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


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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

Nancy rated it ★★★★★

July 23, 2017

Inara Verzemnieks writes of her family, both those in Washington State and in Latvia. She writes with the depth of one who, along with the comics her grandmother read to her, has absorbed family history and the songs, dances and myths of her heritage. With her, we experience the wartime tearing a...

Jill rated it ★★★★★

October 05, 2017

Inara Verzemnieks is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and has won several awards, least of which a creative nonfiction award. This creative nonfiction award so perfectly captures why this book is so incredible. Inara unravels her grandmother’s life in this nonfict...

Scott rated it ★★★★☆

August 16, 2017

Beautiful book about a Latvian family and their ties to their family farm, and the impact on the family of WWII. they brought, "bottles of Black Balsam, Latvia's national liquor, a drink that tastes as if one is alternately tonguing the unfurled buds of trees, then their hot pitch. It's revered fo...

Nissa rated it ★★★★★

September 25, 2017

An excellent and a timely memoir by Inara Verzemnieks. This is a masterfully written chronicle of a Latvian family that was displaced by war and gave a perspective from an area of the world that is often overlooked and aptly described the horrors experienced by the refugees during and after invas...

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