An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny Info

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This inspirational New York Times bestseller
chronicles the lifelong friendship between a busy sales executive
and a disadvantaged young boy, and how both of their lives were changed
by what began as one small gesture of kindness. “A straightforward
tale of kindness and paying it forward in 1980s New York….an
uplifting reminder that small gestures matter” (Kirkus
Reviews
).

Stopping was never part of the plan...

She
was a successful ad sales rep in Manhattan. He was a homeless,
eleven-year-old panhandler on the street. He asked for spare change; she
kept walking. But then something stopped her in her tracks, and she
went back. And she continued to go back, again and again. They met up
nearly every week for years and built an unexpected, life-changing
friendship that has today spanned almost three decades.


Whatever made me notice him on that street corner so many years ago is
clearly something that cannot be extinguished, no matter how relentless
the forces aligned against it. Some may call it spirit. Some may call it
heart. It drew me to him, as if we were bound by some invisible,
unbreakable thread. And whatever it is, it binds us still.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.31

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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny:

2

Feb 19, 2013

It bothers me that Laura Schroff and a co author with nothing to do with this story wrote the book and not Maurice and Laura writing it together. I didn't care much for Laura's backstory particularly how she writes throughout the book how much her troubles made her relate to Maurice, but then admits in the end that her troubles were really nothing on the scale of what Maurice went thru. In fact, I didn't think they were anything alike at all which is why I think Laura's backstory is just filler It bothers me that Laura Schroff and a co author with nothing to do with this story wrote the book and not Maurice and Laura writing it together. I didn't care much for Laura's backstory particularly how she writes throughout the book how much her troubles made her relate to Maurice, but then admits in the end that her troubles were really nothing on the scale of what Maurice went thru. In fact, I didn't think they were anything alike at all which is why I think Laura's backstory is just filler to make the book longer. This would have been a better book if Maurice had written it, provided greater detail on his life and really what was it about his times with Laura that made him take notice. There are some big moments like Laura making the lunches in brown paper bags, but what were some of the smaller moments that had impact on Maurice.

I'm all for this story as true and something I want to know about, but it seems like Laura just wanted to make some money. I'd be interested to know what she's doing with it besides the donation (paperback sales only) to the Share Our Strength. It only says a "portion" so that could be .0000001% of the sales. At least the author of the Henrietta Lacks book set up a fund for the family to use for medical and school expenses. PLEASE READ LAURA SCHROFF's COMMENT TO MY REVIEW. My original review was posted 02/2013, but this comment was added 06/2014. ...more
5

Sep 27, 2011

I just finished this wonderful book, that I won through Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It's a very inspirational story, that left me in tears many times. I loved the relationship that grew with Laura and Maurice. As a native New Yorker, I know how easy it is to just ignore most of the panhandlers that wander the streets of the city. Reading this touching memoir opened my eyes, that it's just not adults out there but kids also. Her story telling flowed with ease, and never not once did I feel I I just finished this wonderful book, that I won through Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It's a very inspirational story, that left me in tears many times. I loved the relationship that grew with Laura and Maurice. As a native New Yorker, I know how easy it is to just ignore most of the panhandlers that wander the streets of the city. Reading this touching memoir opened my eyes, that it's just not adults out there but kids also. Her story telling flowed with ease, and never not once did I feel I had to force myself to read. The author made it very easy to feel her emotions as well as his, telling the stories of their childhood. I will definitely be recommending this story to all of my fellow readers. ...more
5

Dec 10, 2016

"To all the children like Maurice whose lives are harder than we can imagine. Never lose hope that you can break the cycle and change your life. And never stop dreaming, because the power of dreams can lift you."

Laura Schroff's forward dedication sums up perfectly the heart and purpose of her poignantly heartfelt memoir. I'm humbly awed by her selflessness, generosity, honesty, and her triumph-over-adversity tenacious, gentle spirit. For it's not just Maurice who had much to overcome - namely "To all the children like Maurice whose lives are harder than we can imagine. Never lose hope that you can break the cycle and change your life. And never stop dreaming, because the power of dreams can lift you."

Laura Schroff's forward dedication sums up perfectly the heart and purpose of her poignantly heartfelt memoir. I'm humbly awed by her selflessness, generosity, honesty, and her triumph-over-adversity tenacious, gentle spirit. For it's not just Maurice who had much to overcome - namely drug infested tenement squalor and abject poverty; Schroff's childhood, though far less tragic and impoverished, was also discordant in its own right. Thankfully, fate (chance, serendipity, Divine intervention, or whatever you wish to call it) brought these two together, linked by an Invisible Thread, and gave them hope and joy through unconditional love and the healing balm of friendship.

