Tag Archive | Erin Litteken

The Lost Daughters Of Ukraine by Erin Litteken

Choose Hope

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.

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The Memory Keeper Of Kyiv by Erin Litteken

Powerful And Horrifying

The Memory Keeper Of Kyiv by Erin Litteken is a powerful dual timeline novel that will educate and horrify you, whilst totally consuming you.

The novel is set in 2004 in America and from 1929 into the 1930’s in Ukraine. The reader hears of Stalin’s program of collectivisation and his plans to eliminate the kulaks (so called richer peasants). As a historian I had studied this subject but it seemed even more shocking and horrifying to read about the atrocities in a novel. I think that is because the macrocosm becomes the microcosm as we focus in on a community.

The two time periods are linked by a character and her diary. She has kept her early life a secret due to the fear as Soviet arms are long. Now it is time to share her story.

The losses are immense. The modern reader just cannot comprehend the horrors of the Holodomor as over eight million lost their lives through a man-made starvation program and a reign of terror. We see the will and determination and luck needed to survive in spite of many losses.

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