Jill said, "Hi, Bonnie: I hope you're doing well! I read a wonderful book set in Italy called A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell (my review). It's the story of refugee and Italian Jews during the German occupation of Italy (at the end of World War II). It's a heart-breaking story but a wonderful tribute to Italian people who hid the Jews from German soldiers - and fought for the freedom of their country."
It is September 8, 1943, and 14-year-old Claudette Blum is learning Italian with a suitcase in her hand. She and her father are among the thousands of Jewish refugees scrambling over the Alps toward Italy, where they hope to be safe at last, now that the Italians have broken with Germany and made a separate peace with the Allies. The Blums will soon discover that Italy is anything but peaceful, as it becomes overnight an open battleground among the Nazis, the Allies, resistance fighters, Jews in hiding, and ordinary Italian civilians trying to survive. A Thread of Grace, Mary Doria Russell's first historical novel, traces the lives of a handful of fascinating characters. Through them, she tells the little-known but true story of the network of Italian citizens who saved the lives of forty-three thousand Jews during the war’s final phase.