"All of our stories, as much as they are about anything, are about loss. And, perhaps, they are about what might have been . . . We all want relationships that are healthy and resolved, and sometimes that simply doesn't happen. But the beauty of life is that inside these disappointments are hidden the most miraculous of blessings. What we lose and what might have been pales against what we have."

FIVE ***** Life Transforming and Inspiring, Exemplary Memoir ***** STARS

Highly Recommended to all readers, sixteen-years and up. However, I will caution: drug and alcohol use/abuse, plus domestic and street violence are key components. Not overly graphic, per se, but clearly defined. Two other books I might recommend:
I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond //
Same Kind of Different as Me ...more
3

Dec 12, 2017


We all do acts of kindness, mostly within our circles of family or friends. When we reach out beyond those we usually call it charity. This narrative by Laura Schroff describes her choice to reach beyond her wallet and form a relationship with a street child in Manhattan several decades ago.

Schroff describes how they met and how she and Maurice (11 or 12 years old at the beginning) continued to meet over a period of years. As this unfolds (and I use that term deliberately), we see how the
We all do acts of kindness, mostly within our circles of family or friends. When we reach out beyond those we usually call it charity. This narrative by Laura Schroff describes her choice to reach beyond her wallet and form a relationship with a street child in Manhattan several decades ago.

Schroff describes how they met and how she and Maurice (11 or 12 years old at the beginning) continued to meet over a period of years. As this unfolds (and I use that term deliberately), we see how the relationship between these two touches almost everything else in their lives. We get glimpses, then more, of Maurice’s family dependent on drugs for a livelihood and most of them addicted to them. We are taken on a journey through Schroff’s childhood and see how terrified she and her siblings were of a father given to frequent drunken rages.

The truth? The whole truth? Nothing but the truth? It is hard to say how much of this is shared with us. It is clear that the bond between these two became central to each’s life. In a world fraught with disappointments, there is something of comfort in this.

PS: In a recent conversation with a psychiatrist who also had read this book, he said how impressed he was with Schroff's ability to strike a balance between her friendship with Maurice and respect for his mother's role. He felt that this was a primary reason for her success. She also did not intrude on the space that he said he needed. ...more
2

Sep 09, 2012

The story itself is really a 3 star story...it is heart warming and commendable and I admire and respect Laura for bringing joy and hope into Maurice's life. And while others may criticize how she could simply bring this child into her home, I suppose sometimes people make decisions without knowing why they are making them. But while it becomes clear later in that the system would not have helped this boy, Laura seems to have had NO knowledge of what was happening deep within this family. Would The story itself is really a 3 star story...it is heart warming and commendable and I admire and respect Laura for bringing joy and hope into Maurice's life. And while others may criticize how she could simply bring this child into her home, I suppose sometimes people make decisions without knowing why they are making them. But while it becomes clear later in that the system would not have helped this boy, Laura seems to have had NO knowledge of what was happening deep within this family. Would foster care have been better? Who knows?
But the things that most influneced my rating? The first is that my worst fear came true...I.feel strongly that Laura abandoned this boy despite her promise not to and I do realize that it may have been impossible not to. She did have a life to live but she did write a book to tout her dedication to Maurice. To leave him alone on Thanksgiving made NO sense to me. And then again at Christmas? Because her controlling and dominant husband to be insisted? You marry a man who.can take care of you financially but let's you down.in.the worst of ways? He does not respect your relationship.and commitments and "forbids" you from having a child? Laura either does not tell us enough the redeeming values of her finance or she.marries for strange reasons and her weakness as a woman disappointed me. Or she did not want children as much as she says she did? You marry someone without discussing this? I don't mean to be judgmental but as determined as she seemed early on, she appeared so.incredibly naive. To abandon.a boy.who.grew up.in.his.world because he had a baby at a young age? Did Laura.feel that because she baked cookies with Maurice that he would.now.live HER value system? I just so not understand this.abandonment at all.
The book, even in its.later printings, had grammatical errors and is.just poorly written. It is an interesting story that will make you smile and delighted am delighted that Maurice succeeded in life. You cannot help but cheer him on. I know he gives Laura credit for this, in his belief in people and. the power of love and forgiveness but these were Maurice's true qualities and he is the one I commend for surviving. He was a survivor from day one. Having someone so early in his life to count on perhaps made a profound difference. I wish more piece had been more developed...it is the heart of the story.
Laura did much for Maurice and also betrayed him but he was the hero if his.own story. It is unclear to me if Laura knows that or if she wants us to believe it is her. ...more
1

Feb 21, 2012

I love the story upon which this memoir was based. I just wish it had been written by someone with talent.

