Like A River From Its Course By Kelli Stuart

The first thing that comes to my mind is “WOW WHAT A BOOK”! The writing of this novel was a labor of love and it shows! When we read about events in history, we the read the facts and highlights of that time. We don’t take into consideration the people that lived through the occurrence and even if we do it is only skimming the surface. The author did an incredible job of taking us deep into the experiences of those living during WW2 in the Ukraine. Their suffering from the war was great without being added to the fact they were suspended between fighting regimes of Hitler and Stalin. What makes it even more intriguing is that the book is inspired by the combined true accounts people that survived this dreadful time. Ms. Stuart took 15 years of research and interviews with survivors!
I liked how her four characters showed the diversity of experiences from the varied viewpoints of people in different walks of life. This is so beautifully written that all their stories weave together. It is not disjointed or confusing.
The author opens your eyes that war is very complicated. Every person involved is an individual with their own emotions and struggles. The problems they were dealing with before the war are still there and made even more complicated by the fighting.
Ivan has a family he desperately wants to protect. While trying to help a neighbor, he becomes a part of the Jewish prisoners march to death. He barely escapes but the horror he witnesses thousands being killed emotionally devastates him. He returns to his family a shell of a man.
Masha, his daughter, is only 14 years old when the war begins. The devastation of her city and starvation were overwhelming for her close knit family. Then one day the thing her parents had feared, happened. She was captured and taken to a concentration camp.
Luda’s life was a nightmare before the war with her abusive, alcoholic father. She is only 16 and manages to escape to the home of dear friends who welcome her. When it looks like her life is taking a turn for the better, she is brutally raped my Nazi soldiers and ends up pregnant.
Frederick is the enemy, a young boy that has been raised to be part of Hitler’s killing machine, a Nazi soldier. He is totally committed not only to the cause, but also to try and win the acceptance of harsh and unloving father.
I liked that I was able to see the character’s not only through the war but how they lived afterward. I have never read a book like this! If I could I would give it 6 stars!!
I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

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