This is an unforgettable story of faith, hope, and inspiration. Yet, it is also a story of despair in the face of Nazi-occupied Poland. It is a story that will have you crying and then rejoicing.
In 1942, Europe remained in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny because its a lie that will remain buried until the next century.
Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbours that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married.
However, little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, nd Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate. Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for ow, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.
Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative that weaves together two women’s stories into a tapestry of perseverance, loyalty, love and honour.
This book shows how devastating it is when truth is silenced and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.
I loved this book, and will be recommending it to all my friends, especially my Polish and Russian ones.
What a year it has been of wonderful reads and splendid times with books. And this book is no different. Every year I am more and more appreciative of all the Canadian story telling talent we have.
Happy 2020 all!
Irene S. Roth