For weeks, perhaps even months, I have been trying to teach my 3rd graders how to "show" what's happening in the stories they write, not "tell." I wish someone would teach Laura Schroff the same thing. There was so much "telling" in this book that I wanted to pull my hair out.

Furthermore, the second half of the book was completely ruined by the author's codependent behavior with her 2nd I love the story upon which this memoir was based. I just wish it had been written by someone with talent.

For weeks, perhaps even months, I have been trying to teach my 3rd graders how to "show" what's happening in the stories they write, not "tell." I wish someone would teach Laura Schroff the same thing. There was so much "telling" in this book that I wanted to pull my hair out.

Furthermore, the second half of the book was completely ruined by the author's codependent behavior with her 2nd husband, her lack of boundary-setting ability, and her arrogance and judgmental attitude toward Maurice when he made choices that did not meet with her approval. There are a number of 12 Step programs that would greatly benefit Ms. Scroff. I hope she discovers them . . . BEFORE she writes another book. ...more
4

Dec 07, 2018

"An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break." - Ancient Chinese Proverb

Laura Schroff is a sales executive walking on the street in Manhattan when an 11-year-old boy asks her for coins. At first, Laura just walks away but then stops and turns back around. The boy is a panhandler and wants money for food. Laura learns his name is Maurice and takes him for a meal at McDonalds. As "An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break." - Ancient Chinese Proverb

Laura Schroff is a sales executive walking on the street in Manhattan when an 11-year-old boy asks her for coins. At first, Laura just walks away but then stops and turns back around. The boy is a panhandler and wants money for food. Laura learns his name is Maurice and takes him for a meal at McDonalds. As Laura gets to know Maurice, the two begin an unlikely friendship that expands over three centuries.

As Christmas is almost upon us, I wanted to read a feel good and heartfelt story and this book seemed to fit the bill. Laura was a 35-year-old sales executive when she meet 11-year-old Maurice on 56th Street in Manhattan. As she is walking away from him, she stops and goes back. The two share a meal at McDonalds and get to know each other. Its tentative at first, as Maurice is black and Laura is white. Further more, he is poor while Laura is well off. But something about Maurice just makes Laura want to pursue more than just that one meal. The two begin to meet regularly, getting more involved in each other's lives. Its not always easy but through the years, they stay in contact. At first, I was not sure if I was going to like the book. The style and tone were not initally pleasent to me and I was concerned that Laura was going to paint herself without any flaws. Thankfully, both these issuse resolved and I ended up enjoying this narrative quite a bit.

Maurice lived in abject poverty surrounded by family members heavily addicted to drugs and who were also dealers. Living in squalid conditions, with up to 12 people living in a small room at a time, Maurice was negleted. Laura was a succesful sales executive living in a fine aparatment building on her own. They only lived a few blocks apart but they might as well have been from different worlds. Laura's motivation for helping Maurice becomes clearer as her own story is revealed. Having grown up with an abusive and drunk father (not that Laura's childhood is comparable with Maurice's) she wanted him to have better. But Laura is far from perfect herself and her involvement in Maurice's life did not magically make his life better. I liked the way in which the dynamics of their friendship changed as Maurice grew older. They might not have always agreed but they were there for each other. At the end, Laura is adamant that it was she that was lucky to have Maurice in her life. Definitely happy to have read this book.
...more
4

Nov 14, 2011

One day Laura Schroff, a busy ad exec, was walking down a street and barely registered a small boy ask her "Excuse me, lady, do you have any spare change?" But for some reason, a reason she couldn't name then or now, she turned around half way across the street, nearly getting hit by the impatient Manhattan drivers, went back to the boy and offered to take him to lunch at McDonalds. In that moment a friendship was born that changed both of their lives forever. They began an unlikely friendship One day Laura Schroff, a busy ad exec, was walking down a street and barely registered a small boy ask her "Excuse me, lady, do you have any spare change?" But for some reason, a reason she couldn't name then or now, she turned around half way across the street, nearly getting hit by the impatient Manhattan drivers, went back to the boy and offered to take him to lunch at McDonalds. In that moment a friendship was born that changed both of their lives forever. They began an unlikely friendship that has lasted 25 years and is still going strong. This is an amazing story of love and hope and how it can change lives, not just for two people, but potentially for an entire generation. This is a rags to riches story of the soul and the heart, and I think everyone should read it--it
could help you see the world very, very differently.
...more
5

