Far From My Home Never to Return: A Polish Child’s WWII Memoir

Posted on April 16, 2012

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There are thousands of books in bookstores telling the story of World War II. Some focus on how America acted, some focus on the Japanese point of view, and some even tell about ship operators whose only job was keeping the warships running. There are so many books, it seems like there are no new stories to tell. Until this book.

Far From My Home Never to Return: A Polish Child’s WWII Memoir is the autobiography of Nadia Seluga, a young girl living in her native Poland. Her father is a forest ranger, mother a stay-at-home mom taking care of five children. Shortly after the book’s opening, their small town of Lunin is bombed. Days after, Russians invade and begin occupying the area. In a matter of weeks Nadia’s family’s life is completely uprooted. The Russian occupation starts a journey carrying the family over three continents and countless miles.

In reading this book I was exposed to a side of World War II I never knew before. Many consider Russia to have be an ally during the war, without whose help we may never have stopped Germany. But not until now has the other side of Russia’s participation in World War II been told with such honesty and poignancy. The work camps where tens of thousands of Polish and Eastern Europeans were forced to work after abandoning their homes in the middle of a cold winter night. The neglect of those same workers who starved to death in their homes each night, and died from countless diseases. This memoir is a heart-breaking story not only of Nadia and her family, but for all the families who languished in anonymity all these years.

I cannot speak on this book from a historical standpoint. I know the dedicated publishers at Martin Sister’s Publishing spent hours researching and fact checking to make sure this novel rang true; and Nadia’s grandson Jacob worked closely with them to preserve the balance between fact and remembering. From a literary standpoint though, this book of fantastic.

Many times throughout my reading I had to put down my iPad to remind myself this was a memoir, a genre inherently true. It reads so smoothly that it feels more like fiction. Like a thriller pulling the reader along to next unbelievable thing. Scenes like Nadia’s father sneaking animal fat home in his waistband each night, past armed Russian guards, so his family could cook and stay warm; or Nadia’s mother living with four of her children in a hut in Uganda fighting off a snake that was trying to eat her livestock, make an already fascinating story even more fantastic.

The hardships this family faced throughout their exodus from their home is unbelievable. But the unyielding insistence the family kept in finding the good in every situation is what makes this novel inspiring.

Regardless of your literary preferences. Whether you buy 10 paperback romances at a time, an obscure literary novel no one has heard of in 15 years, or you have been fascinated with World War II since you were six years old, this book is a must read. I could go on for hours about the amazing life this family lived, but instead, you should all simply go purchase it now, and experience the most captivating tale of World War II to ever be published.

Far From My Home Never to Return: A Polish Child’s WWII Memoir is available as an eBook or paperback from Amazon, and as an eBook from Smashwords.

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