An Invisible Thread, by Laura Schroff


In this true story, Laura Schroff befriends a homeless boy, Maurice, and he gradually becomes central to her life. We asked whether we would have had the courage to act as Laura did. We acknowledged that we would have considered the “what if”s and “why”s and “oh no”s of bringing such a boy—and his family— into our lives. Schroff did it with only minimal hesitation and with a wholehearted welcome, and she faced a stunning learning curve she shares with the reader. 

Maurice lives within feet of Laura’s comfortable apartment in midtown Manhattan, but they might as well have been in different countries. Laura even has to teach Maurice how to blow his nose because he has never done it, and she ends up making him school lunches in a plain brown paper bag so he can fit in with the kids at school. 

Laura is honest about how her relationship with Maurice eventually foundered as she tried to build a life with a new husband, and her backstory helps explain why she might have taken the chances she did with Maurice and also defines her need to have a child of her own. 

The writing is a bit weak—Schroff wrote the book with friend and colleague Alex Tresniowski,  which may have reduced some of the immediacy and power of the memoir. It is an easy read, though.

—Pat Prijatel


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