A Silver Willow by the Shore

A Silver Willow by the Shore

by Kelli Stuart


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How do you face the future if you don't know your own past? When an unexpected pregnancy changes her dreams, seventeen-year-old Annie tries to keep it from her mother and her grandmother. But secrets have a way of coming out. In a household of strong women, the arrival of a new life sets off a spiral of truth that reveals a past full of whispers and lies-a past that existed in another world under the heavy hand of Soviet oppression. This history has dictated the circumstances of the present, but hope, redemption, and forgiveness will grow in the rocky places of these generational differences. A Silver Willow by the Shore is the story of the unshakeable love between mothers and daughters and of the impact that past decisions can have on present day circumstances. This novel weaves together the stories of generations of women, from the gulags of 1930's Siberia, to the quiet oppression of 1980's Soviet Moscow, to present day Tennessee. It is an unforgettable narrative of the treachery of secrets, and of the light that unites the heart of a family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780578504308
Publisher: Fine Print Writing Press
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Pages: 382
Sales rank: 832,324
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.85(d)

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A Silver Willow by the Shore 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Christy41970 6 days ago
A Silver Willow by the Shore captivated me. Several weeks ago, I read a book called Cilka’s Journey, and I think that was the first time I’d ever read about Siberian gulags. So, when I was reading Elizaveta’s childhood memories in the gulags, I had a point of reference. Awful things happened to her, and she has so many secrets that she has lived with almost her entire life. Those secrets guided her; they made her fearful and overly protective of her daughter Nina. Of course, Nina didn’t understand her mother because she didn’t know the secrets her mother guarded. When Nina left Moscow, her mother was worried and scared. To Nina, that fear looked like a controlling, unloving mother. What she didn’t know about her mother is heartbreaking. But, Nina was happy…until her mother moved in with them. And, Nina had no idea the way that her mother’s presence affected the way she then treated Annie. It made Annie feel alone. Half of her life was spent watching the tension between her grandmother and her mother. So, Annie learned to keep secrets too. Her biggest secret changes everything in this household of women. When her pregnancy is finally discussed, they start to talk to each other more. They find commonalities, and the ice begins to melt. A Silver Willow by the Shore was so well-written, and it is obvious that the author researched Russian history in depth. Elizaveta, Nina, and Annie have so much depth to their characters that I could swear if I drove down to Tennessee, I could visit them. A Silver Willow by the Shore is a book that will stick with you long after you’ve read the end. I loved it and think you will too.
Andrea_C 8 days ago
To me, this is a very powerful book. Probably some of that is because I just lost my mother last year, so I am inevitably taken back to our own personal ups and downs over the years. And of course, I had also been close with my grandmother, whom we just lost a few years ago, though it seems much more recent than that. Relationships between mothers and daughters are complicated. There are always going to be ups and downs, disappointment, misunderstandings, and overwhelming joy and laughter. It's a natural part of life. Unfortunately, when we meet these three women, they're deep in the throes of not being close to each other. They're living in the same house, in almost parallel lives, each one with secrets that the others cannot know. And yet it is imperative that they all know the truth in order to heal themselves and their relationships with each other. You can really feel their pain as they interact with each other and remember both the good and the bad times. The story is told from three points of view. Annie, the granddaughter, and Nina, the mother, are told from a third-person point of view. Elizaveta, the grandmother, is the only one who narrates in first person, giving us an even deeper look into her very soul. And that makes sense, because she is the matriarch of this family. Elizaveta is the one who grew up in Russia and lived there until she came stateside to join her daughter and granddaughter just a few years ago. Nina grew up in Russia and then came to the States after college. And Annie, of course, has only known America as her home. You can really see how these backgrounds play into each woman's character and decisions she makes in life. Elizaveta is very old school, Annie is much more modern, and Nina is stuck somewhere in between and struggles with that. And yet, Elizaveta and Annie have much more in common and truly understand each other the best. As they move forward through these few months, secrets are slowly revealed, some to each other, and some just to us, the readers, making us complicit. But you understand why they are hiding the stories and the information they are hiding, even though you want it all brought to light so that they can start to work through all of this and really know the truth. And you do see some of those repairs begin to happen, even unexpectedly. I had to bust out the tissues during some of the scenes, because they were so emotional. These histories and these stories intertwine to weave a tragically beautiful story that does involve love and loss, but also some redemption and second chances in life. I relished every single page. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest, voluntary review.
ARS8 11 days ago
Mothers and daughters and the secrets they keep from one another is the theme of this story, A Silver Willow by the Shore. And let me tell you they are doozy of secrets. We are given this story from three points of view- an elderly Russian grandmother Elizaveta, her daughter Nina, and Nina’s high school daughter Annie. These three women live in the same house and eat dinner together, but the secrets make them strangers. Annie is dealing with a big secret- she is pregnant and she is trying to hide it from her mother. We also get to see some of Nina’s past when she lived in Russia and her transition time to America. And Elizaveta’s story to me is the saddest as she is dealing with health issues and remembering the horrors of her past as her family is imprisoned in Soviet Russia. Author Stuart can weave a story that will pull you in and keep you there even in the uncomfortable parts. I was rooting for all three to share their deepest, darkest secrets and become closer for it. I also found it so relevant to see the difference between the American and Russian culture. What a world we live in and I am thankful I live in the good old USA. You will be immersed in this story as you walk along with these women on their journey to freedom from shame and guilt. This is a heart tugging bittersweet novel. I was provided a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Erin_Slocum 12 days ago
