About the BookWinston Churchill called the Hungarian Holocaust the worst crime in the history of humanity. That was 1944. It seems unlikely that many residents of Chicago's Ukrainian Village thought much about that event in 1977, when this story begins. Those who did think about it, would never have acknowledged it, or if forced to acknowledge it, would claim no clear memories of it. Klara, the protagonist of this novel, lived her life among such people, normal enough people. She was fairly happy, except for her dreams, dreams that churned up something terrible from her earliest years.
Klara's aunt and uncle tried to comfort her after these dreams. They protected her, for she had no parents, but could not entirely love her. She could sense this. She never understood the reasons, but accepted her life for what it was. By 1977, at the age of thirty-eight, she had a comfortable job at the bakery. She had friends, few worries, and a flat of her own in the Village. Her uncle was the most powerful Catholic priest on the northwest side of Chicago. The old Polish folks thought of him as their patron, a saint who gave them practical blessings. He could do no wrong in their eyes, or for that matter in Klara's.
So life was good enough, until the crazy old woman came to the neighborhood.
My Take on the BookThis book was one that transfixed me. You see, I am a person who loved history. I take it all in and allow myself to be taken back. This boom was well written and incorporates both fact and fiction to weave a tapestry of a tale that will draw in any reader. I know that from beginning to the end I was transfixed on the life of the protagonist Klara. I continued to ask myself, "What will happen to Klara and her family?" "Where and how will this all end?"
The book is full of great twists and turns and though in many of the pages you see a picture of darkness, you can also see a glimmer of light on the fringes that Klara is able to foster.
If you are a person who loves history as much as I you will love this book, and even though it is a work of fiction, you will appreciate the amount of detail that is within the book itself (as the author has done a great job at capturing both the time and the circumstances.
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