A Thread of Grace

Written in the wee hours in English • Tags:

It’s difficult to say right away why one should read this book. In fact, it would seem easier to say why one might not want to read it. Mary Doria Russell’s latest book, A Thread of Grace, is about Jewish refugees in North-Western Italy during the last couple of years of WW II. It’s fiction, but based on memories and stories of real people.

At first it seems there are too many characters to keep track of, but soon when the book switches between each storyline you’ll recall them all. In the back of your mind you can’t wait for the next turn for each of the characters while reading the chapters about others. (And if you temporarily lose track, there’s a list in the beginning of the book for your reference.)

While I was reading the book I kept thinking how impossible it is to understand what was going on in WW II. You’ll get an idea from the book, but I don’t think words can properly convey it all. The people who have experienced it are probably not likely to want to share their stories. What happens when the generations with the memories are gone?

The name of the book refers to the courage and generosity demonstrated by the Italians providing shelter for the refugees. However, having just finished the book, it feels haunting to me. It would be easier to not think about wars — in a way they seem unreal to me, never having experienced one (and hopefully I never will).

Yet I’d recommend this reading this book. I also recommend passing it on to a friend so you can talk about it afterwards, rather than keeping your thoughts to yourself.

Aikataulu kiristyy

Kirjoitettu kamalan aikaisin aamulla suomeksi • Tägit:

Olen näemmä jäänyt asettamastani aikataulusta hieman jälkeen. Ehkä se selittää kohonneen stressitason, mikä puolestaan kostautuu vähentyneenä nukkumisena. Radioamatöörin lupakirja taitaa jäädä hankkimatta: en ole ennättänyt opiskella yhtään. Tällä viikolla on pakko saada ainakin muuttofirmojen arviot alulle. Ja kohta on jo taas puolet viikosta mennyt…

Virtual moving

Written in the wee hours in English • Tags:

Well, the moving has started: I’ve relocated these pages to a server in Finland. The timestamps are now in Finnish (East European) time, although I’m still in the New York area for a couple more months. In a couple of weeks I expect to be able to start powering down servers in the USA, and in a couple of weeks more the movers should be here packing everything.

When experts say moving is one of the most stressful events of your life, believe them! It certainly is: even while you know exactly what needs to be done to get ready for the move, it seems like either there is too much to do or you feel like you are not doing enough. Either way, losing sleep is the result…

I’m having trouble deciding what to do immediately after June 30th. I think I only have a couple of days to decide, and then I should be busy ordering tickets for the flights.