Jan 05, 2018

The friendship in this amazing story is probably one of the most unlikely that I've ever read, but it proves that there doesn't need to be an economic divide getting in the way of true companionship. The gritty urban environment of New York City provides the perfect backdrop for a powerful memoir of two very different people who discover that they have much more in common than they realize.
3

Dec 11, 2017

”An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break.” - Ancient Chinese Proverb

I enjoyed An Invisible Thread and was happy with the ending of the book. There were a few parts that seemed cheesy, written down, however as someone who has participated in a formalized youth mentoring program for years, I can relate to some of the feelings Laura expresses. The reward is a two way street. ”An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break.” - Ancient Chinese Proverb

I enjoyed An Invisible Thread and was happy with the ending of the book. There were a few parts that seemed cheesy, written down, however as someone who has participated in a formalized youth mentoring program for years, I can relate to some of the feelings Laura expresses. The reward is a two way street. These situations often help the one who is outwardly portrayed as having more, remind themselves of all they have to be thankful for, and of what’s truly important in life.

In all honesty, when I first started reading the book, I thought Laura wouldn’t have real struggles and would have no ability to relate to Maurice, which was admittedly judgmental of me. Reading about her struggles with her family growing up were somewhat hard to read, although they paled in comparison to Maurice’s. The chapter about her mom dying was particularly tough. Laura had her fair share of struggles and the point is, we all do. Someone always has it worse but we all know suffering, to an extent - Though I had to wonder why some parts of the story were included, as well as their selected placement within the book.

”He taught me how to love. He taught me one of the most important lessons a person can hope to learn - he taught me to be grateful for what I have. He taught me about resilience, courage, perseverance, and about the special strength that comes from overcoming adversity.” ...more
2

Dec 02, 2012

A rich white woman befriends a homeless sweet black boy. As he passes her on the sidewalk, an "Invisible Thread" seems to have pulled her back to him and she takes him to lunch. I thought the book was going to be more about their friendship and less about her life. I found their friendship very interesting. Parts of it I really loved. Especially how protective Maurice, the child, was of her and loved her so openly. I was disappointed in the way she let Maurice down on many occasions.

Near the end A rich white woman befriends a homeless sweet black boy. As he passes her on the sidewalk, an "Invisible Thread" seems to have pulled her back to him and she takes him to lunch. I thought the book was going to be more about their friendship and less about her life. I found their friendship very interesting. Parts of it I really loved. Especially how protective Maurice, the child, was of her and loved her so openly. I was disappointed in the way she let Maurice down on many occasions.

Near the end of the book as she was looking back over her life and then at Maurice's family life she states, "I know that struggling against the vicious undertow of inherited sadness -- the ever-present pull of family history -- can be a lifelong battle that is never won, only endured. For some, the battle is fated to end in tragedy." I felt this was just so sad as Maurice endured and made a good life for himself after all his hardships. I feel, she, in turn didn't change her life as much as she wanted to and she had many more tools in life to do that than he.. His family was poor, on drugs and lived on the streets or poor housing. Maurice was the survivor of the family and did well with his life. Human nature shows how we need one another, and how we need to be accepted and loved by a parent or guardian. Her encouragement did change his life for the better!

I enjoyed some of the book, I am just a bit disappointed in her. A good book to read. ...more
5

Feb 16, 2013

I laughed and I cried and I read it in one day.

I often read the reviews after I finish a book just to compare my opinion with others. This time, it was very interesting. Many people complained about self-centered and naive Laura was. But, I loved that part of the book. Someone less naive would never have taken a homeless, dirty, black kid to lunch on a whim. Yes, she made some mistakes and bad choices. But, this was the story of her life and she was brutally honest about it.

I am more likely to I laughed and I cried and I read it in one day.

I often read the reviews after I finish a book just to compare my opinion with others. This time, it was very interesting. Many people complained about self-centered and naive Laura was. But, I loved that part of the book. Someone less naive would never have taken a homeless, dirty, black kid to lunch on a whim. Yes, she made some mistakes and bad choices. But, this was the story of her life and she was brutally honest about it.

I am more likely to rate a book highly if I find the need Google it and learn more about the characters. I actually got on the book's website and watched a video of Rachel Ray interviewing the two of them. Laura looked like a proud mom and grandma as she watched Maurice speak about their lives together and the family he has created as an adult.

