Although we primarily focus on fiction here at She Reads, we occasionally find a memoir that we just want to TALK about. And it’s happened often enough that we decided that 2013 would be the year we feature one memoir each month. And to kick off this new series we give you AN INVISIBLE THREAD by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski.
I love books that both move and inspire me. This one definitely fits that bill. Not only that, this one stayed with me. I think about it every morning when I make my kids lunches. (Read the book and you’ll know why.) It’s one I have and will recommend to people.
The premise is this: a young, single, urban professional walking down a busy sidewalk is approached by an 11 year old pandhandler. For reasons she can’t explain, instead of ignoring him or tossing money at him, she stops, looks him in the eye and asks him if he’s hungry. Then she offers to buy him any meal he wants at the McDonalds across the street. That one act changed both of their lives. Those lunches became regular things… and went on to become so much more. Though they couldn’t know it at the time, a young man’s destiny was changed, and a woman’s whole perspective was too.
If you’re looking for a wonderful story that will make you think differently about poverty and giving and gratitude and hope, this is one to pick up. It just might inspire you to take action– one that will change your life, and someone else’s in the process.
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.”
About Marybeth Whalen
Marybeth Whalen is the co-founder of She Reads, mother of six, and life-long reader. She is also the author of two novels with a third out in July: The Mailbox, She Makes It Look Easy, and The Guest Book.