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When Sorrows Come (My Lost Country Vol 1) Paperback – 4 Jan 2014
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Maria Dziedzan captures perfectly those little gestures and facial expressions which betray emotion particularly in the bonds between siblings and lovers. There is a lot of affection for all her characters and the reader is left with tremendous respect for the strength and dignity they show in the face of brutality from both Russian and German invaders.
Thoroughly researched and based on true events the novel gives a voice to ordinary people who endured extraordinary sacrifices, separations and unthinkable horrors whilst also celebrating their determination to preserve traditions and values of decency and loyalty . This novel should be required reading for anyone studying Modern European History.
'When Sorrows Come' is a tightly-structured , fast-paced page-turner and its characters are vivid : Yuri, Rachel, Vera, Anna's mother,...so many and all unforgettable. You will occasionally have to put this book aside because you will be stunned by an unforeseeable plot twist or moved to tears . Some of the scenes described here will stay with you for life. And rightly so.
A rare debut. Buy it. Read it. Recommend it.
Now available in a revised stunning new edition. A MUST read for 2015.
An inspirational touch was the way the author created wonderful characters with human flaws whom she treated very graciously. The main characters were strong, forthright, honourable and courageous, other characters were depicted as weaker in their nature. The author treated both with a compassion and kindness, empathising with their situation in a very forgiving and dignified manner. I completely fell in love with the main character, Anna, and I must admit there were times when I skipped ahead a few pages to make sure that my worst fears were unconfirmed.
I simply loved the vivid and beautiful descriptions of the scenery! A subtle addition was the glimpse into the traditions and culture of the village.
The subject matter was fascinating depicting a chaotic and prolonged era of uncertainty and terror. The political situation was well researched, the confusion of liberator/tyrant was effectively portrayed and throughout all the hardship the people's belief in a good and just world was apparent.
A brilliant must-read novel. I can't wait to see what this author will produce next.
This book does not shy away from the brutalities of the Russian and German regimes that dominated the Ukrainian people and its lands throughout the Second World War. At the same time though it contains some beautiful portrayals of the lives of the villagers, many of whom struggled to live as normal a life as possible in spite of the oppression they suffered. A difficult balance, skilfully achieved.
Some strong themes run through the book. There are stories of deceit and betrayal but these are more than outweighed by stories of love for family and friends, of love for the home, the land and above all, the country. It is also full of wonderful examples of the power of hope within the human spirit. The hope that the harvest will be bountiful. The hope that the lover will return. The hope to one day be free.
This may be a work of fiction but it is one very much based on historical facts. As such it is a work of true devotion and a story that deserves to be widely read.
The central character, Anna, is one of the strongest, bravest, most inspirational women I have ever read about. Despite Anna's steely strength, the author manages to retain her soft, quiet femininity, revealing her resourcefulness and courage in situations that are often quite horrendous. It is very easy to become emotionally absorbed by the characters and events as Anna's village, like so many in Western Ukraine during WWII, is sucked into the power struggle between Russia to the east and Nazi Germany to the west. How these people coped is beyond me but is testimony to their strength as a nation and their belief that one day they WILL be truly free.
An incredibly well written, thought provoking and sometimes emotionally draining novel. I look forward to reading more from Maria Dziedzan in the future and thank you to Chris Wujiw for his personal recommendation.
The book is very well written, and well researched. I couldn't put it down. I 'enjoyed' it so much I have read it twice even though it makes me cry.