• An Invisible Thread

  • The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny
  • By: Laura Schroff, Alex Tresniowski
  • Narrated by: Pam Ward
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (394 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This inspirational New York Times best seller 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 11-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.

©2011 Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski. All rights reserved. (P)2019 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about An Invisible Thread

Average Customer Ratings
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2 People Show How to Get Where they Hope to Go!

You can get there speedily as on an escalator or via every rung on a ladder spanning decades. This wonderful book tells of the life-journeys together (and separately) which 2 strangers embarked on and the ensuing friendship which lit up both their lives positively despite painful pasts. Some reviewers thought the invisible thread had been broken but in fact, the relationship shifted from time to time as the lady’s needs changed and so did the boy’s. But the love remained throughout and so did the lessons learned (as both individuals had information to impart to each other; it was not all one-sided). By the end of this exciting true story beginning with a chance encounter in NYC of a lady around 30 and a hungry boy of 11, I am reminded of a great quote by Henry Adams: “A teacher affects eternity; one can never tell where his/her influence stops.” Indeed, this true story twists and turns, weaving back and forth through both lives and it is a marvellous, rewarding read/listen which I recommend. There are so many ways to help others not only survive but thrive .... even if caring assistance is given by valued stepping-stones or by more long-lasting modelling through example — Both methods can have lasting benefits.

6 people found this helpful

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  • JP
  • 06-19-19

Heart warming and life learning experiences

This was an unusual story line, sometimes not so agreeable but always interesting to where the story was going. It was a great read and I know in time I will revisit this story.

3 people found this helpful

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Emotional Journey Full of Life’s Lessons

I did not know what to expect after the first chapter. I really enjoyed the story. The way we all go through tough times in life that shape who we become as adults. The choices we make and the consequences of those choices. It was an emotional roller coaster. I highly recommend this read. It’s food for your soul.

2 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable, sweetness and warmth were felt

I had to read this book for a class but decided I didn’t have time, so I purchased the audiobook to listen on my commutes to and from work and class. Some points were easy to zone out, but others kept me very involved in the lives of Maurice and Laura. I would recommend to my friends and family. I removed one star for the story because I felt like Laura tried to compare her childhood to Maurice’s that, while both very unfortunate, are not equivocal.

2 people found this helpful

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not a fan of narration

as someone else reviewed: the narrator can make or break a book. i READ this book several years back....last week i LISTENED to this book (for book club only). the presentation led me to believe that the writer was very flippant about the way she helped shape this young man's life.
something interesting that the AUTHOR SAID but disregarded...when laura first met maurice's teacher, the teacher bluntly said: 'please don't come into his life and then leave it'. in my opinion, she did.

2 people found this helpful

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White savior rescue

I don’t doubt that the author benefitted from this relationship, but it was painful to listen to the narrator describing, in detail, how she was the reason this poor black child, made it in the world. Sharing her own history of abuse helped a little, but she might have mentioned that had her father been black, she, too, likely would have grown up a ward of the state, and/or on the streets.

1 person found this helpful

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Another white lady does great to a black boy story

I’m not sure where to start… The narrator was a typical, old, white lady. I wish they could’ve chosen someone who you couldn’t tell what ethnicity they were by the voice.
Next, I wish the story was not about another white lady doing great things for a black boy. The entire story resonated with he didn’t know any of this stuff until she came along. I’m not sure if this story was about the horrible past of the boy, how great the white lady was, or about their relationship. Maybe all three of those things but I’m my opinion, it sure seemed to boost her more than anyone. Uggg, I just can’t with this book! Sooo condescending and self righteous! Such a self-centered, look what I did book. Not a fan at all.

1 person found this helpful

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Inspiring and Uplifting

It's a book you can't stop reading because you want to know what happens next. Life lessons, humor, inspiration...this book has so much. A worthwhile read. Easy to follow. But most of all, it teaches how compassion can be life changing.

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  • rk
  • 06-10-19

Heart warming, Heart wrenching & wonderful!!!

What a blessing this book has been to me! I have loved every word, thank you!

1 person found this helpful

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A book that every adult needs to read

Wow!
What an incredible story how one woman took the time to engage with a young black panhandler boy in New York City and how her concern turned to an incredible friendship with this boy who just needed an adult to care and listen. Just imagine if each adult in this country would take a child under their wings to be their angel and just listen.

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  • Ms. V. R. K. Houghton
  • 08-22-20

Lovely story

Well read and written, a chance encounter that shaped two lives for ever. A great read.