Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review of the Day: Maps and Shadows



Maps and Shadows is Krysia Jopek's gripping novel based on the true-life travails of the author's father and his family during World War II. When the Russian army invaded Poland in 1939, it deported the family – and thousands of other Poles – to Siberia, where the father Andrzej and oldest son Hynryk logged the frozen forests while the mother Zofia, daughter Helcia, and toddler Jozef tried to keep the family from starving or freezing to death.

That was just the beginning. Shifting war-time allegiances resulted in release from Siberian slave labor, but separation and years of danger for the family. Forced to disperse, the family found itself swept from Siberia to Iran, Palestine, Italy, Uzbekistan, Africa, and England before finally settling in America.

This is an incredibly story about a seldom-considered aspect of WWII. It is quite short and reads more like non-fiction than a novel, but is still a compelling look at how war affects ordinary people.


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NOTES

The same publisher, Aquila Polonica, has a non-fiction book out called The Ice Road by Stefan Waydenfeld that is a more in-depth account of the Polish deportations to Siberia during WWII.  My husband read that one and was mesmerized by the story.  He thought it was a fantastic book. 


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