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.


If you would like your review of this book listed here, please leave a link and I will add it.


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. 


  1. This sounds amazing - it's definitely gone on my wishlist.

  2. I'll have to look for Maps and Shadows - it sounds like the kind of book I love.

  3. Sam: I thought it was very interesting. I wish it had been longer, but the story is fascinating.

    Cathy: I hope you like it!

  4. This sounds like a must read for me. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  5. I thought this book was an eye-opener. I had no idea about this part of WWII history.

    So sorry it took so long to get back to you. Of course, you can link to my review!

    Also, I hope it's okay to link to yours on War Through the Generations.


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