Updated: Sep 10, 2021
by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
A DEEPLY AUTHENTIC AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING STORY
Laura Schroff was a busy sales executive walking down the streets of Manhattan. Maurice was a scruffy, 11-year-old panhandler on the street. “Excuse me lady do you have any spare change?” were the first words he said to her. She kept walking, but then after a few yards she stopped. Something drew her back. She took the young boy to lunch at a nearby fast food restaurant. They made arrangements to meet again the next week, and the next…Their life-changing friendship, has now lasted three decades, almost as if they were bound by some invisible thread.
“An invisible thread connects those that are destined to meet, regardless of time, place and circumstance. The thread may stretch and tangle. But it will never break.” —Ancient Chinese Proverb
An Invisible Thread is a thought-provoking true story that explores a connection between two people of diverse ages and backgrounds. How many times have you passed a panhandler on the street and averted your eyes? Have you ever stopped and talked, seen them as a person and asked what they needed? Laura Schroff did. She stopped, bought Maurice lunch and showed interest in him. She showed a little kindness to a young boy and it evolved into something special, something enduring. It became a raw and emotional learning experience for both she and Maurice.
While not a literary masterpiece, an Invisible Thread’s beauty is that it is a deeply authentic story. You cannot help but feel for Maurice, coming of age on the streets of New York with food and housing insecurity. I appreciated Laura’s brutal honesty in writing their story and her willingness to look into a young boy’s eyes and see a person in need. While they certainly experienced some tangles in their thread, their thread has not broken, they are still friends after thirty years. Written from the heart, this book will help others see the humanity that surrounds us daily and be open to their own invisible thread.
This is a fabulous book for books club discussion, since it contains issues of social responsibility and moral dilemma. My book club reached out to the author, who was gracious enough to join our bookclub meeting via Zoom. (It helped that there was a snowstorm that week and she was grounded from a book tour!) Getting updates on Maurice. his thoughts on the book, and things that have happened beyond what the book covered was delightful.
I listened to the audio version of the book and appreciated the performance by Pam Ward.
“If you make me lunch," he said, "will you put it in a brown paper bag?...Because when I see kids come to school with their lunch in a paper bag, that means that someone cares about them. Miss Laura, can I please have my lunch in a paper bag?”
Publisher Simon and Schuster Audio
Published May 28, 2019
Narrated Pam Ward