I am so behind with my Christmas posts! So count this one as a book review and a winter book? Not that I’d even recommend it… I’m sorry, please forgive me!
Summary from Goodreads:
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Adam is 13 years old and lives with his family on a small farm in rural Poland. It is 1939 and the war has just broken out. Russians invade Poland and confiscate Adam’s family’s house and farm. They are sent to live with another family nearby, but are then moved on and put on a train for a Russian labour camp as refugees, prisoners of Russia
Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t stop reading this right from the first “interesting” event. Right through the book I felt like I was missing important time in between events. At the very beginning, they hear a banging outside, and they’re scared. The next line is about their dad joining the army. Where was the explanation in between? Not for my sake, but I’d like to read the kids reactions.
Then there was Adam. The author of this book is very obviously a woman. Adam reads like a girl. I got a shock every time someone said “he”, because Adam did nothing that made him seem boyish. I don’t know what it was exactly, I think it was just the author not being able to write as another genre.
The plot of the book was pretty slow. They travelled, they starved, they whined (rightfully, don’t worry!), then they travelled, then starved and on and on. Barely anything else happened the entire book. I would forgive Szymanik if it made me feel sorry for them, but I felt nothing. Not an iota of caring for the family. Maybe general sadness, but for everyone in their situation.
My next problem is smaller, but still annoying. The father always called his wife Mama. She didn’t have a name until soldiers needed to talk about her. Why? Why did he do that??
The only reason this isn’t one star is because I didn’t know anything about Russian camps before this. I’d heard of them, of course, but never read about them. So despite this being such a disappointing read, I learned a lot