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Posted July 19, 2004
An informative look at immigration and the trials of a single girl adjusting to a new identity as an American. A lot of fascinating information about rural life at the turn of the century. I found the excepts about the tenement housing in NYC very well researched and written. This is an excellent and heartfelt tribute to a truly brave woman.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2004
J. Barbara Alvord manages to make history come alive in this biographical tribute to her Czech grandmother. Honest and painstakingly researched, including a visit to the archives in the Czech village of her grandmother¿s birth, it encompasses the childhood and young married life of Anna Mrkvicka. The book resounds on every page with wit, truth, and human interaction that are all brought to life in vivid images. Impossible to choose favorite passages, I will name some that may be more universal in interest to readers. Those would include the Czech village with its strict school run by unforgiving nuns, and its burdens and realities of village life; the astounding Atlantic Ocean ship voyage to Ellis Island and the days waiting on the Island; life in the early 1900s in New York; and the harsh family hierarchies found in the ¿simple¿ farm life of central Iowa. Through Different Eyes weaves a complex history with a loving, gutsy, sometimes humorous, always grippingly real look at the early 20th century American immigrant experience. A pleasurable mix of a young woman¿s determination, spiritualism, and ability to meet significant life challenges; this book belongs in every family¿s library somewhere near Louisa May Alcott and Willa Cather. It is one of only a few books that I relish rereading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2004
After reading 'Through Different Eyes' I felt a part of the journey; I was right there with the immigrant child throughout her impelling story. A gifted author, J. Barbara Alvord's personal, vivid, detailed and historically-correct vision of her grandmother's difficult and emotional journey from her homeland to America is reminiscent of the joys, hardships and oportunities experienced by so many of our own family members. The story left me wanting to know more about Anna Barbara's adult life; the ultimate compliment to the talented writer's story-telling ability.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.