The Daughters Of Ukraine by Erin Litteken is a powerful and heart-breaking novel that consumed me.
The action is mainly set during World War II and up to 1947. We follow three lost daughters of Ukraine as the war tears them apart – first the Soviets, then the Germans, and then the Soviets again. It is a book that will affect your emotions. It really resonated with me as I had an uncle from the Ukraine who was born in1922 and who suffered under the Soviets and the Germans, and who chose to come to Britain at the end of the war.
The Daughters Of The Ukraine is grounded in fact as it is based on the experiences of the author’s relatives.
All the characters are well drawn and realistic. Their bravery and their tenacity to overcome is amazing. “Fight because life is always worth fighting for.” It was a daily choice, to choose life. Anything else would have meant giving up.
There is a generosity of spirit. They shared what they had with those who had nothing. In contrast, the Soviets and the Germans were brutal. I remember my uncle saying that he did not want to fall into the hands of the Soviets.
My heart broke for a character who had lost her whole family. “Everyone I love dies, so I won’t love anyone.” She tried to build a wall around her heart, to harden her emotions but her heart broke free.
Both the Soviets and the Germans did not see the person. They classified people according to race or religion but never saw the beating heart of the individual. “A person can’t be judged by who their parents were or where they were born… learn to see the man, not the uniform or nationality.”
Now that the book is ended, my heart and emotions are in pieces and I am full of admiration for the brave people of the Ukraine – both in the past and today, as they choose hope despite their circumstances.
I received a free copy from Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
The Lost Daughters of Ukraine
A story of the strength of the human spirit, the personal cost of conflict and how love can be found even in the darkest times.
Summer 1941. War rages in Europe. The Germans march towards Ukraine. Halya, Liliya and Vika are no strangers to sorrow. They lost family during the Holodomor, loved ones in Stalin’s purges, and war looms once more on the horizon.
Vika lives in fear for her children. She and her sister survived the terror famine by leaving their whole family behind. Now, years later, many believe the Germans will free them from the Soviets, but she’s not so sure. Should they stay in Volhynia or flee the approaching Eastern front?
Liliya has lost too much in her 17 years. As those around her join the resistance, Liliya wonders how she can fight for her friends, family, and country. When the choice is made for her, can she find the will to survive and protect those still with her?
Twelve-year-old Halya is struggling to discover who she is. But as the war escalates, can her mother Katya’s tactics keep her safe from the Nazi soldiers rounding up slave laborers? How can a child survive the horrors of war on her own?
These daughters of Ukraine will face devastation and loss as they fight to survive and protect the ones they love.
A gripping page-turner of love, loss and resilience for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3w1lXnT
Author Bio –
Erin Litteken is a debut novelist with a degree in history and a passion for research. At a young age, she was enthralled by stories of her family’s harrowing experiences in Ukraine before, during and after World War II. She lives in Illinois, USA with her husband and children.
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