Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Night Sky: A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back by Maria Sutton

Kindle Edition
Published June 26th 2011
Source:  I received a copy from the author in exchange for a review

From Goodreads:
This extraordinary and unflinchingly honest memoir takes us on a riveting journey into the hearts and souls of three enigmatic people whose destinies are forever changed by the events of World War II. The secrets of misguided love and passions are revealed as the author journeys between the past and the present to solve the mystery of a handsome Polish officer with piercing blue eyes and sun-colored hair. Maria Sutton takes us to the dark green hills and valleys of the ancient Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, where the woody fragrance of birch trees and new-mown hay fills the fresh, crisp air after a heavy rain. Vicariously, we see a sunrise over Poland obscured by brightly colored swastikas on warplanes and then we will be taken into suffocating cattle cars, lice-infested stalags, and to the Dachau death camp. Further down a country road, the hearty laughter and beer steins clinking with each salute to the Fuhrer’s astonishing victories can be heard.

As Maria takes us on this odyssey to solve a decades-long mystery, she learns the family secrets of untold heroism, quiet courage, and a mother’s love – and of tragedy, disillusionment and heartbreak. At the end of her long journey, Maria uncovers a shattering and painful truth. But the secret, however heartbreaking, would also become the greatest gift she would receive.

Ultimately, the quest to uncover a painful truth becomes an inspiring and absorbing journey of the heart.

My Thoughts:
When I had received the request to review this book I agreed with the understanding I would not be able to get to it until around Christmas time.  I was home sick today and decided to just check it out.  I could not stop reading the book.  The time Marie put into searching for her father and other family members is a testament to her family's perseverance in the face of what seemed like impossible issues.  I know that a lot of what Marie learned was painful, yet she is very positive about what she has learned.  There are lessons for all of us.  I told her in an email  that I could relate to some of what she had felt when discovering her family.  My husband ran into an aunt he had been told was dead.  This accidental meeting led him to the father he had never known and allowed them to have two years together before he lost his dad.  He learned he had step-sisters and a step-brother.  He learned a short time after this that he had a daughter and grand-kids.

Reading her book has made me realize how many gaps I have in my own history and how I need to fill them for my own children.  Often things are lost through divorce.  My daughter learned a few years back that her grandmother on her dad's side had pictures of her home in Cuba.  She learned her uncle had barely escaped Cuba while his two best friends had been executed.  We owe it to our children to pass on our history whether it is good or bad so that they have answers to their questions. 

This book is a memoir that I would say is a must read.  I look forward to telling all of my friends about it.  


  1. I like your site and getting kids to read (and even review!)

  2. Thanks Margo. I give my site out to parents as well. Parents that read often have kids that read.

  3. I just finished this book and gave it 5 out of 5. I will be linking this review to mine. Thanks Lisa thanks

  4. it was interesting to me to compare notes with others who have read this book. I agree, passing on history to our children is very important!