PUBLICATION DATE: NOVEMBER 1, 2011
An Invisible Thread is a feel-good, true story as told by the author, Laura Schroff.
A young and busy sales executive in New York City, Ms. Schroff is one determined lady who likes her job, likes her Manhattan apartment, and likes her friends and family. It takes only one moment in time to change a person’s whole outlook on life. That moment came for this author when she met an 11 year old panhandler named Maurice, asking her for change. While first dismissing the child, as countless thousands do, she instead stops dead in her tracks moments later, turns around and heads back to the boy. It’s not change that she’ll give him, but a hearty meal at a nearby McDonalds.
Thus begins a weekly ritual that Ms. Schroff and Maurice will embark on for many years to come. The relationship between this working class young woman, and this poverty stricken young boy, develops with a bond that will bring to mind a mother and son. While coming from two different worlds, they have more in common than either expected. Both of these main characters come from abusive and dysfunctional families, involving such things such as beatings, drugs or alcohol and horrendous living conditions. Ms. Schroff does an excellent job of portraying what life is like for so many in our society that, not only count themselves among the lowest of income levels, but also those that slip through the cracks. She also makes no attempt to sugarcoat how that can cross over to middle class America.
I have to admit I was totally engrossed in this storyline. That is, until it seemed to take a turn from ‘feel good’ to ‘eh, not so good’. While the book will have you rooting for these two to have a picture perfect relationship, that changes, and does so quickly. You’ll be wiping tears from your eyes one moment, to wanting to throw the book across the room when one or the other does something you didn’t see coming. Because this is a true story, it’s hard to say you didn’t like when something happened because, well … it did happen. Still, they do make mistakes and you’ll find yourself wishing they hadn’t done what they did because the perfect picture you had in your mind has now dissipated.
This book was a good read. However, if you think this is a fairy tale type of story, it is not. I don’t believe it was the intention of the author to portray it in any other way than the way it actually happened.
There is minor profanity which is realistic to the events. For those who do not appreciate stories that include open references to pre-marital relationships, then this book may disappoint you. I know it did me. I did find the lengthy author’s biographical information a bit too wordy and somewhat irrelevant at times.
I enjoyed Ms. Schroff’s ability to, more than adequately, depict life’s circumstances in such a way that I felt a bevy of emotions that could not be held back. From joyful to saddened to disgusted to angry?they’re all there, in abundance. The book does end on a happy note, to some degree, but will have you wishing, alongside me possibly, that the main characters should have kept to the original commitment to each other. I walked away from the book feeling as if, had they been given the chance, they would have as well.