Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My Sister’s Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin’s Siberia by Donna Solecka Urbikas

Genre: Adult, Memoir
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

After reading this book I was able to see that this type of thing is still going on today. Donna’s mother and sister lived in Poland during World War II.  They were plucked out of Poland and sent to a hard labor camp in Siberia. They grew very close as they fought to survive day by day. The experienced starvation, sickness and hard labor.  Years later after they had made it to the United States we learn that they have a relationship that Donna doesn’t have with either of them. The reason is that their time in Siberia created a bond that children to come later could never form with either of them. Their lives and the lives of those to come later were colored by those very experiences.  Now when I see the news and read about the refugees who were forced to flee their land I understand that those experiences will color their life. Those are memories that they will always have and will always influence future decisions as well as future children. I don’t think I ever considered how events like this would affect children not yet born.  It was eye opening to say the least. This is a very good book, yet at times tough to read. It made me realize how good so many of us have it with the freedoms we take for granted and the relationships we build with our families. I whole-heartedly recommend this book.

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