It also gives us a lot to think about. Laura and Maurice were extremely fortunate in that their relationship endures. She saved him from a life of crime & drugs and he gave her the family she always wanted. But, these things do not always end well. This is definitely a book worth reading and discussing. ...more
4

Dec 31, 2011

What an unbelievable true story. In just an instant one person can change the life of another...can become a part of another life and the story of that life and it's ups and downs. We all need someone. We all need to know someone out there cares for us. My favorite lesson or chapter is the brown paper bag part of the story. It reminds me that our actions really do matter to those in which we come into contact with on a day to day basis.And though it is not perfect, it is based in love. This book What an unbelievable true story. In just an instant one person can change the life of another...can become a part of another life and the story of that life and it's ups and downs. We all need someone. We all need to know someone out there cares for us. My favorite lesson or chapter is the brown paper bag part of the story. It reminds me that our actions really do matter to those in which we come into contact with on a day to day basis.And though it is not perfect, it is based in love. This book actually has the power to change lives. I will recommend this memoir to anyone who asks me what I've been reading lately.
...more
5

Oct 15, 2011

I have never read a book that had me crying after the first few pages and then smiling after the last page was read. Just as the title says it's about a busy executive and a small boy out on the streets begging for money. She walks by him as if he doesn't exist but then for some unknown reason goes back and there starts this beautiful relationship between the two. I read this book in not even a day because I simply could not put it down. The bond and the love just jumps off the pages. I am so I have never read a book that had me crying after the first few pages and then smiling after the last page was read. Just as the title says it's about a busy executive and a small boy out on the streets begging for money. She walks by him as if he doesn't exist but then for some unknown reason goes back and there starts this beautiful relationship between the two. I read this book in not even a day because I simply could not put it down. The bond and the love just jumps off the pages. I am so thankful that I was able to experience this book. And thank you Laura and Maurice for sharing your story. ...more
5

Jan 05, 2013

Can ONE PERSON make a difference in another person's life? Laura Schroff lives just two blocks away from Maurice Maczyk in downtown Manhattan in a brand-new penthouse apartment. Maurice lives in a one-room apartment(yes, one room)in the projects with eleven other people who come and go (when his mother isn't in jail and they still have a roof over their head).

Laura is a highly successful executive at USA Today. Maurice is an eleven-year-old boy begging on the streets. Two people, and two Can ONE PERSON make a difference in another person's life? Laura Schroff lives just two blocks away from Maurice Maczyk in downtown Manhattan in a brand-new penthouse apartment. Maurice lives in a one-room apartment(yes, one room)in the projects with eleven other people who come and go (when his mother isn't in jail and they still have a roof over their head).

Laura is a highly successful executive at USA Today. Maurice is an eleven-year-old boy begging on the streets. Two people, and two different worlds, come together on the day that Laura stops and offers to take Maurice to McDonald's for something to eat. Laura and Maurice begin meeting regularly every Monday to have lunch together. Laura knows that Maurice is hungry and scrounging for food throughout the week, so she packs a lunch for him to pick up on his way to school each day. Thus begins a friendship that grows, and remains, to this day.

This story is an emotional roller-coaster ride. I guarantee that you won't be able to put the book down once you've started reading it. And you won't look at that person you see begging, or just walking aimlessly on the street because he's homeless, in the same way ever again. You just might begin to wonder what you can do to help because you'll understand that one small gesture, from one person, can make a real difference in someone's life. ...more
4

Mar 04, 2012

Overall, I think the story is better than the writing itself, which makes it hard to accurately evaluate with only a single rating. The story itself is compelling and inspirational. The link between Laura and Maurice seems very real at every point, and the elements she presents as part of the story draw you in, you feel you are there with her. I also enjoy the way the story is presented, Laura's own story of growing up is interspersed with Maurice's so you easily see why the two of them Overall, I think the story is better than the writing itself, which makes it hard to accurately evaluate with only a single rating. The story itself is compelling and inspirational. The link between Laura and Maurice seems very real at every point, and the elements she presents as part of the story draw you in, you feel you are there with her. I also enjoy the way the story is presented, Laura's own story of growing up is interspersed with Maurice's so you easily see why the two of them connected so closely. There are some pretty brutal moments in both of their backgrounds, so while the story ultimately leaves you with a good feeling, this is not a book for those looking only for one long feel good moment. At the end, I would hope that reading this book leaves you not only with more faith in your fellow man but also motivated to do something that is, if not similar to this story, at least out of your comfort zone. I would suggest that after reading this, try to think of ways that you can similarly stretch your comfort zone. Laura's actions are beyond what I would do, but her story encourages me to go further than I am. I would highly recommend this book, a quick read but a lasting message. ...more
4

Feb 27, 2017

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?

I just finished this exceptional story. Living in Toronto now I don’t see any child panhandler but based on my previous experience outside of country I know it’s very easy to just ignore them and continue wherever we go.

In this beautiful book Laura Schroff, 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?

