An Invisible Thread Book Summary - An Invisible Thread Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

An Invisible Thread summary

Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

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

4.7 (22 ratings)
18 mins

What is An Invisible Thread about?

An Invisible Thread (2011) recounts the story of the incredible and unlikely friendship between a successful businesswoman and a poverty-stricken young boy – a friendship that ultimately changed both of their lives forever.

Table of Contents

    An Invisible Thread
    summarized in 9 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 9

    An invisible thread may connect the people who are destined to meet.

    Maybe it sounds cheesy, but some chance encounters seem to be guided by fate. At least that’s how it seemed when the author, Laura Schroff, and Maurice Mazyck met on the busy streets of downtown New York City on Labor Day in 1986.

    Laura Schroff, Caucasian and single at the age of 35, was a successful advertising executive for USA Today. Maurice was an eleven-year-old African American kid on the verge of homelessness.

    Laura had plenty of reasons to keep on walking when Maurice asked her for spare change. She didn’t have to stop and take him to McDonald’s for lunch. After all, she was a busy advertising executive; her schedule was tight, and stopping to treat eleven-year-olds to lunch was certainly not part of it.

    Furthermore, the mid-1980s witnessed a dramatic widening of the gap between rich and poor; more and more people were forced to live on the street. Because poverty was so prevalent, it would have been easy for Laura to ignore Maurice and simply continue on her way.

    So why did she stop? The only explanation Laura can give is that the hand of destiny somehow guided this chance meeting. There is a Chinese proverb that speaks of an invisible thread that connects those that are destined to meet; in other cultures, it’s been called a string of fate or a thread of destiny.

    Whether it was fate or serendipity, Laura stopped in her tracks that afternoon, and rather than just giving Maurice the spare change he had asked for, she took him to lunch. With this action she began a friendship that would continue for the next 30 years.

    Want to see all full key ideas from An Invisible Thread?

    Key ideas in An Invisible Thread

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    Best quote from An Invisible Thread

    When we met we were just two people with complicated pasts and fragile dreams.

    —Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
    example alt text

    About the Author

    Laura Schroff is a former ad executive for numerous publications, including USA Today, People magazine and InStyle.

    Alex Tresniowkski is a senior writer for People magazine and author of The Vendetta, which inspired Public Enemies, the 2009 Michael Mann movie. His other books include Labor of Love and When Life Gives You Lemons.

    Who should read An Invisible Thread?

    • Anyone who enjoys a heartwarming story
    • People curious about 1980s New York
    • Those interested in the benefits of altruism

    Categories with An Invisible Thread

    Books like An Invisible Thread

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial