“There must be more to this wretched life,” Ivan confesses in Kelli Stuart’s book, Like a River from Its Course.
~ What ~
This three-hundred-fifty-two-page paperback targets those who like engaging, Christian historical fiction of World War Two’s atrocities Using a quoted cuss word and topics of torture, rape, and mass executions, it may not be appropriate for immature readers.
Written in first person by four individuals whose lives do not all intersect, this tragedy of war in the 1940s in the Ukraine covers both Nazi and the Soviet Union viewpoints. There is Fredrick Herrmann, a German who is desperate for his father’s approval and would do anything for the love and honor of his country. Fourteen-year-old Maria from Kiev is sent to a work camp, to be noticed by a soldier with inappropriate motives who wants to protect her. Maria’s father, Ivan, fakes being executed in the “killing ditch” of Babi Yar while trying to protect a young Jewish girl and faces a heartbreaking recovery. Lastly, there is Luda, a sixteen-year-old girl who is gang-raped and finds herself pregnant by an unknown German yet wanting to keep her baby safe.
While all four people get involved in the horrors of war and its tumultuous aftermath, each must search their soul to do what is right.
~ Why ~
This book is captivating yet disturbing with its gripping graphic scenes of hatred and pain. I like how the four characters told their story in first person, each dealing with their unfathomable circumstance.
~ Why Not ~
Those who believe the Holocaust never happened or do not like a detailed account of rape, murder, and death will not read this book. Although the tale is fictional but based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and survivors’ interviews, it may be too emotional for some to comprehend.
~ Who ~
Co-author of two other books, Stuart has been an editor-in-chief for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild and board member of the St. Louis Women in Media. She is a writer, ghostwriter, blogger, and world traveler who lives in Florida.
~ Wish ~
With the epilogue a little abrupt, it would be nice to have a sequel to the book regarding the main characters.
~ Want ~
If you want a gruesome depiction of war that includes love, belief in God, and the struggle to survive, this is a keeper that brings to life the realities, hardships, and undying devotion of others.
Thanks to Kregel Publications and the author for offering this book to read and review.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.