Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe by Inara Verzemnieks

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Read Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe Online Free - Raised by her Latvian grandparents in Washington State, Inara Verzemnieks grew up among expatriates, scattering smuggled Latvian sand over the coffins of the dead, singing folk songs with other children about a land none of them had visited. Her grandmother’s stories re-created in vivid, nostalgic detail the family farm she’d left behind in a borderland violently contested during the Second World War. In the fighting, her grandmother Livija and her grandmother’s sister, Ausma, were separated and would not see each other again for more than fifty years.

Journeying back to the remote village where her family broke apart, Inara comes to know Ausma and the trauma of her exile to Siberia under Stalin, while reconstructing Livija’s survival through her years as a refugee. In bringing together these two sides of the family story, Inara honors both sisters in a deeply cathartic and moving account of loss, survival, resilience, and love.

Title : Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 039324511X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages


Hank rated it ★★★★★

August 20, 2017

An astonishingly vivid and deeply moving work of family history by Inara Verzemnieks -- as impressive, I think, as Susan Faludi's "In the Darkroom," and about as close to a perfectly realized melding of memoir and personal investigation into world events as it gets. Inara (disclosure: a friend of...

Michael rated it ★★★★☆

June 14, 2017

Amazing book. amazing story! This book is so well written and calls on so many emotions. I love how the story is intertwined and makes you feel you are there experiencing/seeing/smelling what is being described. This is a fantastic telling of a incredible story. I highly recommend this book. I wo...

L. rated it ★★★★★

October 17, 2017

My mother was born in Riga, and with her mother, escaped during WW II. I have other family members who were exiled to Siberia. I have many family members who still reside in Latvia today, both in Riga as well as in the surrounding farmlands. This is a book about my roots, and it helped me to under...

Ilona rated it ★★★★★

September 13, 2017

Can I just leave it as "Wow"? Because I'm not sure I have the words with which to do justice to this amazing book--part World War II history, part personal journey, all told in an arresting form of writing that's as close to poetry as prose. I recommend it for anyone worrying that the world of so...

Rhonda rated it ★★★★☆

July 12, 2017

An emotional beautifully written life story.We are drawn into the authors life traumas world an amazing tale.

Jessica rated it ★★★★★

October 11, 2017

This is a beautiful book in so many ways.

Emily Goenner rated it ★★★★☆

January 28, 2018

A beautifully written complex story of family, love and loss, and enduring. This book is memorable for the beautifully written sentences, some of which are gems, that capture moods and characters that are both specific and universal.

Robin rated it ★★★★☆

October 02, 2017

Lovely exploration of family -- and lost -- memory. Is it usually true that our forbears try to hide the painful memories of the past? I wonder if that is one of the roots of our bad history-telling even in school. If we can't tell -- or bear -- the truth about our own families, then how can we b...

Claire rated it ★★★★★

September 10, 2017

Another WWII book written by a granddaughter. Verzemnieks worked to balance her desire to know with the relatives' need to forget in her yearly visits to Latvia and the relatives who had stayed behind. I think she said she went five times after her grandmother died. The grandmother managed to esca...

DeAnn rated it ★★★★★

July 28, 2017

I cannot say enough how beautiful this book is. I was blown away by "Among the Living and the Dead" -- in how personal yet universal it is, in how frank but sensitive, in much she can fit into so few words, in how real and now she was able to make this little-known history feel. And, as one audie...

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