I lost myself in the pages of this book. I took it everywhere with me just hoping for a moment to touch base with the characters I'd quickly grown to love. The author, Kelli Stuart, has written the most heartbreakingly raw story which also contains moments of light and beauty. I honestly can't choose a favorite character because I truly admired and cared for all of them. Luda, a pretty 16 year old, longs to know about her mother but her father is an abusive alcoholic and refuses to talk about her. Maria and Anna, sisters, watch the change in their father, Ivan, after he attempts to save a Jewish family from a horrific death. Their dear brother, Sergei, enlists to fight in the war and they know life will never be the same. There are so many heroes in this book. (I won't name them as it will ruin the story for you!) So many wonderful people that risked everything to help a stranger, a neighbor, a friend. I was incredibly touched by their courage! Would I have been brave enough to do the same? I was also disgusted with the way others used the war to take advantage of weaker, targeted individuals. Knowing who to trust during that war must have been terrifying. This book is full of tragedies, secrets, friendship, heartache, forgiveness and hope. I love how the author included the hope of God when all has been lost and people are afraid. It was beautifully woven into the story like a shining star on the darkest night. Kelli Stuart spent fifteen years doing research and interviewing Ukrainian World War II survivors. The events are brutal and I held my breath many times as I rode waves of panic. I believe anyone ages 16+ should read this book. The characters are so wonderfully developed and their stories absolutely compelling! You will learn that power and greed are seductive and leaders must be chosen wisely. This is the perfect example of why we need to study history as the tragedies are certain to repeat themselves if we do not. Bravo, Kelli Stuart! Like a River From Its Course is a classic!
An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope