Back in February, I had TWO weeks off from work, as I was recuperating from some minor hand surgery. Finally! A PERFECT opportunity to truly participate in my book clubs next discussion, by Actually reading the book selection instead of just showing up for their great company and delicious food! I had been absent from the previous meeting but the girls emailed me to tell me our selection was "An Invisible Thread" a non-fiction book from a local author.
Before I settled down in (mr. Petals) recliner with a pillow for my elevated hand, ice pack, ipad, cell phone, cup of tea and book club book.. (okay... there were cookies too...many cookies). I asked my husband if he knew this local author who was from his home town of huntington station. He looked at her picture, and read her name, 'Laura Schroff, No I don't know her." ( hmm..he said that too quickly and with such disinterest.) I sat down and googled her name and found out she also went to his high school and as he kissed me goodbye, I asked him Yet again... ARE u SURE?? With excitement I added...she went to your high school!! she's only a few years older than you!!... ( I can be quite annoying I guess) because he impatiently snapped back.. I DON'T KNOW HER! So off Mr. Grumpy went to work.
AH... this felt so good (despite my throbbing hand) to have a day to myself and to finally settle in to read, I had missed it. ( lately, zumba choreography has taken up all of my down time)
The story had me instantly glued to it. I couldn't put it down, tea went cold, I didn't even eat every cookie. Not long in to 'An invisible thread' the author mentions her maiden name. It was very familiar.. I could have SWORN my husband had mentioned that name to me. (married for 33 years, I've been a pretty GOOD Listener... and apparently have a much better memory than I give myself credit) I peeled myself away from the intriguing pages and took a much needed bathroom break then also gave Mr. Petals a call on one of his busiest work days. "Hey Honey, how's it going, you know that author u said u didn't know"? He sighed and I heard him quietly say "eye eye eye" (who is he? ricky ricardo?) "Well, I just read her MAIDEN name and it sounds SOoo familiar, Didn't you know the Carino's? Her dads name was Nuzie".
There was silence on his end for a few seconds.... He said... "What?!! LU... She is my Cousin!"
"(Sucking in air...) seeee!!! I KNEW YOU HAD TO KNOW HER!!!" (hee hee) He couldn't believe it and quickly started filling me in on some of his memories of her family. Some that I soon read about in the following chapters of this moving, heart wrenching story. I emailed my book club friends to tell them of this AMAZING discovery! One friend wrote back that she was MORE amazed that I was actually reading one of our book selections. (wise guy!)
Small world that it is, another friend suggested I try to get in touch with Laura via her website, or Facebook. I wrote her a message and to my surprise and delight, she graciously wrote back!! we corresponded a few times and then I also contacted her sweet sister Nancy, who my husband and his sister were friendly with in their youth. She was closer in age to them. My husband spent many years hanging out at her home. They lived on the same block. He had many memories of that time. I found this all so exciting, fascinating and touching! so....
I decided to be bold and just come out and ask Laura if she and Nancy would ever consider taking the hour ride back to long island to attend our book group! As you can see in the photo.. They both accepted! Laura is sitting in the center of the photo and her sweet sister Nancy is on her left. They were both so lovely,kind, warm and friendly. Within minutes we felt we knew them! We were riveted, hanging on to Laura's EVERY word! We really enjoyed Hearing so many additional details of her poignant story as well as all the experiences she has had since. She is incredibly charismatic and can captivate you with her bright eyes, gentle smile and expressive conversation! My sister-in-law who also LOVED the book joined us to reunite with her cousins.
We discussed our family tree. Laura's mom and my father-in-law were First cousins. So we assume that makes Laura and my father-in-law second cousins, and then she would be third cousins with my husband and his sisters. I mentioned cousin 'once removed' and it totally confused us all... so we are sticking with third cousins!
The book's title comes from the ancient chinese proverb which states, an invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place and circumstance. 25 years ago, Laura was destined to meet and befriend Maurice, a hungry 11 yr. old panhandler. This year maybe she was destined to meet her long lost cousins wife Lucy. We sure hope to keep in touch with this remarkably kindhearted soul.
*Laura has made many tv appearance including Kathy Lee and Hoda , Rachel Ray and Mike Huckabee.
If you want a beautiful, uplifting, honest book that will touch your heart, break your heart yet leave your heart believing there truly are really good people in this harsh world, you MUST read this wonderful book! Laura's website is http://www.aninvisiblethread.com/ You can watch a video of her and her friend Maurice. Their friendship and story can not be missed.
hope you will give me YOUR review!