I just finished this exceptional story. Living in Toronto now I don’t see any child panhandler but based on my previous experience outside of country I know it’s very easy to just ignore them and continue wherever we go.

In this beautiful book Laura Schroff, tells how one day she didn’t ignore one small boy asking for a change. Actually at first she did but she turned around a few step ahead and instead of giving money she offered the boy to take him to lunch.it was start of a beautiful and lasting friendship between two unlikely people.

I liked how this friendship changed their lives in so many ways. I also liked that Laura didn’t just talk about how all her work was great and showed her mistakes too. The wrong choices she made toward herself or even sometimes Maurice.

Yet I believed then and I believe now that there is something in the universe that brings people who need each other together. There is something that helps two wildly disparate people somehow forge a bond. Maybe it is precisely the thing that haunts us most that makes us reach out to others we think can provide some solace ...more
4

Jun 18, 2012

This book will really make you stop and think about what kind of person you are. I don't believe many people are like Laura Schroff. I don't think many people would have stopped to help a young boy asking for money on the street. But I would like to believe this book would help us consider being that kind of person. Laura is the type of person I strive to be. Kind, thoughtful, giving. Her relationship with Maurice indeed did save his life. Anyone who reads this book can see that. But the fact This book will really make you stop and think about what kind of person you are. I don't believe many people are like Laura Schroff. I don't think many people would have stopped to help a young boy asking for money on the street. But I would like to believe this book would help us consider being that kind of person. Laura is the type of person I strive to be. Kind, thoughtful, giving. Her relationship with Maurice indeed did save his life. Anyone who reads this book can see that. But the fact is, when Laura turned around to ask Maurice to lunch that day long ago, she didn't have any intention of saving his life. She was just being the best a human can be and helping someone else. And as their relationship grew I still believe Laura could not have known the impact she was having on Maurice, not until years later when looking back on what she did and how he responded. And this is a fabulous example at how something that may seem so small to us could mean the world to someone else. This story is a testament to all that is wonderful and good about humanity and what each of us should try to creat in our lives. ...more
3

Apr 23, 2013

I'm just going to preface this by writing: read In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving instead. I just felt like the Tuohy's story was much more captivating with the fact that they completely took Michael Oher in...they clothed him, fed him, made sure he attended school and got good grades. Now, I'm not trying to diminish the good that Laura Schroff did because what she did for Maurice was pretty amazing as well. I guess I just can't get over the fact that she allowed her husband I'm just going to preface this by writing: read In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving instead. I just felt like the Tuohy's story was much more captivating with the fact that they completely took Michael Oher in...they clothed him, fed him, made sure he attended school and got good grades. Now, I'm not trying to diminish the good that Laura Schroff did because what she did for Maurice was pretty amazing as well. I guess I just can't get over the fact that she allowed her husband to disconnect her from Maurice. Not putting her foot down and telling her husband that Maurice was her friend (as she had claimed all the time before then) and that she was going to continue to see him and be a part of his life regardless of what he thought was a pretty shady move.

Overall, it was a pretty good story. However, it wasn't as heartwarming or as well-written as In a Heartbeat. So, reading that book and The Blind Side before reading An Invisible Thread made this book fall a bit flat for me. ...more
5

Mar 28, 2012

It was just another day working at the library receiving new books, when I came across this one. The title "An Invisible Thread," along side the image of the woman and boy, immediately caught my attention. After reading the subtitle I had seen enough and checked out the book.

My library "to read" books piled up and this one sat amongst them for a few weeks. So yesterday, after finishing a book, I turned to that "to read" pile and grabbed this one. I wasn't even in the mood for non-fiction and It was just another day working at the library receiving new books, when I came across this one. The title "An Invisible Thread," along side the image of the woman and boy, immediately caught my attention. After reading the subtitle I had seen enough and checked out the book.

My library "to read" books piled up and this one sat amongst them for a few weeks. So yesterday, after finishing a book, I turned to that "to read" pile and grabbed this one. I wasn't even in the mood for non-fiction and yet I still grabbed it. I started reading this book at 10pm. Needless to say, I devoured more than half of the book before going to bed and couldn't wait to wake up to read more. I even set my alarm for an earlier time so that I could read some before going to work. Had I not picked it up late at night I would have read it all in one sitting, it compelled me that much.

I love memoirs and they all have their similarities. Yet this one stood out to me. The writing had such a flow, was edited so well, put together so well, the way it pulled apart and then came together again. I felt like Laura was talking to me. I felt like I had met Maurice at that point. I felt completely in their world, amongst them. I cried, I smiled, and my heart ached and beat extra hard on so many occasions, while reading this book. It also made me think, reflect, and dream.

