Book Review – “Sliding on the Snow Stone” by Andy Szpuk

463359_407136685985126_323986830_o   “Sliding on the Snow Stone” is the story Of Mr. Szpuk’s father, Stefan. Written mostly in his father’s voice, this story takes the reader through the horrors of living in the Ukraine in the 1930’s. Stalin’s plan to consolidate all of the outlying countries into a unified U.S.S.R. left millions without food or shelter, and in many cases, without their lives . Stefan,  recounts many stories growing up in this era.  Fighting to survive,  strength – resisting the Soviets, and the unbelievable terror of his hungry family given meat, only to find out it was the flesh of Ukrainian children!

Mr. Szpuk’s writing style brings you right into the stories. There was one story in particular that resonated with me – Stefan and his family heard on the radio that the Germans were heading east. Would the Germans do as they are saying? Nazi propaganda assured the Ukrainians that they were liberators. Palpable tension could be felt within the family as well as the village. They would soon have their answer.

Through Stefan’s voice, Andy continues his story through time. We are right there with Stefan, as he makes his way through the 1040’s and beyond. To give you too much detail would be to deprive you of the quintessential Ukrainian experience living through the mid twentieth century.

Andy Szpuk’s retelling of this time in history is compelling, and often heart wrenching. Having family that left Russia and Europe prior to World War One, I found myself emotional  while reading much of this book – yet I am very happy that I did. Andy Szpuk brings readers into the story, to the extent that we are eagerly reading through the pages to find out what happens next.

As a lover of biographies, I thoroughly enjoyed “Sliding on the Snow Stone”. As someone who has lived through most of the cold war, the topic of this story intrigued my intellect. As a fan of Andy Szpuk’s writing, I was not surprised that he once again exceeded my expectations and wrote an incredible book. This is a must read for anybody that has an interest in history or is a lover of eloquent writing. 

 

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