My Thoughts on A Silver Willow by the Shore Who doesn’t love a good book that includes history? I love learning history whether it is the history of a family or the history of our country. History in all forms is fascinating to me! I loved learning the history surrounding the family within A Silver Willow By the Shore. If you like a good historical fiction type read then this is the book for you! This is more than just learning about your history as a family, this is revealing long-held secrets and finding healing. A great read that I highly recommend. I love the names and references to cultures and what used to be. Again, this is a great book! Appropriate for teens? You may know I like to do disclaimers if a book is appropriate for your teen girls to read as my teen girls devour anything I give them. For this book, I would say yes teen girls can read it but I personally would wait until upper teens and make sure you keep communication lines open while reading. But as always you know your child best! I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Prism Book Tours. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
amybooksy 14 days ago
Wow! A Silver Willow by the Shore blew me away. It is one of those stories that you are not sure about at first and was hooked within the first couple of chapters. I thought this book was great! It is my first introduction to Kelli Stuart’s writing and she has earned herself a brand-new fan. I would give A Silver Willow by the Shore one hundred stars if I could. It is being placed among my favorite reads of the year. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Silverwood 14 days ago
I was immediately drawn into A Silver Willow by the Shore, first, because of its intriguing title, secondly because of its premise. Kelli Stuart has crafted an interweaving tale of three generations, past, present, and future, linked by their shared heritage and wealth of secrets. I've always been drawn to Russian culture, ever since my parents first came back from trips to the newly dissolved U.S.S.R with toys from the children whose family they'd stayed with. My papa also came home with Russian songs and words that rolled off the tongue and which our family still sing today. So I immediately connected with the characters Stuart depicted. Even apart from Annie, Nina and Elizaveta's heritage, I think everyone will connect to the struggles and boundless love between mothers and daughters.  A Silver Willow begins with Elizaveta, a grandmother overburdened with a life built around secrets and a darker past. As a kulak, Elizaveta learned to hide behind lies and do whatever was necessary in order to survive. She came to America unwillingly, yet looking to bridge the broken connection with her estranged daughter Nina. But the gap of years coupled with their habit of keeping secrets makes surmounting their emotional distance impossible. Thrown into the mix is Nina's teenaged daughter Annie, who has a lot more in common with her grandmother than either is aware. Annie has her own secret she is afraid to tell, along with years of bitterness.  From the beginning, it was clear these three women loved each other and were completely incapable of expressing this love. It was so frustrating for me as a reader that I wanted to reach through the pages and shout at each of them, "She loves you! Don't be angry anymore!" My frustration with Elizaveta, Nina and Annie's failures to communicate grew from familiarity. I doubt there's a woman out there who hasn't been in their shoes in some way. Wanting so desperately to bridge the gap time and bitterness often creates. Lost on how to proceed, to break through the ice, so-to-speak. Why is it so difficult for us to break these cycles? At times it seems far more comfortable to remain rooted in unhealthy patterns, which is the case for our three heroines. Until life intervenes.  Annie is pregnant, you can gather as much from the synopsis, and when the truth comes out, their little family is shaken to the point their web of secrets shatters. Tragedy and struggle often do this, pull at our threads and twist us inexorably together as we pull through it. I think the most satisfying character journey was Annie's. She begins the story as a bitter, somewhat traumatized girl. Through her struggle to make the right decision for her baby, she is also forced to quickly grow up, and maybe, if she's very brave, learn to love herself in the process.  Thought-provoking and heart-rending, A Silver Willow by the Shore is a book that will pull you in and leave you feeling better for it. I don't give out five-star reviews lightly. I've been lucky enough to come across a few exceptionally excellent reads this past year. Kelli Stuart has impressed me with her masterful storytelling and gift of character. You will feel both happiness and heartache with these characters as they live and relive their journeys. Here is a book that dares to question what's truly important, to push beyond our fears and hatred and not only forgive others but ourselves. 
Nicnac63 23 days ago
What a wonderful cast of characters with a unique set of storylines. There are three main characters in The Silver Willow by the Shore. This multi-generational story is told from the perspectives of Annie, her mother Nina, and her grandmother Elizaveta. They are dynamic and resilient women, despite the enormous burdens of secrets they keep from each other. It was easy to sympathize with the three women and I gained a deep understanding of their pain and desires. I love how their stories are told from their own perspectives, giving me a clearer and more intimate peek into their hearts and minds. I must say, I find James, a secondary character, very special too. He gives a fullness to the story that makes him shine. Kelli Stuart is a brilliant storyteller. It is evident that she has researched Russian history and customs, breathing life and authenticity into her characters with confidence and elegance. I love, love, love this story. Source: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of Prism Book Tours. Opinions expressed are completely my own.