Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Night Sky: a Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back by Maria Sutton

    When Maria Sutton was four years old her family immigrated to America after WWII as displaced persons and settled in Colorado. One day, when Maria was thirteen, she overheard her mother and a fellow DP talking about the old country. Both had lived in labor camps in Germany during the war. From the bits and pieces of Polish Maria was able to pick up, she heard something that shocked and deeply disturbed her: for the first time in her life she came to know that the man she had believed was her father was not really her father. Another man still living in Europe was her and her sister's biological father.

This spurred a deep unrest in Maria that propelled her to undertake a long and arduous journey into her and her mother's past. “Night Sky” is Sutton's account of this journey. It takes place over several years and leads her to the labor camps of Germany as well as to Poland and the Ukraine where her mother and biological father's family still resides.

Maria is a good story teller. Her descriptions of her feelings, her near-obsession with finding her “real” father, plus the events and people she meets- either in person or through second hand testimony are painted in rich, colorful detail and plenty of suspense. Maria's faithful rendition of her mother's harrowing experience-being snatched from her family while still a young girl, being forced to work on the farm of a German family where she meets and falls in love with Maria's birth father- a tall, handsome, blue-eyed and blonde Pole, Jozef Kurek, adds yet another poignant personal picture of what so many endured in Europe in the 1930's and 40's.

As Maria travels through the past while investigating in the present she makes many discoveries about her family, some wonderful, some horrific, some that unites her to long lost relatives and others that shatter cherished dreams.

Anyone interested in world history would enjoy this book but I believe all citizens of a free world should read “Night Sky” as a reminder of a nightmare that happened not too long ago. As Maria quotes in her book, I also quote:

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana)

I received this book for free by the author.

For more information about Maria you can visit Tattered Cover Bookstore
For another review of Night Sky you can visit Lesa's Book Critiques or Lavender Dreams Too

or the Kindle Edition $7.99:

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