "Thank God for simple gifts she thinks. I am alive, with a cup of coffee to warm my hands and raise my spirits ......" and the author has chosen words so that readers actually smell that coffee!

And the author lets humor creeps through, even in the ugliness and horror of war. "My head is like a sieve." Concerning how some of us tend to be more orderly at home than others: "some prefer to pile while others file. This is a mixed marriage." That was a loose quote, but I am sure we all recognize ourselves in this description. Or "eight year olds are rather sweet little people." Here is another: "Old women are practically invisible and that gives us a kind of power." And then I loved how one character loosely translates one Jewish prayer as "Thank God. Grapes ferment."

And this I like: "Distressing to be hated because of lies, isn't it?"

Also the book has maps and a list of the characters in the book. This helps tremendously if you have difficulty with the Italian names, like I do!

So I start reading again and immediately I enjoy.....
- there is a "rabbit-toothed waiter". And read the following few lines "He pauses to appreciate a woman strolling by in a tight tan skirt. Fabric cups her buttocks, and she is wearing high heels. Her flesh rises and rests, rises and rests as she walks. 'No place to hide a bomb in that ensemble,' he remarks, 'but I imagine sentries enjoy making sure.'"