Book Review: Like a River From Its Course

Posted by Katrina Roets at 6:30 AM

Friday, July 15, 2016

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hopeThe 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 Fuhrer'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.

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It's rare that a book reaches out, grabs you by the heart and refuses to let go. This book does just that. Told from four points of view, this book shows you a side of war that they don't teach you sitting in a classroom. Don't get me wrong. Dates, locations, names of the major players are important, but this book shows what war really is. It shows the personal side, how it affected the average person and how those average people survived.

This is a book that every history student should be made to read. I laughed, cried, mourned, and celebrated with each of the characters. I was picking this book up every free moment that I had and I won't lie when I say that this book changed me and put me in touch with a time that happened before I was born. When time passes, we become disconnected. This book reconnects people with what was truly a terrible time. I cannot recommend this book enough.


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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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