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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Woman at the Gates by Chrystyne Lucyk-Berger

A difficult story to assimilate as no holds barred in the telling of it. But this is how a story should be told especially one like this. It is also difficult if one has not lived through oppression of been under government control to understand living conditions like this. You can never under estimate the power of neighbours or relations who may not like you and who may "dob" you to the authorities. Compromise which may seem the cowards way out on reading it, may be the only way to survive and the human spirit does need to survive, come what may. The story set in 1944 embodies the spirit of survival, of family ties, of love and the heartbreak behind it all. Of personal sacrifice for the better of the common good. The characters in this story are doing the best they can not just for their country but for their own survival. I followed the maps which were interspersed with the chapters and saw how the borders of Ukraine, Lithuania, Slovekia, Yugoslavia, and even Russia changed every few years with wars and greed of one power taking over another. The story is full of historical detail (in great depth) which may not appeal to anyone other than those who like history because though the personal story is very powerful, the historical story is the one which is uppermost. It was my first read of a story set in 1944 Ukraine. Sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review courtesy of Netgalley.

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