Anna Scott Graham
on Aug. 20, 2012 :
I was left with much to ponder after reading this, a harrowing but beautiful triumph of the human soul. Stefan’s love for Ukraine and family is his steady heart, as brutal forces attempt to wear down his body. At many times chilling, Sliding on the Snow Stone rings with the warm of familial love, and of love for one’s country. I am so glad I read this book, albeit slowly due to the disturbing but honest scenes set during the 1930s-1940s. Highly recommended.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
Su Yin Tan
on Dec. 11, 2011 :
A stark and moving biography of a Ukrainian who lived through the Holodomor or Ukrainian Holocaust where millions perished as a result of Stalin's custom-made famine and firing squads.
With amazing detail, Andy Szpuk transcribed the life of his father, born into a catastrophe he could little comprehend and his journey through unimaginable hardship which in many ways depicted the lives of many other fellow Ukrainians of that time. At times sweet, other times heartbreaking, even shocking, Sliding On The Snow Stone unveils through the eyes of a young boy, Stefan, the mindlessness and cruelty of war. As he trekked through neighbouring countries, first with his father, and later, alone, the reader experienced alongside Stefan the fear, anger and bitterness and despondency, the desperation of hunger and starvation.
The many little details captured by the author coloured the episodes and made the scenes come alive, allowing us readers to weep, groan and laugh alongside Stefan as he journeys through life. Reading this wonderful book leaves me with a profound experience, reminding me to count my blessings for what I have and the age I live in today.
(reviewed the day of purchase)