This is now one of my favorite memoirs. I thank both Maurice and Laura for that. For sharing their stories, for showing the importance of getting out of our daily schedules to take the time of day for others, even if just to stop and listen. To me this is the kind of story that emulates the concept of "paying if forward". Laura paid it forward to Maurice and he did the same for her. If anything readers get from this book it would be the inspiration to pay it forward, to listen to others, to just be there. Beautifully written, touching story.

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3

Jan 11, 2012

A good story. Uplifting which seems such a rare thing these days. Readable, and by that I mean somewhat simple. When I read memoirs I always feel the protagonist is whining. I know this isn’t a fair statement. They are writing about their lives and if they didn’t have things to whine about, it wouldn’t be much of a story. I understand why Laura compared Maurice’s life to her own but the harsh reality of Maurice’s made her complaints (serious though they were) seem frivolous. I almost think in A good story. Uplifting which seems such a rare thing these days. Readable, and by that I mean somewhat simple. When I read memoirs I always feel the protagonist is whining. I know this isn’t a fair statement. They are writing about their lives and if they didn’t have things to whine about, it wouldn’t be much of a story. I understand why Laura compared Maurice’s life to her own but the harsh reality of Maurice’s made her complaints (serious though they were) seem frivolous. I almost think in this case it would have been better to keep hers out of it, or briefer, and instead break the story line up with statistics and facts, really focus in on what life was like for a kid like Maurice.

What I liked about “An Invisible Thread” was that it was honest, and that made the story precious. Only once did Laurie step into Maurice’s world and she continually questioned the good she was doing, if any at all. She weighed options and spoke with him about what it meant to live this double life. He did have to break away from her for a few years to figure out how to stand on his own. All that made the story seem real and true and simple. You don’t have to venture onto the streets on New York to help someone, you don’t have to visit the welfare apartments, you simply have to care and give a person the chance to do something different, to see the world as other people see it. Of course, you do also need a very special kid like Maurice. Wise and unafraid. And the idea of an “invisible thread” that connects people is beautiful. This story does almost make you believe it can be true.

This is a quick read. Worth it for a glimpse of something good, even with the whining. After reading so many tales of abuse and neglect and simply frightening stuff, it is so refreshing to read a story about people doing good, about people trying and being rewarded for their efforts. ...more
4

Aug 08, 2012

when i finished reading this book i was all set to get on goodreads and bash it. then i thought about it. while i understand that delving into her past brought the reader on the journey and why she did the things she did, when i picked up the book i was expecting to learn all about the unlikely friendship. most of the book was spent in the way past, her past, her fathers abuse, that sorta thing. to me, her life, while dramatic and rough with the abuse, she lived a privledged life compaired to when i finished reading this book i was all set to get on goodreads and bash it. then i thought about it. while i understand that delving into her past brought the reader on the journey and why she did the things she did, when i picked up the book i was expecting to learn all about the unlikely friendship. most of the book was spent in the way past, her past, her fathers abuse, that sorta thing. to me, her life, while dramatic and rough with the abuse, she lived a privledged life compaired to maurice. i wish the story could have spent more time with the two and their relationship, the things they talked about. i didnt get the feeling of closeness that they swear they have, cause every time she would talk about it, it was "i took him to mcdonalds and his eyes got big with wonder, wihch reminds me of the time when i was a little girl blhblahblah" then would go on a chapter page about her life story, then it would switch back.."two weeks later we went to the park and to this day i can see clearly how excited he was..unlike the time when i was 2 years old and blahblahblahblah" i commend her though, on befriending this kid, but the book, i felt like i didnt really know the kid, or what happened with their friendship. ...more
5

