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Customer Review

on 9 June 1997
This book is a methodical telling of a village's
struggle with redemption and its attempts to
come to terms with only part of its sordid past.
Poland's communist history starts out as the primary backdrop of this murder mystery. However,
the murder of one slowly becomes secondary to the
old system's silent murder of spirit and morale
in the community. Finally, the old system, now replaced, becomes an inconsequential source of
reconciliation compared to the disappearance of 80% of the village's population at the start of WWII.

This is a hopeful story, for a broader community
than the fictional Poles of the village. Mr. Powers clearly understands that there are victims
at every level of societal horror, and that no
amount of guilt or ingorance can move a community
into salvation. Purposeful recongition of the roles of community attitudes and actions are at
the heart of the redemption of individuals.

The story-telling is marvelous and rich. The characters are real and human -- none of them
pure evil, but all taking part in the history of
a village, and its country. Furthermore, all of
the characters are Polish. There is a distinct lack of Americans in the novel, and a distinct
lack of Americanisms in the book as a whole, in
characters, the plot, the atmosphere, or the
pacing. Settling into this novel is a joy, reminiscent of the pace of life, not the thrilling
romantic life of an American dream world.

This is a story worth reading for the next several
decades.
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Product Details

4.6 out of 5 stars
12
4.6 out of 5 stars