THE SILENCE OF TREESBy Valya Dudycz Lupescu
Reviewed by Willa Kaye Danes, author at Penumbra Publishing
99-cent Kindle ebook edition
The first thing I must say is ... I loved this story. It is one of the best stories I have read in a very long time. It is emotional and magical and mystical and truthful, full of secrets and regrets and fears and, finally, courage – courage to speak. This is a story about women, their voices, their pain, their connection to each other, and their love of family. Although it focuses on Ukrainian culture, it is a story that is so beautifully written, it can resonate with anyone of any nationality and of any age. It is perfect for a book club, to be shared and discussed.
The main character, Nadya, is a 70-year-old native of the Ukraine who emigrated to the US (Chicago) as a young wife and mother shortly after World War II. Her story is told in flashbacks and recollections that skip around in a non-chronological fashion that, rather than becoming a confusing mess, creates a carefully woven tapestry of emotional truths with threads of cultural heritage richly highlighting every part of the story. It explains the gap of generations so wonderfully, it should be required reading for every person under the age of 30. While there are references to war’s atrocities, these references lend a realistic perspective to the reflections and attitudes of the characters to further help explain why oftentimes people are reluctant, even afraid, to speak up.
There is so much substance in this story, a mere few paragraphs cannot do it justice. Normally I don’t expect much from a 99-cent book, but I was joyfully overwhelmed by the quality and beauty of this story. If you haven’t read this book, you should do it now!
Willa Kaye Danes, author at Penumbra Publishing