Sep 12, 2016

First off, I don’t care for the subtitle as it doesn’t do justice to the two major characters - it grossly mislabels Maurice and Laura - they are both so much more than an 11-year-old panhandler and a busy sales executive. So, I like that the audio edition, which I went with, dropped the subtitle. Now, that I’ve taken care of that gripe…it was a wonderful book about the deep understanding and relationship between two individuals that came about by mere chance - or was it that fate brought them First off, I don’t care for the subtitle as it doesn’t do justice to the two major characters - it grossly mislabels Maurice and Laura - they are both so much more than an 11-year-old panhandler and a busy sales executive. So, I like that the audio edition, which I went with, dropped the subtitle. Now, that I’ve taken care of that gripe…it was a wonderful book about the deep understanding and relationship between two individuals that came about by mere chance - or was it that fate brought them together - if they hadn't met at the corner of a busy New York City street, then certainly they would have met somewhere else in the universe? I’ll start with Laura...By all accounts Laura is a successful career woman who has it all. But behind the outgoing, self confident veneer is a story that she doesn’t allow anyone to glimpse - the domestic abuse she, her siblings and mother suffered at the hands of an alcoholic father. Her mother’s constant warnings of “don’t talk about it” were adhered to - both within the confines of their immediate family as well as with others. Violent episodes were not discussed following their occurrences - rather the shattered bottles, broken furniture and punched-out holes in the wall were taken care of without a word — as if nothing ever happened. Maurice is 11 years old when they meet on New York City's 56th Street corner. "Excuse me, lady, do you have any spare change?” are his first words to Laura. And then, he adds that he’s hungry. Not knowing why, Laura offers to buy him dinner at a MacDonald’s and asks if she can join him. They have cheeseburgers, fries and chocolate milk shakes. And that’s the start of the many dinners they share…I won’t say more or else I’ll reveal too much. Maurice’s life is deplorably worse than Laura’s. His parents are drug addicts and dealers living in public housing with his siblings and extended family. Life as Maurice sees it is one where drugs, prostitution and gang activity are commonplace and an everyday occurrence. He has no concept of what a job is, had never been taught how to blow his nose - what’s that? and had never sat down at a table for a meal. His dream is to one day have a dining table where he and his future family can sit down to dinner and talk — i.e. talk to one another, have friendly, fun and interesting conversations. Read the book and find out if Maurice’s dream ever becomes a reality…A poignant, raw, heartwarming, sad and uplifting book of a special relationship between two people from different walks of life who are linked forever by an invisible thread. A highly recommended read (or listen). ...more
5

Oct 19, 2011

Maurice had never met anyone like Laura and Laura had never met anyone like Maurice. They were from two different worlds. Laura doesn't know why she stopped and turned back after Maurice asked her for some money, but she is glad she did.

Through Maurice, Laura learned about the life he and thousands of others were living on a daily basis....not a pleasant life at all. Laura was helping Maurice to live a better life at least one day a week, and it seemed to be paying off since she could see a Maurice had never met anyone like Laura and Laura had never met anyone like Maurice. They were from two different worlds. Laura doesn't know why she stopped and turned back after Maurice asked her for some money, but she is glad she did.

Through Maurice, Laura learned about the life he and thousands of others were living on a daily basis....not a pleasant life at all. Laura was helping Maurice to live a better life at least one day a week, and it seemed to be paying off since she could see a change in him even though he had to go back to his horrible living conditions after he left her.

As well as learning about the living conditions of others, the author also gave the reader a chance to find out that her childhood/family life was not very easy.....her father was an abusive alcoholic, and her mother sat by not being able to defend herself or her children. Obviously the author's childhood and the childhood of her brothers and sisters had an impact on their entire life and on her decision to turn back and fulfill Maurice’s plea for help.

The descriptions in the book are very detailed and heartbreaking but also heartwarming. You will become a part of the lives of every character and you will feel their pain and happiness.

An Invisible Thread is the perfect title for this book. The book brought to the surface that we all have a connection to other human beings even though that connection may not be outwardly visible.

I truly enjoyed the book because of the honesty of feelings and of human kindness and human connection. This is a must read. Laura Schroff is a brave woman to reveal all this, but it definitely will make you realize that no matter how small the gesture may be, we can make a difference for someone else. 5/5 ...more
5

Jul 28, 2013

Oh my gosh!! If I you can only read one book this year, and you want it to be something that makes you feel good at the end and be a better person...A book that makes you feel like the world can be a better place, like YOU can make a difference in someone's life...THIS is your book. This was such a touching story of an AMAZING woman and her choice to make an impact/start a friendship with a young man who was struggling. Laurie, she did something VERY few of us do, and that's just give of herself Oh my gosh!! If I you can only read one book this year, and you want it to be something that makes you feel good at the end and be a better person...A book that makes you feel like the world can be a better place, like YOU can make a difference in someone's life...THIS is your book. This was such a touching story of an AMAZING woman and her choice to make an impact/start a friendship with a young man who was struggling. Laurie, she did something VERY few of us do, and that's just give of herself and her time, and her trust. I am so glad she shared her story and Maurice's to see the difference it made in his life. It made all of the difference in the world. What I found interesting is that she also came from a sort of broken-home, not such an easy home-life...yet when we "meet" her, she seems to have everything, so much that she is willing to give to this young boy. So, I found her back-story sad, but intriguing. As well as his up-bringing. But in the end I'm just amazed these 2 people took the lemon's that life gave them, and really made lemonade! Loved this book and have already started telling all my friends about it. :) ...more

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