Friday, July 15, 2016

Like a River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart

From the publisher:
The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little—known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the F├╝hrer's plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

This book is in parts too beautiful to put down and too traumatizing to take lightly.  When I first started to read this book I didn't think I could finish it because it moved me so deeply by its horrifying tragedies unfolding page after page.  But then I read this:  "You're safe and you will be loved here."  And I thought isn't that what everyone longs for?  And this amazing story that Kellie Stuart has created is just that.  
It is a story of love given in different ways to those ravished by brutality and evil.  It really shows how love; the giving and receiving of love can change the course of one's life.  Stuart takes us inside the most private thoughts of her characters.  Readers will be stunned by the revelations these characters provide.  
This story takes place during WWII during Germany's occupation of the Ukraine.  The questions and dilemmas that the characters debate will push the Reader to reexamine preconceived ideas about what is right and wrong and how far one should go to preserve the right and good in life.

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