Book Review

Sunflowers Beneath the Snow

by Teri M. Brown

Teri M. Brown has written a timely novel that started with a conversation between her and a family friend. That friend was Ukrainian and the rest is history, so to speak. As the story opens, you meet Ivanna and her husband, Lyaksandro. Turmoil is pulling their lives apart. Ukraine was a dangerous place to be in the 1970’s. It was under Soviet rule, but the rumblings of independence were growing. All Ivanna knows is that her husband is dead and now she and their young daughter, Yevtsye, are alone.

            Ivanna works hard to provide for the two of them. Yevtsye excels in school and is given a job at the university. Life is a little easier for them. After Yetti falls in love with Danya, their marriage pulls the two women apart, as the fight for Ukrainian independence continues to grow.  

            Danya and Yevtsye want Ukraine to be free but Ivanna has grown up under the Soviet rule and believes in the system. Eventually Danya and Yetti have a little girl, Ionna, who will challenge all of their beliefs. This story will give you a good look at life in Ukraine and will bring in focus the perservance and hard work of the Ukrainian people.

            I don’t want to spoil the ending, but let’s say it will both surprise and please you. This is a really good story and Teri weaves her knowledge with great fictional tension to bring a tale of a family torn apart and their struggle to survive. It’s a tale of three strong women and what they do to keep their family together. I highly recommend it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. A big 4.5 Stars!   

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