Krystyna is one of 732 "Polish children" who survived forced deportation to the Soviet Union and was given a home in New Zealand in 1944. Her remarkable story, a composite portrait drawn from interviews with Polish survivors, begins in a peaceful Polish village and follows her family's harrowing journey to a labour camp in Siberia, the terrible flight to freedom, and Krystyna's lonely voyage to a safe refuge in NZ.
This story is a beautifully evoked account of a child's journey through Europe at war, and a young woman's bewildering encounter with rural New Zealand.
This story really is heartbreaking, utterly sad, joyful, totally uplifting, heartwarming, fascinating all at the same time. I was drawn to this book as it is a story based on events that occured in World War II. This book took me into the reality of warfare. I felt I was a part of the actual story rather than just reading it. There were so many harrowing events that took place that it has made me reflect on how our society is today. This book tells of the atrocities that happened to this family and many others when the Soviet Union invaded Poland. Krystyna was only 8 years old when her family were evicted from their home.
The soldiers left me reeling with shock from their brutality as they had absolutely no regard for anyone else but themselves. They attacked and terrorised anyone that stood in their way.
One by one, Krystyna saw her family die around her, excluding her father who had already been sent off to fight in the war. This book really had me involved in the story and I felt I was right beside the characters through all the trials and tribulations, the joy and the heartache. Eventually, Krystyna gets refugee status in New Zealand, and without giving away too much plot, it ends happily with a sadness tinged to it. I definately have plans to read this book again.
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