lare Eavarone, the eldest daughter of a wealthy 1th century Italian family, is the ""bright thread"" in a familial fabric, rich in color and complex pattern. The author attempts to explain her conversion to the order of St. Francis and her elevation to sainthood in terms of the life she led. It is a formidable task and one that never interprets the facts but merely presents them. Nevertheless it is a book which creates and excellent picture of family ties and obligations during that time. Having heard St. Francis preach, Clare becomes his ardent follower while still living in her father's household. With Eavarone's death, Clare is forced to make her union with God public when tyrannical Uncle Monaldo attempts to force her into marriage. How she achieved sainthood is given less emphasis than the events leading up to it -- her relationships with her mother and sisters and her dramatic defiance of her uncle. A readable and interesting portrait.