"Like a River from Its Course", by Kelli Stuart

Like a River from Its Course - Kelli Stuart

Based on true stories gathered from years of research and interviews taken from survivors this epic journey told through the eyes of four unforgettable characters takes us to Ukraine at the height of the WW11. The characters are composites of hundreds of men and women that have been interviewed and their combined stories brought a heartbreaking and inspiring novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

June 22, 1941 Hitler violated the Nonaggression Pact with the Soviet Union by launching Operation Barbarossa. By July, Ukraine became an occupied territory and Kiev under siege.

The story has three parts: The Beginning, The Darkness and Home and is told in the first person narrative of each character. In alternate chapters Ivan, Maria, Luda and Frederick (a German soldier) tells their perspective as they see it. Their stories show us the worst of humanity as well as the very best but most of all their life highlights the resiliency of a people, their courage, their hope, their faith and the power of love for family, friends and strangers.

Although this is fiction, the circumstances and horrors the people faced were very real. The population was scared, starving and dying. A well- known horror happened in September 1941, when 34,000 Jews were massacred at Babi Yar by the German forces and local collaborators. The characters wonderfully depict what they faced and the battle that raged with each one. The well-researched plot line, the intriguing characters and their distinctive voices is what makes “Like a River from its Course “an outstanding read.

I received an ARC from Kregel Publications through the Early Reviewer Program in exchange for an honest review.