The Silence Of Trees by Valya Dudycz Lupescu- 334 pages
Book Blurb: Too often the women of history have been silenced, but their stories have power- to reveal, to teach, and to transform. This is one such story. In Chicago's Ukrainian Village, Nadya Lysenko has built her life on a foundation of secrets. When Nadya was sixteen, she snuck out of her house in Western Ukraine to meet a fortuneteller in the woods. Ignoring the threat of Nazis and Russians, Nadya was driven by love and a desire to learn the unknown. She never expected it to be the last time she would see her family. Years later, Nadya continues to be haunted by the death of her parents and sisters. She clings to her traditions and stories from Ukraine, the only parts of her past that she can share with her family. The myths and magic of Nadya's childhood are still a part of her reality: house spirits misplace keys and glasses, dreams unite friends across time and space, and a fortuneteller's cards predict the future. Her beloved dead also insist on being heard, through dreams and whispers in the night. They want the truth to come out. Nadya needs to face her past and confront the secrets she buried within.
My Review: 3.5 stars
Strong 3.5 finish for this book. Although incredibly rich in character development and scenery, this book can only be read if you can believe in magic, spirits, superstitions and ancient folklore. Taking place primarily in Chicago's own Ukrainian village, this book covers a woman's history during WW2, the occupation of the Germans in her Ukrainian town and her harrowing journey getting to the USA. Forgiveness, communication and moving forward all all central themes in the book. Told mostly from the point of view of the main character, Nadya, near the end of her life; it was a clean way to see how she survives and deals with own ghosts from the past.
Quotes I liked:
Tags: Historical Fiction, 2012, WW2
-“Remember that stories are more than just words, more than fairy tales. They are magic.”
- “Ana would have understood, but Ana was dead. Amazing that in a house so full, I felt so alone.”
- “I learned long ago that silence could be the strongest prompt.”
- Children hold inside themselves a piece of your soul. There is no stronger connection.
- “Shared joy is double joy,” he said brushing a tear from my cheek, “and shared sorrow is half the sorrow.”
- “My Baba always used to say “the past is the present,” but I never understood until recently. She would explain that stories are the connection; they are our way of touching those invisible threads that connect everyone.”
Labels: 2012, Historical Fiction, WW2