Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Review of Like a River from Its Course


One of my favorite genres of literature is historical fiction, and Kelli Stuart's Like a River From Its Course did not disappoint. The historical facts upon which the storylines are based are accurate, the lives of the characters are described with such detail it creates deep empathy within the reader, and the vivid imagery brings the entire book to life. Because each element is handled so well by Stuart, this book will haunt you--and because of that, I could not turn away. We need to remember the pain, oppression, separation, fear, destruction & devastation that occurred during WWII...all of which are captured beautifully within the pages of Like a River from Its Course.

I believe this book would be a great one for high school English teachers to add to their students' reading list. The format is unique and worthy of literary acknowledgement all on its own; the chapters 'rotate' through separate characters living life in Ukraine (and each storyline is rich enough to have been its own book). The discussions that could take place within the classroom as the students discuss the perspective of a father, his beloved daughter, a Nazi soldier, and a young lady hold hours of potential, as does the opportunity to write papers that could deal with the overall themes that come from within the book, to very specific topics of racism, rape, genocide, oppression, poverty, and many others.

This book is a heavy yet excellent read, and one I highly recommend.

*I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review*


Like a River from Its Course (Kregel, June 2016)
Like a River from Its CourseAn epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope
The 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 F├╝hrer’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.
Kelli StuartKelli Stuart is the coauthor of Dare 2B Wise and has written for several brands including Disney, American Girl, and Short Fiction Break. She has served as editor-in-chief for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild and as a board member for the St. Louis Women in Media. In addition to her writing, Kelli has spent twenty years studying Ukranian culture. Kelli lives in Florida.

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