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Sliding on the Snow Stone by Andy Szpuk

Sliding on the Snow Stone

by Andy Szpuk

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A stark and moving biography of a Ukrainian who lived through the Holodomor or Ukrainian Holocaust where millions perished as a result of Stalin's custom-made famine and firing squads.

With amazing detail, Andy Szpuk transcribed the life of his father, born into a catastrophe he could little comprehend and his journey through unimaginable hardship which in many ways depicted the lives of many other fellow Ukrainians of that time. At times sweet, other times heartbreaking, even shocking, Sliding On The Snow Stone unveils through the eyes of a young boy, Stefan, the mindlessness and cruelty of war. As he trekked through neighbouring countries, first with his father, and later, alone, the reader experienced alongside Stefan the fear, anger and bitterness and despondency, the desperation of hunger and starvation.

The many little details captured by the author coloured the episodes and made the scenes come alive, allowing us readers to weep, groan and laugh alongside Stefan as he journeys through life. Reading this wonderful book leaves me with a profound experience, reminding me to count my blessings for what I have and the age I live in today. ( )
1 vote Gentlecloud | Jan 2, 2012 |
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It is astonishing that anyone lived this story. It is even more astonishing that anyone survived it. Stefan grows up in the grip of a raging famine. Stalin ?s Five Year Plan brings genocide to Ukraine ? millions of people starve to death. To free themselves from the daily terrors of Soviet rule, Stefan and his friends fight imaginary battles in nearby woods to defend their land. The games they play are their only escape. ?Sliding on the Snow Stone ? is the true story of Stefan's extraordinary journey across a landscape of hunger, fear and devastating loss. With Europe on the brink of World War Two, Stefan and his family pray they'll survive in their uncertain world. They long to be free. (In 1932-33, as part of their drive towards industrialisation, the Soviet Union demanded impossibly high requisitions of grain from rural areas in Ukraine. In a deliberate act of genocide, Ukrainian smallholdings were stripped of food, and the population began to perish, with some estimates as high as 10 million deaths, from starvation. In Ukraine, this atrocity became known as the Holodomor (death by hunger). The following years saw Soviet purges and terrors resulting in the elimination of academics and intellectuals, or of anyone who spoke out against Soviet rule. When World War Two arrived on Ukraine ?s doorstep, many people viewed the Nazis as liberators ? a view that was quickly proved wrong. ?Sliding on the Snow Stone ? is Stefan ?s personal account of a historical period drenched in the blood of a nation, and of his yearning for freedom. -- Back cover.… (more)

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