Thursday, July 7, 2016

Like A River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart & Giveaway

Like A River From Its Course, by Kelli Stuart

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.
Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.
Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer's plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

My Thoughts:
I don't think there can ever be too many stories about the atrocities of what took place during WWII. To not speak of them makes it easy to forget and we must never forget. Like A River From Its Course is an emotionally heavy novel but Ms. Stuart does a beautiful job weaving in lighter moments that drew me closer to the characters throughout.

It felt like I was watching much of what was happening on the pages in the movie reel of my mind. Ms. Stuart captured my imagination with her words allowing me to walk the cobblestone streets of the Kiev. My heart ached for the suffering that took place but was full of admiration for the perseverance, forgiveness, and hope displayed. Ms. Stuart acknowledges at the end of her story that while the characters were fictional the atrocities they faced were very much real. Ms. Stuart is revealing the history of hundreds of Ukrainians in this gripping novel and it is overwhelming.

There is violence, a sexual assault, and death throughout -BUT- there is also beauty, courage, resilience, and hope that remind me that the human spirit can be broken but never stolen. I appreciated Ms. Stuart's faith aspect in this story as it asks the very questions I believe most humans would ask when thinking back on what took place in this moment in time. Where is God? How could He allow such evil to exist?

"'Life is a series of trials, all strung together by moments of beauty. But when the string of joy and beauty break, what is left to hold life together if there is no God? That's the question you need to be asking.'" -Father Konstantin, Like A River From Its Course

One of the things I love about reading is finding beautiful quotes offered by the characters that speak volumes beyond the pages of a book. This novel is a powerful retelling of historical events that should motivate readers to not only remember but to take action so nothing like it will ever happen again.

"I won't get that piece of my heart back, and that's the interesting thing about pain. It never leaves you. Sometimes it's dull. Other times you feel healed, but pain always leaves a mark, a scar as a reminder that life and love aren't free ... Pain can also lead to action, and the feeling of purpose is like a balm to the wound. It doesn't close the hole, but for a moment the pain is silenced."
-Josef Kyilovich, Like A River From Its Course

Love WWII history? Want to experience a story about love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption? Make sure you enter for your chance to win by clicking HERE.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase your copy of Like A River From Its Course HERE.


  1. Looking over your post of the books you read this year. We have read some of the same books and this is one of them. Powerful book. I review at https:www.thoughtsfrommillstreet.blogspot Hope to see you there sometime. Keep reading.

    1. I'll have to check your reviews out!! This is one of the books I recommend a lot! Thanks for stopping by Sue!! 😊


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